State Department of Education Considers Masking in Schools

The Maryland State Department of Education  (MSDE) met November 16 to hear from experts and stakeholders on the State’s current masking policy to mitigate COVID-19 in schools.

During the November 16 meeting, which lasted for nearly five hours, MSDE  heard from several panels of stakeholders, including Maryland parents and students, and various leaders in education, like local school boards and the teachers’ union.

Maryland’s current mask mandate requires masks to be worn in all public school facilities, a measure passed and adopted in September to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

Yesterday’s meeting featured testimony from Dr. Jinlene Chan, DeputySecretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mary Gable, Assistant State Superintendent on the status of COVID spread among Maryland’s youth and mitigation in schools. These presentations start around

It wrapped up with a presentation from health experts including the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Georgetown University Institute for National and Global Health Law, among others.

The State Board did not decide at the November 16 meeting whether or not to continue its mask mandate. Board President Clarance Crawford suggested that they will take up the issue in early December.

The current mask mandate is set to expire on February 25, 2022.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for future coverage and a forthcoming decision from MSDE.

Access the meeting agenda.

Video is also available on MSDE’s YouTube channel.

  • Public comments start within the first few minutes of the meeting.
  • Presentations from parents and students start 1hr and 35 mins into the meeting.
  • Testimony from the county boards of education and Maryland State Education Association start 2hrs 2mins into the meeting.
  • Presentations from MSDE and MDH start 3hrs and 20 mins into the meeting.
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