With the SFPS community weighing in on whether to continue mask wearing in schools, Superintendent Hilario “Larry” Chavez announced today that the target date for masking to become optional is on Monday, March 21st, following spring break, which runs from March 14th-18th.  Indoor masking will remain a requirement for the next three weeks and outdoor masking is still optional. “More than 5,900 in our community responded to a survey issued at noon last Friday.  More responses are in favor of either keeping masks for the remainder of the school year or until spring break compared to lifting the mask mandate immediately.  We see the end of this pandemic in sight and believe that offering the option to mask will allow parents to act in their children’s best interests.  This virus is unpredictable and we are erring on the side of caution,” he said.

The decision follows the governor’s announcement on Thursday, February 17th ending the statewide mask mandate and deferring to local decision making regarding masking.  

“For those who continue to wear masks once we make the transition, we are completely supportive.  We also support parents who want to end their child’s mask wearing.  We see allowing parents to choose the best course forward is a very positive development,” said Superintendent Chavez.  “As always, we put the health and safety of students and staff at the forefront and will continue advocating for COVID vaccinations and following all required safety requirements for students and staff, ” he said.

“Critically important is that our projected date to make masking optional is dependent on our state, county and city data in three weeks.  If there’s another surge like we experienced in January, we will need to consider universal masking,” he said.  “For now, I am confident that the data is heading in the right direction.”