Greater Lawrence Technical School Committee chose last week modify the district’s school mask mandate, but only after any spikes resulting from school vacation are checked.
During its regular meeting, members voted to revise the policy to make masking optional for all students beginning on Monday, March 7. The decision is based on Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley’s statewide school mask mandate would not be renewed after Feb. 28. The ruling was made after consulting with medical experts and state health officials, and considering high vaccination rates and widespread availability of COVID-19 testing for school staff and students.
“As we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are moving cautiously to make informed decisions with the best interests of students and staff in mind. By waiting until March 7, we will be able to monitor any spikes in positivity rates following February vacation,” Superintendent John Lavoie said. “We will continue to follow community transmission rates and allow the data to guide our decisions.”
Due to state and federal guidelines, masks are still required on school buses, in nurses’ offices and clinics and for anyone returning from quarantine, for five days.