NSBORO Mask mandate lifted in all PreK-12 (with two exceptions)

Last night, the school committees of Southborough and Northborough voted to move up the lifting of the mask mandates in elementary schools to today.

A message from Superintendent Gregory Martineau confirmed the news. As I wrote on Tuesday, the policy change extends to school buses.

The optional mask policy was already in place this week for grades 6-8 and at Algonquin.

An attachment to the message clarified the following exceptions:

With OPTIONAL masking, in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidance, masks are REQUIRED while indoors:

  • In the Health Office
  • On days 6-10 for individuals who are returning after a shortened, five-day isolation or quarantine

With OPTIONAL masking, in accordance with DPH and DESE guidance masks are RECOMMENDED while indoors:

  • For unvaccinated individuals
  • For immunocompromised individuals
  • For vaccinated close contacts, for 10 days after exposure to an individual who is positive for COVID-19
  • For individuals who have symptoms and have tested negative, until their symptoms resolve

Below is an excerpt from the message:

The recommendation to lift the masking requirement is supported by the Medical Advisory Team (MAT). At the Tuesday, March 1, 2022 MAT meeting, the MAT reviewed the most recent data of COVID-19 cases in our schools and communities and reviewed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDCs) new indoor masking guidelines for public schools.

Earlier this week, educators began engaging students in conversations about when the masking requirement is lifted, that each individual’s/family’s choice must be respected. Not surprisingly, students at the middle and high school levels have responded well to the lifting of the masking requirement. Anecdotally, approximately 35% of our students have chosen to continue to wear a mask, and there have been no issues reported to principals or educators.

As the masking requirement becomes optional, it is essential that we continue to create safe and accepting learning environments. Students, faculty, staff, and families need to feel comfortable exercising their option to either wear or not wear masks. Modeling the power of choice and accepting others is key to preparing students for the next grade level, school transition, or college/career. I ask for your support in this endeavor.

I also want to communicate that there are many COVID-19 mitigation layers that are still in place.

  1. Air Quality and CO2 Monitoring: All classroom spaces have HEPA filters installed, the schools’ HVAC systems are running continuously when school is in session, and classroom windows remain cracked.
  2. Weekly Pooled Screening (PCR) and Rapid Antigen Testing: Families are encouraged to have their students participate in the testing options.
  3. Symptom Monitoring: We ask faculty, staff, students, and families to continue to complete the Daily Symptom Checklist. If a child is symptomatic, we ask that the child remains home and that the family contact the school nurse.
  4. Masking: Students, faculty, and staff have the option of wearing a mask. There will still be times when masks are recommended and times when masks are required.
  5. Vaccination: The local boards of health will be hosting a vaccine clinic in the upcoming weeks for those interested in getting vaccinated.
  6. Hand hygiene: Proper hand hygiene will be reinforced.

The NSBORO Dashboard for the week of  Feb 24, 2022- March 2, 2022 shows that only 8 cases were reported across all three school districts – 2 from Neary and 2 from Algonquin.

I was unable to watch last night’s meeting, but based on past votes of the school committees, the administration will revisit the mask decision if attendance rates fall below 92% and Covid cases are determined to be a significant factor. If that happens, reinstating the mask mandate would be temporary. (You can read more about that policy here.) 

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Frank Crowell
2 years ago

Link below is from a recent school committee meeting in Shrewsbury. Only need to look at the first seven minutes. The parent speaking actually helped elect one of the current members of the committee on the notion that he would be a voice to stop CRT type indoctrination. A retired MA State Trooper is in the room and the very reason why the parent is speaking out.

Could this type of outrage be brewing in Southborogh? Are these type of lessons, cited by the parent, currently being taught in the NSBORO school system? When being fed up turns to outrage, is that disrespect? Or is calling it disrespect a cover for doing nothing.


2 years ago

I’m actually glad you use a pseudonym. I don’t want to know who you are. What does what happened at a Shrewsbury school committee meeting have to do with Southborough? You would do well to brush up on your critical thinking skills and not worry about alleged CRT teachings which have not been substantiated. As the speaker was not very eloquent, I would be willing to bet that he mis-categorized the information that is shown here.


Kelly Roney
2 years ago
Reply to  Resident

There is a real Frank Crowell who lives in another Massachusetts town and is registered as a Republican. No, I’m not going to dox his address.

2 years ago

CRT and indoctrination are not the same thing, please educate yourself on what CRT truly is. And feel free to reach out to the schools to find out what is in the curriculum, you don’t have to come here to ask what is being taught in our schools.

2 years ago
Reply to  northsider

Could you explain what CRT means please?

Common Sense
2 years ago

Does the Board of Health issue these directives for the schools?

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