MILWAUKEE — Students in the Milwaukee Public School district have the day off Monday, but when they head back to the classroom on Tuesday they'll have the option of doing so without bringing a mask with them.
The school board voted to make face coverings optional starting April 18 at their meeting in March.
The district will revert back to mandatory face masks if cases are too high.
As part of the plan, MPS will continue to offer vaccine clinics. It is expanding its COVID-19 testing options. High quality masks will still be made available. They will also monitor clusters of cases.
The City of Milwaukee's mask mandate expired March 1, but MPS chose to wait on removing its mask mandate. School officials said they were partnering with local health leaders and looking at case data before they made any moves.
Read MPS' announcement below:
Dear MPS Students, Staff, and Families,
When students return to classrooms on April 19, 2022, masks will no longer be required for students and staff in MPS schools and buildings. The wearing of masks will be optional at all MPS locations beginning April 18.
The decision was explored on March 24, 2022, during the regular monthly meeting of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors. Discussion included analysis of current trends of COVID-19 and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Milwaukee Health Department. The April 18 date was selected to avoid any possible surges in COVID-19 following various dates for spring break across the state.
MPS administration will have the ability to reinstate the wearing of masks if COVID-19 numbers would surge again. Such decisions would require input from the Milwaukee Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, and the administrators union.
Masks will continue to be available in MPS schools for students and staff who wish to use them.
District procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 will continue, including access to testing. Students, staff, and families are encouraged to continue to take steps to stay safe and healthy:
Practice physical distancing.
Get vaccinated and boosted.
Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
Follow quarantine and isolation practices recommended by the CDC.
Sanitize surfaces often.
Maintain use of HEPA filtration units and change filters as needed.
The district encourages families to watch for communications from their child’s school and the district to stay up to date on changing conditions.