Superintendent: Ashland Schools May Go Mask Optional March 7; School Committee Vote on Feb. 17

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ASHLAND – Ashland Public Schools may go mask optional as of March 7, said Superintendent of Schools Jim Adams this morning, February 14.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that the statewide mask mandate for K-12 schools will be lifted on February 28.

Ashland Public Schools currently has a “local face-covering policy enacted by the Ashland School Committee that supersedes the DESE mask mandate. At the February 12 special School Committee meeting, I recommended lifting the local face-covering policy to allow APS to move to a mask-optional environment beginning March 7.,” said Superintendent Adams.

The School Committee’s policy subcommittee is reviewing the policy and the full School Committee is expected to vote on approval on February 17. School Committee Meeting Link.

“Pending approval, when we return to school on Monday, March 7, wearing a mask will no longer be required inside APS buildings. We will strongly encourage those who are unvaccinated, immune-compromised or living with someone immune-compromised to continue to wear masks in indoor public settings,” said Supt. Adams in an email to families this morning, February 14.

“All staff and students will be supported through their decision to wear or not wear masks,” said Supt. Adams.

“I understand this decision will create mixed feelings within our Clocker community, and I hope you know it was not made lightly,” said Supt. Adams.

“While it was complex, this decision has been made based on a downward trending COVID-19 case count, high participation from both staff and students in our at-home testing program and high vaccination rates across all buildings,” concluded the Superintendent. 

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