Bps Expects Possible Temporary Mask Mandate

Bps Expects Possible Temporary Mask Mandate

Bps Expects Possible Temporary Mask Mandate: According to the letter received by families at the beginning of the holiday, BPS kids might return to wearing masks for a while after the break. School administrators are considering preventative steps in light of the flu, COVID, and RSV triple threat.

BPS Superintendent Mary Skipper explained in a letter to parents and educators that “(w) while you are away on your winter break, we will continue to meet with the Boston Public Health Commission to discuss any potential changes to our COVID protocols, such as a temporary masking mandate for the first two weeks of school after the break.”

COVID- Over the holidays, the number of cases in BPS increased by 19, going from 125 the week before Thanksgiving to 341 the week before Christmas break. However, they have maintained significantly below the highs reported during the Omicron spike last winter when weekly cases routinely held over 1,000 and peaked at 454 instances reported between September 22 and September 28.

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By the end of the week “at the latest,” the district will notify parents of any modifications to the policy, according to Skipper. According to Skipper’s Dec, this will guarantee that we are using the most recent information before making any choices.

22 alert. We know that this temporary policy change may help alleviate any worries as we return from winter break based on last year’s experience with a significant increase in COVID and its effects on staffing shortages and student absences.

Several parents have spoken out during previous school committee meetings about worries for their kids’ safety if the number of incidents rises. Associated video Boston public schools are considering imposing a temporary mask requirement for two weeks following winter break (CBS Boston)

At the December 14 school committee meeting, Betsy Yoshimura, the mother of a third-grader at the Mario Umana Academy, argued that schools should reintroduce masking policies “as long as necessary to keep us all healthy and safe during this holiday season and especially as we enter into even colder days in February.”

In addition to COVID-19, schools have recently had to deal with an increase in RSV and flu cases, which has been referred to as a “tripledemic.” The diseases have worsened the strain on the BPS schools’ already severe staffing shortfall.

As of the beginning of December, the BPS reported 201 available teaching positions and had approximately 280 substitute teacher openings online that were accepting applications. Schools are scurrying to fill classes with teachers and, in some circumstances, support workers as staff absences are on the rise.

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The district continues to stress the value of receiving yearly flu shots and a COVID-19 vaccination, and it also sends kids home with a COVID testing kit every two weeks. Following the Boston Public Health Commission’s recommendation, BPS removed the last mask requirement in June 2022.

I wish you a safe, healthy, and quiet Christmas season, Skipper wrote. “Whether the holidays are about spending time with the ones you love, helping others going through a difficult time, or just recharging and resting,” he said.