This morning, Governor Inslee announced that the statewide indoor mask mandate, including all schools and buses, will lift at 11:59 p.m. (midnight) on Friday, March 11, instead of March 21. This aligns with similar announcements this morning by Oregon and California. King County announced that it plans to follow the same timeline.
This means that the first regular school day with masks optional will be Monday, March 14. Staff and students will still have the choice to wear a mask at school and we will protect their right to make that choice. Until that date, masks are still required for all students, staff, and visitors in all school district buildings and on school buses.
Once the mandate is lifted, we will support a learning environment that supports and respects all choices regarding wearing, or not wearing, masks. It is important that our schools remain safe and welcoming places for learning. We will not tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind.
For young children, please let teachers know your wishes and they will do their best to reinforce them. Our educators will discuss the change with students in a developmentally-appropriate manner, including how to respect others’ personal choice. If your child expresses any anxiety, please feel free to reach out to our school counselors for support.
By March 7, we also expect to receive updated COVID-19 guidance for schools from the Department of Health. We understand that most, if not all, of the current COVID-related health requirements may be modified. Stay tuned for more information about this.
Thank you for your continued flexibility and understanding as we continue to navigate and support the changing requirements together.