SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Since the start of the pandemic, schools have faced challenge after challenge, trying to keep children on track with their education.
About two years ago and the state is trying to make sure they stay in the classroom, 22News spoke to the principal of Amherst-Pelham regional schools about an increase in absences.
“We are seeing an increase, for sure, but it is perhaps less dramatic than in other communities. »Michael Morris, Superintendent, Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools
Dr Morris went on to say that he credits the district with the ability to function amid the ramping up of the precautions being put in place. “When the state figures came out on Thursday, looking at district by district, we have good ventilation in our schools, high immunization rates, high safety compliance.” Michael Morris – Superintendent, Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has reported more than 50,000 cases in the Massachusetts school system and has extended the mask requirement for schools.
The Amherst School District is taking it one step further, students and staff at Amherst-Pelham regional schools will now be required to wear medical grade masks. In other words, homemade or store bought fabric masks can only be worn if a medical grade mask is underneath.
The district has purchased a large quantity of these medical grade masks. “We didn’t want the cost to be an obstacle to having a high efficiency mask, and we felt that from an objective of fairness, it did not feel good, they are expensive especially since ‘they can only be used a few times at best. “Michael Morris, Superintendent, Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools
The masks they bought are KN95s, which they ordered in different sizes for different age groups. The type of mask is not part of the state mandate for schools, just that they must wear one.