Dear Eatontown Public Schools Community Member:
Today, Governor Murphy announced at his press conference that, “the universal statewide mask mandate for schools and childcare settings will be lifted effective Monday, March 7, 2022.” This announcement means that students and staff, as well as school visitors, will be required to continue to wear masks in schools until Friday, March 4th. After the aforementioned date, Boards of Education and school administrators will need to determine the status of masks in schools moving forward.
Eatontown Public Schools has adhered to the guidance provided by the CDC, NJ Department of Education (NJDOE), and NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) throughout the pandemic. Using guidance from these health agencies as well as guidance from our school physician and the Monmouth County Health Department, the district has navigated through the pandemic in a safe and responsible manner. Over the next few weeks, the district will await further guidance from the NJDOE and NJDOH for how schools can implement this new direction in protocol and procedure in the near future.
Although the data suggests that communities must work together and establish a new normal in living with the virus, the state will need to update its current guidance in order to make a maskoptional policy or any other change in mask policy practical for students and staff. Currently, the social distancing guidance used for contact tracing is based upon all individuals wearing a mask in school. Another question to be addressed is whether masks would be required in the instance that a community or school has an outbreak.
Please be patient as the district works through these issues. The goal is to communicate the district’s position on the status of masks in school to the school community well before the March 7th date.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Scott T. McCue
Superintendent of Schools