Wearing of Masks is Optional Starting Monday, March 7, 2022

Wearing of Masks is Optional Starting Monday, March 7, 2022

Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff,

We hope each and everyone of you are staying safe and healthy as we begin to welcome the spring season. I would like to provide some updates regarding district and school operations. Your flexibility and collaboration has been exceptional, and I thank you as we continue to navigate throughout the pandemic.

First and foremost, masks are still recommended. However, the wearing of masks is optional starting Monday, March 7, 2022 for students and staff within school buildings as well as for individuals who utilize the bus transportation.
 
We will continue to show mutual respect and demonstrate empathy, regardless of each community member’s decision to wear a mask or not. In addition, the district will continue mitigation strategies to ensure buildings are clean and sanitary. The shift in the mask mandate is not an indication that the pandemic is over by any means. The district alongside the Waterbury Health Department will continue to monitor the COVID data on a daily basis.

 At present time, the following situations will require students to wear a mask while in school:

  • If a student is sent to an isolation room and/or is experiencing COVID-like symptoms, then the school can require that student to wear a mask while in the isolation room.
  • All staff exhibiting COVID-like symptoms will be required to mask.
  • If a student tests positive for COVID and stays home for a five-day isolation period, they are then required to wear a mask for days 6-10. (This applies to  staff members who test positive.)
  • Students/Staff who are identified as a close contact to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to wear a mask at all times around others for 10 days
  • These protocols are subject to change if conditions warrant.  The district will continue to consult with state and local officials as we monitor daily and weekly data.

In addition to the above, the following situations will require masks to be worn while on school premises:

  • Spectator Fan policy will remain in effect for indoor sports until the conclusion of the State Basketball Tournament
  • Student-Athletes who test positive for COVID-19 should not exercise during isolation and follow the AMSSM return to play guidelines

Tips as you prepare your child/ren for Mask Optional:

  • We recommend having an open and honest discussion with your child/ren regarding their own personal feelings concerning mask-wearing at school.  Please make sure they fully understand your family’s decision about mask-wearing at school. Teachers will not enforce mask wearing for students.
  • Remind your child/ren that some students/families/staff will have made a different decision about wearing masks at school and that WPS welcomes and accepts everyone’s decision, whether or not they are wearing a mask.

Additional Updates and Reminders:

  • Staying Home When Sick - It will continue to be very important (even more so with Mask Optional) for children to stay home if they are not feeling well, or if they are exhibiting any COVID symptoms.  
  • COVID Reporting - All families will need to continue to report COVID-19 positives to school principals, even with masks being optional.
  • COVID At-Home Tests - All students and staff have received two tests.  Please test your child on Friday, March 4th and Sunday, March 6th before returning to school on Monday, March 7th. We appreciate any and all steps you are all taking to help keep our school community safe and healthy. Additional tests will be provided to students and staff who exhibit symptoms at school or identified as close contacts of a positive student or staff in school. 
  • Visitor Policy -The current visitor policy will remain in effect for the current 2021-2022 school year. 
  • Vaccinations - Vaccines continue to be readily available for students age 5 and up.  Please visit the following website for more information: COVID-19 Testing Sites
  • Student/Staff Testing-  All students can continue to get tested for COVID-19 at each school once a consent form is signed. Beginning Monday, March 7, 2022, WPS staff who are vaccinated or unvaccinated can also get tested for COVID-19. Consent forms are available online for students and staff members. 

We will continue to assess and fine-tune procedures with an emphasis on the health and safety of both our students and staff.  I greatly appreciate all of the feedback from families and staff concerning this issue.  In addition to the daily COVID reports, we’ll continue to communicate both at the district level, as well as from the school level.  

Sincerely, 
Dr. Verna Ruffin
Superintendent





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Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
235 Birch St
Waterbury, CT 06704
Phone: 203.573.6660

Fax: 203.573.6663