Effective August 25, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (“DESE”) has implemented a Mask Requirement in all Massachusetts public schools. All K-12 students, ages 5 and older, are required to wear masks or face coverings while indoors. All parents and visitors are also required to wear masks while in school buildings. DESE’s Mask Requirement is not optional, and GNBVT fully intends to comply with its provisions. The Mask Requirement is in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 within our school and our communities and to ensure that all students and staff members are able to learn and work in a safe environment. The Mask Requirement applies to all students, unless a medical or behavioral exemption is granted. The Mask Requirement applies regardless of students’ vaccination status.
All public school students (age 5 and above) and staff are required to wear a mask indoors at school, except when actively eating or drinking, or during designated mask breaks. Masks must cover a student’s nose and mouth. GNBVT will provide disposable masks for any students or visitors who need them. Students observed not wearing a mask or wearing a mask improperly while in school, outside of designated mask break times, will be issued a verbal warning. Any student who continues to refuse to wear a mask after being issued a warning will be referred to the Assistant Principal’s Office for parental notification and potential disciplinary action.
Any subsequent violation of the Mask Requirement or a student’s continued refusal to comply with the requirement will result in further disciplinary action, including but not limited to in-school and out-of-school suspensions, or exclusion from school. Any student who is suspended or excluded from school for his or her refusal to wear a mask will be given notice and an opportunity for a hearing as provided by law.
We appreciate your anticipated cooperation with this policy. Refusal to wear a mask poses a potential threat to the safety of other students and staff, and jeopardizes the health and safety of the communities we serve. Students who cannot wear a mask due to medical conditions or behavioral needs should contact the Principal’s office to learn more about the process and requirements for seeking an exemption.