Dear North Smithfield Families and Staff,
Pending the approval of a joint resolution to extend the Governor’s emergency authority for 45 days, the Governor will extend the Executive Order that requires indoor masking in public K-12 schools to March 4th. After that point, cities, towns, and school committees will be able to implement their own masking policies using updated recommendations that RIDOH and RIDE will provide. This updated approach brings masking in line with other mitigation measures that schools implement based on recommendations from RIDOH and RIDE, such as testing, social distancing, and symptom screening.
North Smithfield Public Schools will follow the new guidance for schools where student and staff masking will be recommended, but not an overarching mandate.
We anticipate updated guidance regarding contact tracing, isolation, returning to school after infection, Monitor to Stay, and interscholastic athletics protocols, meaning at times masking may remain a situational necessity. We will certainly pass along any updated information that we receive.
It is important to note that the federal transportation mask requirement remains in place at this time, and therefore masks will be required on school buses. Masking is also still recommended for immunocompromised individuals and for those who have either not completed their primary series of vaccinations or received their booster.
- Michael St. Jean, Superintendent
Michael St. Jean,