Shorewood, Whitefish Bay schools: Masks required indoors

The Shorewood and Whitefish Bay School Districts announced masks will be required for students returning to the classroom in the fall.

As of Wednesday, Aug. 4, masks will be required for everyone (ages 2 and up) indoors in all Shorewood School District facilities. 

The Whitefish Bay School District's board voted Aug. 3 to require masks for all people (ages 4 and up) while inside school facilities. This means that all students, staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask when inside, regardless of vaccination status. District leaders added that when outside, eating or drinking inside, or in some other cases, masks are not required. The district's full policy is available online, and the school board will "continue to monitor agency recommendations and local data."

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"This is a great idea," said Dr. Greg DeMuri, UW Health pediatric infectious disease specialist. "The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics have both issued very strong statements recommending masks for return to school in the fall."

The announcement comes as COVID-19 and the delta variant spreads.

"Delta makes it more important to wear masks, actually," said Dr. DeMuri. "We do know delta is more contagious, very contagious in children, as well, and masks can help prevent the transmission of that variant. It’s important to hang in there. We’re in the red zone, close to making a touchdown in getting rid of this virus. We have a ways to go. Now is not the time to drop the ball."

The Shorewood School District plans to share more in-depth information on its back-to-school plan at the school board meeting Tuesday, Aug. 10.

Shorewood School District letter to families

"Preparations for the upcoming school year are in full swing, and I have a very important update to share: effective tomorrow, Wednesday, August 4, masks will be required for everyone (ages two and up) indoors, in all District facilities. This means that all students, staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask when inside, regardless of vaccination status.   

We are taking this step - in advance of the release of our 2021-2022 Back-to-School Plan - in accordance with federal, state and local guidance for schools, and in the name of safety for all. District staff have also been notified of this policy, and I very much appreciate your cooperation and support as we implement this protocol with students when school starts in a few weeks. We will make adjustments as public health conditions warrant. 

I would also like to share some vaccination resources and other vaccine information, in case it would be helpful to you. Presently, vaccination is the best way to combat COVID-19, and the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and other public health authorities recommend vaccinations for children who are eligible. Now is the time to schedule vaccinations so that eligible students have this protection. 

District families will receive a detailed Back-to-School communication next week, including school-specific information, welcome videos from principals, and informational videos about facilities project updates at each school. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

We are looking forward to welcoming students back to schools and classrooms, and to many of the events and activities that are part of our traditional school calendar.  Let's work together to make it a great school year."

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