Dear WPS Staff, Students, and Families,
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) along with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) issued guidance on July 30, 2021, regarding mask safety protocols for public schools in the fall. This guidance is as follows:
- DESE and DPH strongly recommend that all students in kindergarten through grade 6 wear masks when indoors, except students who cannot do so due to medical conditions or behavioral needs. Masks are not necessary outdoors and may be removed while eating indoors.
- DESE and DPH also strongly recommend that unvaccinated staff in all grades, unvaccinated students in grades 7 and above, and unvaccinated visitors wear masks indoors.
- DESE and DPH recommend that schools allow vaccinated students and employees to remain unmasked.
- Any individual at higher risk for severe disease from COVID or with a household member who is at high risk is encouraged to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
- Any child or family who prefers to mask at school should be supported in this choice.
- By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses at this time.
- All staff and students must wear masks while in school health offices. Additional guidance for school health professionals is forthcoming from DPH.
The Westfield School Committee will meet on Monday, August 16 at 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall to review face covering requirements for the start of the school year. In preparation for this meeting, we are asking for stakeholder input, which will be shared Monday night. Below is a link to a survey that we are asking all students, parents, and staff to complete by Monday, August 16 at 5:00 p.m. Thank you in advance for taking the time to provide this valuable feedback.
Additional information on the opening of school will be distributed next week. Thank you for your patience.