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.


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