Monday, December 20, 2021

Boston Globe: "What happens when students remove masks? These Mass. schools are finding out"

"By lunchtime Thursday, word had spread through Hopkinton High School about a slew of basketball players testing positive for COVID-19. Already far more students had begun wearing face-coverings in the school, which in November became the first in Massachusetts to allow vaccinated students to go mask-less.

Over lunch, five senior boys expressed anxiety. They hoped the school board that night would temporarily reinstate the school’s mask mandate. But other students wanted the relaxed mask policies, which they didn’t believe caused the outbreak, to continue. Two sophomore girls in the library studied without masks, happy to see each other’s smiles. They felt the mask-choice policy gave them something elusive in the past two years: a typical high school experience.

“Last year, it felt like you couldn’t talk to anyone who wasn’t your friend,” said Sophie Weeden, 15. “This year, it’s gotten back to a little more normal — it’s so much better.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Recap of Franklin High School status:
The Franklin policy on unmasking was approved by a 4-3 vote at the Tuesday, Nov 23, 2021 meeting. The application to DESE had been approved. Students were more than 82% vaccinated at time of the application. The vote discussion revolved around the start date. The four wanting to start as proposed on Dec 13. The three against seemed to be looking to avoid the holidays and start in January 2022. The policy was written to provide the District the capability to revert to masks if the positivity numbers rose above 4% without an additional School Committee vote. 

The unmasking did begin Monday, Dec 13 and by Weds, Dec 15, the Franklin Board of Health informed the District that the positivity numbers were going to posted with the State report on Thursday as over 4. The District notified the FHS community that masks were encouraged for Dec 16, and required Dec 17. 

We will all need to wait and see what the positivity rate does to find out when they can again go mask optional for the vaccinated.

Reporting on the Nov 23 meeting and vote (including the audio)

Reporting on the Dec 14 meeting

Notification on Dec 15 to revert to masks

What happens when students remove masks?
What happens when students remove masks? 

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