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FHSD School Board Implements a New System for Mask Mandate


Credit to Evan Becker

New posters depicting the school wide rule posted on lockers throughout the building.

By Evan Becker and Violet Newton

On Jan. 20 during the board’s regular meeting, Francis Howell’s Board of Education voted to extend the mask mandate until Feb. 4, following which a new system will be automatically implemented. Immediately after Feb. 4, a new system will be put in place; masks at school will be optional unless the school’s students to cases ratio go above three percent. If the school does raise above three percent for at least three days a mask mandate will be put in place at the specific school for a minimum of 5 days. 

“I think there should be a mask mandate until things die down a bit,” senior Zach Zimmerman said. “I remember one of my teachers saying that before the mask mandate, [a lot of] the school would be in quarantine. And that’s why they did it. So until things die down there should be a mandate.”

This announcement was an amendment to the original resolution which would have just put that new procedure into place. As it stands right now, two schools, John Weldon, and the Administrative building currently meet the threshold of having more than three percent of students test positive. However, for some students, switching back to optional masks sounds exciting. 

“I don’t think we should have to wear masks because the Omicron variety really isn’t all that bad, I had it over winter break and it was just like a normal cold. I just don’t think it’s serious enough to require masks,” freshman Molly Damery said.

Although it may feel like our school has many cases due to our large overall population, the percent of cases compared to the number of students and staff puts our school at about 1.89% which compared to the rest of the schools in the district is quite low. 

“I think that even though we’re having to slow some things down now, that we will get to a point where we will be able to go back to normal life,” freshman Lisa Smyth said.