Changes to Mask Guidance

Changes to Mask Guidance
Posted on 03/14/2022

March 10, 2022
Dear UPSD Parents and Guardians: 


As you know, Covid19 procedures are changing in University Place School District and across the state.  Case rates, hospitalizations and outbreaks in schools continue to decrease rapidly.  Also, Covid19 immunization rates are rising as more people protect themselves and their kids by getting vaccinated and boosted.  These positive trends allow us to make changes to health and safety requirements.


The state Department of Health released updated safety guidelines for schools on Tuesday and clarified the guidance again earlier today. New rules take effect on Saturday, March 12. 


Beginning on Monday, March 14th, masks will be optional for all students, staff, parents and visitors at schools, on buses and during school-sponsored activities in most circumstances.  Students and staff may choose to continue wearing a mask. We support this individual choice and will provide masks to those who want them.  Please take time to talk with your student about family expectations for wearing a mask and remind your student to respect the choices made by others.

 

Masks will continue to be required for students in the following circumstances: 

  • In health rooms and “Covid19 isolation rooms” 
  • When returning to school after an infection without a negative test result
  • During local outbreaks as directed by the local health department

Also, in some situations, masks may be required on a temporary basis when other mitigation measures are not possible and/or to prevent outbreaks.


While Covid19 case rates are decreasing in our area, we know that infections will still happen. Please notify the school immediately if your student tests positive for Covid19 and keep them home for a minimum of five days. Additional information and/or requirements will be provided to families when cases are reported. Also, we will share information about Covid cases in schools with parents and staff as required by the Department of Health.


Other changes to current Covid19 protocols may take place over time. These changes will be communicated to staff, students and parents by building Principals. If you have questions or concerns about the Covid19 protocols at your student’s school, please contact the school Principal or Covid19 site supervisor directly.


We remain hopeful that the gradual elimination of these restrictions will be permanent.  However, it is important to remember that masks and other preventative measures may be needed again in the future if things change for the worse.


Thank you for reviewing this information with your student and planning for next week’s shift to a “mask optional” policy. If you have questions or concerns about these changes, please feel free to contact us directly.  


Sincerely, 


Jeff Chamberlin

Superintendent