A day nearly 2 years in the making

When students and teachers arrive at schools on Tuesday, they will be greeted to a sight they have not seen in almost two years! On Monday two local school districts made decisions that many parents and students have been begging to have happen for several months.

Not the first

With guidelines across the country and world, rapidly changing in response to the coronavirus pandemic, many have been asking when will the masks come off our children in schools? The topic of masking optional policies has become a point of contention in recent weeks across Maine, and in Aroostook County. Just last week MSAD #20 announced they will be shifting to a masking policy on March 7.

Masks optional in Presque Isle Immediately 

After special school board meeting held on Monday evening, MSAD #1 in Presque Isle approved a masking optional policy effective immediately. As of Tuesday morning, students will have the choice of masking in school. This decision was met with an overwhelming positive response from parents across the district. There are some who still feel that masking should be required, but the school board voted in favor of lifting the mandate that had been in place since students returned to classrooms in the fall of 2020.

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Mars Hill to begin changes on Wednesday 

In a memo to the community on Monday, MSAD #42 in Mars Hill notified the public they will be moving to the same masking optional policy on Wednesday March 2. The change in policies has been discussed across many districts in Aroostook County in recent weeks, however, the February break provided a bump in the road as many had to wait for the break to be over to have official discussions.

Most parents are happy, the children more happy! 

The change in policy brings joy to many parents of students who have seen their children persevere through 2 years of disruptions. It is difficult to convey to those without children how complex the last two years have been at home. There have been many difficult questions about the policies that have been asked, oftentimes, we have not had a clear answer. On Monday night we were able to finally give our daughter a clear answer.

Many stood up for the teachers and students 

These children and teachers have been superstars through all of the mess that the virus created. It all started two years ago when students were sent home for the remainder of the school year, only to return to a very surreal educational experience of social distancing and masking. Thank you to the districts who are now allowing the students and families a choice as we all look to move on. Tuesday and Wednesday will feel like the first day of school for many as they finally get to see the faces, they’ve been missing for nearly two years. Have a great day!

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