The Board of Education officially voted to have masks be optional in all Darien schools beginning Feb. 28.
Superintendent Alan Addley cited declining cases of Covid-19 over the past month, increased student, teacher, and staff vaccination rates and less severe symptoms of the virus as reasons for the policy change.
Additional policy changes that where noted:
1) Students will quarantine only if they contract COVID-19
2) Students who contract Covid-19 can return to school after six days of quarantining
3) No more social distancing
4) Contact tracing will stop in Darien School
5) Masks are still required on school transportation
In terms of transitioning back to school without masks Addley noted that “it’s important that the students are arriving back in a supportive way and nurturing way that would honor people who are wearing masks, whether they're students or whether they’re adults.” It was also mentioned that if anybody's not certain and not comfortable, they should wear a mask. The idea is that schools in Darien need to make people feel comfortable with wearing a mask if they choose to.
It is believed that Darien is well-positioned to remove the mask mandate because of declining cases and increased vaccinations.
Parents and students are thrilled to return to school without masks, even if it's still a few weeks away. One family I spoke with said it's been such a tough road for these kids. They been through so much and this is just such a relief...it's a silver lining for sure.