COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Kent School District plans to make face masks optional March 21

Will follow state guidelines unless Public Health – Seattle King County issues new requirements

Kent School District officials plan to make face masks optional for students and staff when the statewide indoor mask requirement for the state is scheduled to end on March 21.

Until March 21, masks will continue to be required for all students, staff, and visitors in all Kent School District buildings, according to a district statement.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Feb. 17 the statewide indoor mask requirement changes, including ending them in K–12 schools, due to the decreasing COVID-19 cases. Inslee gave school districts the option to have students and teachers wear masks.

“Once the statewide requirement is lifted, masks will be encouraged in our school buildings, but not required,” according to the district statement. “Masks will still be required on school buses per a federal mandate that requires masks to be worn on all forms of public transportation.”

District officials said masks will become optional in buildings, unless Public Health – Seattle & King County issues new requirements.

”If Seattle King County Public Health does not require masks for our county on March 21, KSD students will have the choice to wear a mask at school, with the expectation that others’ choices will be respected,” according to the district statement. “One should not make assumptions regarding someone’s beliefs or health status, nor should they comment on them. Our district will not tolerate bullying of any kind for those who choose to continue wearing masks.”

District officials said that for young children, parents should let teachers know their wishes and they will do their best to reinforce them.

“Our educators will discuss the change with students in a developmentally appropriate manner, including how to respect others’ personal choice,” according to the district statement. “If your child (or children) expresses any anxiety, please feel free to reach out to our school counselors for support.”

District officials said they will keep families updated.

“We thank you for your continued flexibility as we navigate this pandemic together,” according to the district statement. “We know you likely have many questions about this announcement, and we are anticipating receiving additional information from public health officials in the coming weeks. We will continue communicating with you as we learn about changes to the guidance for our district with you as we receive it.”

No school during presidents’ break

The Kent School District will close schools Feb. 21-25 for presidents’ break. Schools will reopen on Monday, Feb. 28.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Madeline Goldsmith. COURTESY PHOTO
No suspect yet in July 2023 Kent murder of Madeline Goldsmith

Someone fatally shot 18-year-old Kentwood High graduate as she sat in vehicle near Lake Meridian

Police bust mother, daughter in Kent for retail crime spree

Two reportedly joined one other woman in 3-state crime ring taking women’s clothing from Lululemon

Reith Road in Kent to get two new roundabouts this year

City Council approves $4.28 million bid; project to start in late May or early June

Puget Sound Fire’s Teddy Bear Clinic set for May 18 in Kent

Annual event provides free checkups for teddy bears and children

Overturned military vehicle causes I-5 backup near Kent, Federal Way

Wednesday, April 10 in northbound lanes near South 272nd Street

Kent Police Blotter: March 26 to April 7

Incidents include robberies, burglaries, shooting

State Patrol seek witnesses to I-5 hit-and-run crash in Kent

Collision at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, April 8 along northbound I-5 near State Route 516

Riverbend Golf Complex in Kent turns profit for 2nd consecutive year

City-owned facility brings in about $600,000 in 2023

Kent Police recovered nearly 800 catalytic converters in a 2021 bust. File photo
New state legislation fights catalytic converter theft

Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill on March 26 adding new regulations… Continue reading

Firefighting Diversity & Recruitment Workshop set for May 11 in Kent

Event designed to help potential candidates get jobs

Kentwood High grad’s legacy of love lives on through organ donation

Madeline Goldsmith one of 344 organ donors honored by Gov. Jay Inslee in Olympia

Flowers, framed photos, plush toys and a QR code to the GoFundMe pages of the families grace the memorial site after the March 19 crash. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing.
Judge, lawyers debate low bail for Kent driver in fatal Renton crash

Judge explains reduction from $1 million to $100,000, which was posted by family of Chase Jones