Gov. lifts mask mandate for schools March 12

Gov. lifts mask mandate for schools March 12SIERRA SANDS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT—

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a relaxation in COVID-related restrictions and precautions on Monday Feb. 28— including a shift to voluntary masking in schools after March 11.

Beginning Monday, March 14, indoor masking will be recommended but not mandated. “For some, this is not soon enough,” Superintendent Dr. David Ostash wrote in an update to parents.

“Some students are escalating in their defiance of the current mask mandate. The result of this is that our staffing capacity has been taxed to the max, and our employees have reached a maximum exhaustion level.”

The two years of challenges, restrictions, shortages and changing rules have taken a toll on the community. “I genuinely respect and acknowledge the different ideological beliefs associated with pandemic safety measures. And no doubt, we will navigate more divisive challenges as we move forward,” he said.

“But please remember that the individuals operating our public school system did not make the rules, and are doing the best they can under excruciating circumstances.”

Ostash said that the board established guiding principles in July 2020 that would help inform operation decisions throughout the pandemic. These include following all laws and appropriate guidance; protecting the health and safety of staff; and optimizing means of educating students.

“As we near the end of this controversial mandate, my hope is that we can come together as a community and rebuild the civility and cooperation that has been a hallmark of our identity in the valley and in Sierra Sands.”

Laura Austin Photo: Murray Middle School Beginning Band performed Tuesday night during the Sierra Sands Music Festival. Despite the masking of faces and instruments the band played on. The the students will be able to breathe freely again when the mandate will be lifted on March 12.

Story First Published: 2022-03-11