CARVER – The school committee was not going to impose masks in schools, but the state then intervened.
The State Board of Education on Tuesday morning voted 9-1 to approve a mask mandate, with Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley due to make a final decision on Wednesday, but it was apparently just a formality . He released a statement on Friday August 20.
“As students and staff prepare to return to school full time, in person, our priority is a smooth reopening,” he said. “With the increase in cases, this mask mandate will provide one more measure to support the health and safety of our students and staff this fall. “
All Massachusetts public school students and staff over the age of 5 will be required to wear a mask upon re-entry, and this will continue to be a requirement until at least October 1. The mandate would be lifted on October 1 if at least 80 percent of a school’s students and staff are vaccinated.
Last week’s 3-1 vote to strongly encourage but not require masks in schools, except on school buses and at nurses’ offices, as mandated by the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, has follows a controversial hearing with opponents of a mask mandate outnumbering supporters.
The Plymouth and Carver Education Association representing teachers had previously called for collective bargaining over the wearing of masks in schools.
The school committee is due to meet on Monday evening (August 31) to review the terms of reference, but there is apparently little to do.
A survey of Carver Elementary School parents and guardians with responses from 392 families showed 52.8% against a mask requirement, 36% in favor of a mask requirement and 11.2% unsure.
A survey of parents and guardians at Carver Middle High School with responses from 277 families showed 48.2% against a mask requirement, 26.4% in favor of a mask requirement and 4.7% unsure.
A poll also asked Education Association members if they were in favor of a mask mandate for K-12 students, and of the 110 responses, 47.3% are in favor, 30 , 9% are not in favor and 21.8% are not sure.
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