Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Dear Staff, Students and Families,
As you know from my previous announcement on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Education advised Maine School units and child care providers that effective March 9, 2022, universal masking is no longer a statewide recommendation in school settings but is optional.
To that end, during a special board meeting held on Monday, March 7, 2022, members of the Winslow School Board voted unanimously to accept the most recent guidance by the medical professionals. As a result, the Winslow School Department will move to a mask optional status starting on Wednesday, March 9th. The mask optional status will include transportation on buses as well.
Winslow Public Schools along with a majority of public schools across the state have followed the Maine CDC guidance for the past two years in order to keep students and staff safe and in school for in person learning.
The Maine CDC is quick to remind us that the end of mask mandates doesn't mean that it’s the end of COVID. To that end, schools are expected to continue following the document we have used to guide our decisions which is the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
New guidance to the SOP is expected to be released in the next few days. The administrators and nurses will review the guidance as soon as it is released and will provide families with the updated information. The Maine CDC will continue to monitor COVID cases in the state and may provide additional guidance should current conditions change.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind the Winslow School community that some students and staff may not be able to take advantage of the mask optional status due to an extenuating circumstance in their lives or the lives of a family member.
Knowing that, please take the time to talk to your children on Tuesday about the importance of respecting everyone's decision to either wear a mask or not.
The Winslow community is known for coming together and helping one another through difficult times. I can’t think of a better time to come together and be respectful of one another for the choice individuals make as it pertains to mask wearing.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank students, staff and families for your continued patience and support through what has been a very difficult two years for all of us.
Please be watching for another informational letter from me once we have had a chance to review the revised SOP.
Peter Thiboutot, Superintendent
Winslow Public Schools
20 Dean Street
Winslow, ME 04901