For a pdf version of the ARPS Update, please click here.
Para uma versão do ARPS Update em português, clique aqui.
As has been widely reported, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education ended the statewide school mask mandate on February 28; however, a local mask mandate is still in effect in Amherst. Next Thursday, March 10, the Amherst Board of Health is meeting to determine whether to extend or end the local town-wide mask mandate. We want the ARPS community to be aware of this meeting because, per School Committee policy ECBFA, it will become a personal choice for all students and staff members whether or not to wear a face covering if the Board votes to end the local mask mandate. If such a vote is passed to lift the mandate immediately, or soon thereafter, the in-school mask mandate would end as of Monday, March 14. In addition, if the mask mandate ends, please note that all other current COVID-related safety measures, such as rapid and pooled testing, availability of free KN95 masks, ventilation, and physical arrangement of desks in classrooms with distancing, will continue.
Given the extended time we have all spent following masking as a Covid mitigation strategy, I understand that this potential change will elicit excitement for some and anxiety for others. Everyone will decide whether to wear a mask or not based on their personal circumstances, and I want to assure all staff and families that those decisions will be respected and honored. We will update the ARPS community about the Board of Health vote next Friday.
Finally, I want to end with a huge congratulations to the women’s Hurricanes Swimming & Diving team who are the new State Champions! This is the first time the team has won the state title, and we couldn’t be prouder of these outstanding athletes and their coaches! You can read an excellent story about their achievement in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.