Dear LMSD Families,
After reviewing information provided by the LMSD Health and Safety Team, MCOPH's data for the week ending Feb. 17, 2022, and COVID-19 numbers reported to LMSD Health Services for this week, I am pleased to share that LMSD will update its protocols to mask-optional for students participating in outdoor activities, including elementary school recess and physical education across all grade levels. Masks will become optional outdoors as of Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. (Masks are still required in LMSD buildings and on school buses).
The decision aligns with the guidance from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) for masking during times of "substantial" transmission and is supported by the data mentioned above. Our Health and Safety Team will continue to study the data to determine when further steps, such as optional indoor masking or a return to outdoor masking, are warranted.
We recognize that many parents and guardians will want their children to continue to wear masks indoors and out, despite this new masking option. Starting the option next week allows families to discuss expectations regarding masking with their own children. Staff will have conversations with students about the importance of respecting everyone's decisions to promote sensitivity, tolerance and respect around individual families' decisions.
The Lower Merion Board of School Directors and I appreciate the many community members who have shared their perspectives on the issue of masking, both via email and during our public meetings. We also appreciate the ongoing hard work of our District Health and Safety Team, on whom we continue to rely for their insight and guidance. There are no easy answers as we continue to deal with the many issues brought on by the pandemic. Please rest assured that the physical and emotional health and safety of our students, staff and community remain LMSD's highest priority.
Khalid N. Mumin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools