Mask-Optional Transition

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During the past week, Dr. Hightower worked closely with our District Administration, McMea Teacher’s Union, and our IFT Classified Union. As a collective body, we elected to transition to mask optional beginning March 7th. 

As we plan for this transition in our schools, we want to emphasize that whether or not to wear a mask is a personal and family choice, and we look to our Board Goals and District Priorities for guidance:

Board Goal #2: Culture 

School District 73.5 embraces its diverse community and promotes the value of civic responsibility and respect for individual and cultural differences. We will ensure a safe and positive learning environment by cultivating and sustaining strong relationships among students, staff, parents, and the community at large.

Our transition plan recognizes the importance of personal and family choice, individual differences, and maintaining a safe learning environment for our students and staff.


District Priority #1: Welcoming Environment

We want all of our students, staff, parents, and community members to feel welcome in our District. 

The choice about whether or not to wear a mask is a decision for each family to make. Once the decision has been made, it is important for the student, parents, and/or guardians to explicitly discuss the family's expectations. School staff will not monitor nor influence our families' choices.


See Dr. Hightower's letter to our school community for more information and details, including what we want you to know about our Mask-Optional Transition Plan and Masking Resources for Parents & Families. The letter is also available in Arabic, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, and Vietnamese.


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