It's back to 'masks required' for the Superior School District.  The reinstated requirement will apply to all staff, students, and visitors - who will have to wear a mask when they are inside of a building that the Superior School District oversees.

The change is effective Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

District administrators say that the change was spurred by accelerated positive COVID-19 cases and their mission of keeping "in person learning open for all students" during this school year. The reversal of the district's mask policy is in compliance with the guidelines that they originally laid out at the beginning of the school year.

That plan that was originally compiled at the beginning of the school year did not require masks to be worn for those who were vaccinated; they would be optional for staff, students, and visitors in that situation.  The policy did, however, still require masks for those who were not vaccinated.  At the same time, a review process was put in place to meet the challenges of dealing with the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic:

"Our original COVID response plan indicates that mitigation strategies would be revised after 2-3 weeks of data to allow for an accurate picture of trends. However, given what has occurred across the country regarding the new Omicron variant, rates are predicted to continue to increase in our community and it is likely we have not seen the peak in cases yet. We were hopeful in the new year we would continue to see the same low transmission rates in schools that we saw from September to December and that students who were now eligible for the vaccine would be able to move away from masks. However, the Omicron variant spread rapidly during the winter break in our community and today we are experiencing high staff and student absence rates. The current case rates are a result of COVID exposure over winter break."

Superior School District administration has made it clear that their over-arching aim for this school year is to continue to offer in-person, in-classroom learning.

Superior Middle School sign - Superior School District in Superior, WI
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

As far as how long the mask mandate will last: that hasn't been detailed.  School officials suggest that they will be monitoring the situation. The letter to parents and the community from District Administrator Amy Starzecki offers "(w)e will consider lifting this requirement once case rates in schools begin to lower and are maintained at the rate level we saw earlier this fall".

Superior Middle School - Superior School District in Superior, WI
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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