Guidance for Parents: Keeping Kids Safe and in School Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic   [open pdf - 225KB]

From the Conclusion: "Parents have received a host of conflicting information about the effectiveness of masks from policymakers. They have also been caught in the middle of a political debate that is increasingly detached from evidence. With COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] cases on the rise yet again--as can be seen in Europe, where cases are currently increasing even in nations with high vaccination rates, and in states like Vermont that also have high rates of vaccination--it is important to look at the facts. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant, which reinforces scientific evidence that the virus can mutate, means that mask use is as important now as ever. Research demonstrates that masks are an effective and safe tool for reducing COVID-19 cases among students. As discussed earlier, school districts that implemented mask requirements experienced fewer cases of COVID-19 among their students and teachers. Thus, parents can rest assured that masks will help keep their children safe while attending in-person classes. However, schools cannot continue to use masks for an unlimited period. It is important for schools to develop plans to remove mask mandates based on the number of cases they are experiencing and local transmission rates. To avoid eliminating mask mandates at the wrong time, schools must regularly engage parents to understand the risks and challenges they face. Further, parents should advocate for policies they believe will keep their children safe from the COVID-19 pandemic."

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