Milestones: 1 Policy Change to COVID-19 Protocols Starting This Thursday (5/20) – Outdoor Mask Flexibility

May 17, 2021

Dear Families,

On behalf of our Milestones Task Force, we are writing to announce 1 new policy change to our COVID-19 protocols that will take effect at Milestones beginning this Thursday, 5/20.  This will offer a “breath of fresh air” both literally and figuratively to our school community!

As many of you are likely aware, the CDC issued updated mask-related guidance last week based around progress with COVID-19.  Today Governor Baker announced a change to outdoor mask requirements at Massachusetts schools, and DESE subsequently issued a revision to school protocols.

Outdoor Mask Update:  Based on the low rate of outdoor transmission of COVID-19, Governor Baker and the MA COVID Command Center’s Medical Advisory Board announced today that (a) students no longer have to wear masks when outdoors at school, regardless of distancing.   (b) Adults no longer have to wear masks outdoors at school if distancing can be maintained, but adults must continue to wear masks outdoors if distancing cannot be maintained.   At Milestones, we are considering social distance as 6+ feet in order for adults to have masks off when outdoors, and of course, supporting the needs of the students will continue to be our top priority.  All students and faculty are welcome to continue to wear masks outdoors, if they prefer.

No Changes Indoors:  Governor Baker confirmed that at this time, all adults and students in Massachusetts schools are still required to wear masks indoors.

Change to Outdoor Mask Use Starts at Milestones on Thursday (5/20):  This change to outdoor mask use has been approved by Governor Baker and DESE to start in Massachusetts schools beginning tomorrow (Tuesday, 5/18).  However, the policy change will take effect at Milestones starting this Thursday (5/20) in order to have a thoughtful rollout with faculty and students.  Our Task Force issued this announcement to faculty after school today, and we are scheduled to hold a schoolwide faculty meeting on Wednesday to review how to best support this change with students.  During homeroom time on Thursday, we will preview and implement this change with students.  We recognize that there will be a range of feelings and perspectives (ex: many who are delighted, some who may be anxious, etc.) and we will emphasize how to best uphold safety, respect and responsibility for ourselves and one another.

As of now, this is the only new policy change taking place at Milestones, and all previously communicated best practices and current guidelines still apply.   Our Task Force will continue to keep our families, students, and faculty apprised of any further health updates that will be implemented at school.   We are certainly very encouraged that Massachusetts and our broader community is continuing in a healthy direction!