Elementary school in Silver Spring, Maryland brings back mandatory masking

"Testing is not mandatory, but all parents should report it," the school said.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

An elementary school in Maryland has reinstated mask requirements for students. Clay Travis broke the news with a post showing the letter from the Rosemary Hills Elementary School in Silver Spring, a wealthy DC suburb. 

"A DC area elementary school — Montgomery County, Maryland — is reinstating a mask mandate — N95’s — for third graders over a few kids testing positive for covid," Travis said. "Here’s the letter. They’re coming with masks for your kids again. Get ready. Read this insanity."

The letter addresses parents of students in one specific classroom, and tell parents that it "is to inform you that 3 or more individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in [redacted] class in the past 10 days. We are taking the following steps to keep our school environment as safe as possible for in-person teaching and learning."

The school told The Post Millennial that they send "test kits to classroom teachers and then teachers send it out to all students." The tests, a representative said, get sent home "regardless" of if they have been asked for my parents. However, testing is not mandatory, nor is reporting, the representative said.

"We have lots of students who get sick and if parents want to know if their kids get sick from flu, or Covid, they have the test," the representative said. Rosemary Hills School emphasized that "testing is not mandatory, but all parents should report it."

The letter that was sent home to parents by principal Rebecca Irwin Kennedy continued that "to prevent further transmission" in that classroom:

"Additional KN95 masks have been distributed and students and staff in identified classes or activities will be required to mask while in school for the next 10 days, except while eating or drinking. Masks will become options again following the 10-day period.

"At-home rapid test kids will be sent home and made available for students," Kennedy states, giving the guidance from the CDC that testing should be done "5 days after an exposure (starting day 6)" or at such time as symptoms occur.

"We will continue to reinforce good hand washing and follow cleaning and disinfection procedures."

It is not clear if the students who tested positive also had symptoms, or were sick.

"Thank you for supporting us in taking these steps to ensure staff and students remain healthy for in-person learning," the letter said, as Kennedy encouraged families with sick children to keep them home from school.

Mandatory masking, which many educators and parents said resulted in substantial learning loss, was prevalent during the pandemic. Schools implemented a hodge-podge of Covid-inspired restrictions, many of which appeared nonsensical. In New York, students who were exposed to Covid were not permitted back at school for weeks, while in other parts of the country, the pandemic was essentially ignored.

The Atlantic, among many other publications, issued calls to stop the madness and let children learn without having their faces covered. "Districts should rethink imposing on millions of children an intervention that provides little discernible benefit," they wrote. 

As the school year gets underway, along with the election season, calls from the Biden administration to reengage in testing, masking, and a whole new round of vaccinations has begun again. Reports of people testing positive for Covid, again, are taking up space on news outlets and many parents are concerned that the same policies that destroyed two years of their children's education will be implemented again.

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