How to (Appropriately) Ask Preschool to Drop Mask Requirement
Our son's preschool is still requiring the children to wear masks indoors (except when napping). They have not indicated when, if ever, they will reconsider this policy.
Is anyone else in this situation? Any guidance for how to engage the school administrators?
It seems like we're one of the only preschools still requiring masking, and I know the majority of the parent community is very eager for a policy change.
Feb 13, 2023
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When this was an issue for us (some time ago when there was less data on masking and covid, but still enough for me to know where I stood on it) I informed the admin directly of what I thought the policy should be and offered to share data with them if that would help in updating policies to match current information. For example, there is data from Spain where 6 YOs were forced to mask and 5 YOs were not. There were no meaningful differences in covid rates. Coronavirus: Masks in schools are not associated with lower coronavirus transmission, says new study | Society | EL PAÍS English Edition (elpais.com). I framed it as you may not be aware of this but, ... and I would be happy to share more information or discuss ... and I know it's hard to keep track of all this changing information and we all just want to figure out what's best for the kids ...
I think it is also useful to encourage other parents to reach out to admins about this. Many pre-school admins are not really well-equipped to process this kind of data or interested in weighing in on controversial (even needlessly controversial) subjects. Unless you have one that is -- and the current policy suggests they are not -- parent sentiment may be more important. All that said, if your preschool is still masking children at this point in time (except during naps when covid cannot spread -- this is one of my favorite science-y covid policies, along with masking on the walk to the table at a restaurant) it might be time to look elsewhere. It tells you something about the school's priorities and methodologies that they are still doing this.
Hi - just to chime in, our preschool still requires masking indoors and I know of others that do as well. I don’t have any comment on the question of when they will stop, but my impression overall is that it’s not uncommon to still require it.
I would drop this preschool in a heartbeat - they’re only protecting themselves and not the children at this point.
Seconding one of the comments above, our preschool still requires indoor masking as well with no sign of dropping this policy.
We're at an independent school that only recently dropped our indoor mask requirement. I will say that although most people were very ready for it to end, it was also absolutely linked to a spike in COVID cases this winter among both students and staff (and other respiratory illnesses kicked back into high gear in many classes, too). So...based on our experience, it appears the mask policy was, in fact, doing something. There's certainly a school of thought that says we had to rip the band-aid off sooner or later, and I'm hopeful that once everyone has had COVID at least once, things will settle down. But at least for our school, there was a notable difference in the number of cases after they stopped masking, and I can absolutely see why a preschool might want to keep the policy in place, even for no other reason than to keep staff healthy so school can keep running. This falls into "be careful what you wish for"--certainly advocate for a policy change if that's what most families want, but also be at peace with the possibility that it may come with more sick days and potential school closures if subs aren't available.