We are writing today to inform you of a change to our current safety protocols in the Londonderry School District. Yesterday afternoon, the New Hampshire Department of Public Health Services released new “Permissive” guidance regarding face masks in schools and child care facilities. This in effect gave us their recommendation that masks can now be optional in our buildings going forward. There was no time frame on the guidelines, and indications are that this will remain in place as long as community spread numbers continue to be low. While it is too early to say with complete confidence, it appears that this guidance could remain in place through the reopening of school in the fall.
Where we are following NHDPH guidance by virtue of our reopening plan, the District is empowered to make this adjustment now. We are currently working on a method by which parents can communicate their choice of masking for their child to the schools, which will likely be either a form or a permission slip. You will receive details on that method of communication from the buildings as soon as it is ready. Our summer programs start on 6/28 and we will certainly be ready by then.
Relative to masks in the fall, we do believe that this recommendation will still be in place by then, given the absence of a significant spike in COVID cases and a subsequent change in guidance from the NHDPHS. We intend to continue forward with our planning process to collect data as well as parent and teacher feedback over the summer, and to present our update to the reopening plan to the School Board in August.