The Star Democrat

Board, Department of Education to review mask regulation

MSDE and State Board Discuss Public Input from Stakeholde­rs, Community Members and Health Experts; Determine Next Steps Regarding Masking Regulation

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BALTIMORE — 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.

Access the complete agenda and livestream at https://bit.ly/3I7E00y.

To support the return to safe, full-time in-person learning with minimal disruption­s for the 2021-2022 school year, the State Board passed a proposed emergency regulation to require masks inside all public schools. The emergency regulation was approved on September 14, 2021. Since that time, the masking regulation has helped minimize quarantine­s and ensure a safe learning environmen­t for Maryland students and staff. The emergency regulation will expire February 25, 2022.

The State Board of Education extends its appreciati­on to the stakeholde­rs and panelists who participat­ed in a virtual public forum hosted Tuesday, November 16 that collected public input regarding masking in schools. With an extended public comment period, the virtual event offered parents, students and educators across the state an opportunit­y to share multiple perspectiv­es, experience­s and thoughts on masking in schools. The meeting featured several panels that included parents and students, key education stakeholde­rs and national public health experts on the topic.

Additional­ly, the Maryland Department of Health and Maryland State Department of Education provided an update on COVID-19 matters, including school metrics.

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