Natick Public Schools Moves to Flex Mask Policy

Natick Public Schools Moves to Flex Mask Policy
Posted on 03/04/2022

NATICK, Mass. - Natick Public Schools has announced a shift to a flex mask policy, beginning Monday, March 7. The Town of Natick Board of Health rescinded the mandatory masking policy for buses and schools during a meeting on March 4. Moving forward, NPS will follow state guidelines to implement this policy, which incorporates the updated flexibility of choice outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Massachusetts Department of Health, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

“As a values-based district, we will support choices,” said Natick Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anna Nolin. “We fully expect to see flex masking for a wide range of both faculty and students based on individual choices, including the worry and newness of the transition out of masking, back to normal. We’ve encouraged our staff to teach and discuss this change.”

Students and staff continue to have the option to wear a mask at school. Staff and students who have health needs that demand additional support will be given support and accommodations through those means used prior to the pandemic. Other expectations of the policy include requiring masking when in nursing offices, and it is strongly encouraged that preschool students and those collaborating within the preschool remain masked since three- and four-year-olds are not yet eligible for vaccination. Any unvaccinated individuals across the district are also strongly encouraged per DESE/DPH to wear a mask but are no longer required by state, local, or DESE guidelines.

Under this new policy, students returning from COVID isolation must adhere to the five-day masking protocol already in place, and students feeling unwell or displaying COVID symptoms should always remain home.

The district’s weekly at-home antigen testing program continues, and specific guidelines related to sports participation remain in place.

The district’s full guidance and expectations of this policy can be viewed online.

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