On September 27, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced that "as of October 15, 2021, if a school demonstrates a vaccination rate of 80 percent or more of all students and staff in the school through an attestation form submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), then vaccinated individuals in that school would no longer be subject to the mask requirement.”
Hopkinton submitted the Attestation form on Friday, October 1, 2021. In response, Hopkinton High School has received the following approval from DESE:
"Based on the information [the school district] provided, Hopkinton High School’s request has been approved. Vaccinated individuals in this school are not currently subject to the Department’s mask requirement, although they may certainly choose to continue to wear a mask while in school. Please note that in alignment with statewide guidance, unvaccinated students and staff are still required to continue wearing masks. Please note further that the Department reserves the right, following consultation with medical experts and state health officials, to re-institute the Department’s mask mandate at Hopkinton High School, if it becomes appropriate based on state and local public health data."
The School Committee met last Thursday evening, October 7, 2021, to discuss the opportunity for "off-ramping." The meeting aired on Hopkinton's HCAM TV. Hopkinton's Public Health Official Shaun McAuliffe joined the meeting in an advisory capacity.
Naturally, the Superintendent and the School Committee are taking a cautious, informed approach in order to mitigate risk and to be prepared for the logistics of unmasking, if that does end up being the decision for Hopkinton. No formal vote was taken at the October 7th meeting.
The Committee plans to revisit this topic at their meeting on Thursday evening, October 21, 2021.