Facemasks to be optional starting Tuesday
Facemasks will become optional in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington, beginning Monday, Feb. 21.
Because Monday is a holiday, the new policy will take effect on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at St. John the Baptist.
Please see the letter on masks from Kelly Branaman, Secretary of Catholic Schools, to Catholic school families.
Here is the letter in Spanish (carta en español).
Here is the letter in Vietnamese (thư bằng tiếng việt).
Here is the letter in Amharic (ፊደል በአማርኛ).
There are circumstances such as all-school Mass attendance and Covid-19 exposure in which masks may still be required for students or staff at school.
Daily temperature screenings, distancing, and handwashing rules will remain in place at school. Out of respect for students who will continue to wear masks, we will continue to put up screens on desks during lunch, when lunch is inside the classroom. Teachers will continue to take students outside for lunch as often as possible.
The new optional mask-wearing policy will apply to students and staff in the preschool and in Kindergarten through 8th grade.
On Friday, teachers will talk with students about the importance of showing respect for the decisions of classmates and parents.
Since early November, masks have been optional at recess, and the students have shown exceptional tolerance and acceptance for the mask-wearing decisions of their classmates. It is our hope and belief that the students' grace and goodwill toward each other will continue.
The school's goal from the beginning of the pandemic has been to maintain a safe, learning environment for students and staff. Our goal as a community has been to endure this trial with grace, to respond in one accord with sensitivity and understanding of experiences and views that aren't our own.