CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metropolitan School District announced Monday that it will start the upcoming school year mandating masks for all students, employees and visitors.
For the first five weeks of the 2021-22 school year, or until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues new recommendations, CMSD will require mask wearing.
Currently, the CDC recommends the continued use of masks for all unvaccinated students and adults.
However, with Gov. Mike DeWine signing of House Bill 244 that requires equal treatment of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at public schools, CMSD will continue the mask mandate for all, regardless of vaccination status.
CMSD made the announcement of its mask mandate to start the school year in the midst of a bill, introduced to the Senate last week, that could eliminate mask mandates, if passed. As of now it has only been introduced and is only sponsored by one Senator.
In addition to the mask mandate in the district for the first five weeks, CMSD will also maintain 3-foot social distancing guidelines where applicable and use touchless thermometers to monitor temperatures. Sanitation methods will remain in place at each school.
Eric Gordon, superintendent/CEO of CMSD, said that no student will be prohibited from attending a full five-day, in-person learning experience but the school will continue operating the Virtual Academy as a remote learning option.
CMSD plans to offer vaccination clinics for students over the age of 11 and their families while continuing free and voluntary COVID-19 testing throughout the district.
In the announcement addressing COVID-19 procedures to start the school year, Gordon also announced that most CMSD students will no longer be required to wear uniforms. Only when its specially part of a school's model will uniforms be required, Gordon said.
Gordon said that CMSD schools will be announcing school-specific details in the days to come.
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