State to Consider Next Steps for Masks in Schools at Dec. 1 Meeting

On Wednesday, December 1, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and State Board of Education (SBOE) will meet to discuss public input and next steps on masking in schools.

The virtual meeting, which was announced earlier this week, is a follow-up to a November 16 meeting that featured public input and testimony from local education leaders and national public health leaders.

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. When passed, the State Board promised to revisit the policy as COVID-19 cases and vaccination rates fluctuated.

According to an MSDE press release announcing the December 1 meeting:

Following a special meeting featuring public comment from stakeholders, community members and health experts on the State’s emergency school mask requirement, the Maryland State Board of Education will host a special virtual meeting on Wednesday, December 1 at 1 p.m. via WebEx. At the meeting, the State Board of Education will review public testimony, input and written comments as well as current public health metrics, and determine next steps regarding the school mask regulation.

While the press release states that the December 1 meeting will “determine next steps regarding the school mask regulation,” it is unclear if MSDE and MSBOE plan to make a decision on masking next Wednesday.

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

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

Access the meeting agenda and livestream.

Read the full MSDE press release.

Prior Conduit Street coverage on masking in schools:

At the MACo Winter Conference session, “Education Equity: Confronting the COVID Gap,” an expert panel will discuss how the emerging challenges and opportunities our students and institutions face coming in the “new normal,” from learning gaps, to inequities in resources and access.

The 2021 MACo Winter Conference, “Time to Reboot: Tomorrow’s Tech Today,” will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD from December 8-10.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: