On Fri., Feb. 11, Ridgefield School District’s board of directors held a special meeting where they voted 4-1 in favor of approving a Statement in Support of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal regarding statewide mask mandates in schools. The board-approved statement is as follows:
The Ridgefield School District board of directors is pleased to hear State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal express his support to remove the state mask mandate for public school students. We agree with Reykdal; it is time for Washington to follow other states and make masking decisions locally. We respectfully urge Governor Inslee to lift the statewide indoor masking mandate affecting public schools and enable local jurisdictions to set their masking policies moving forward. As a board, we believe that it is time to allow parents and families to decide whether wearing a mask at school is suitable for their students.
The board agrees with Reykdal that as the virus moves from highly impactful and unmitigated, to much less impactful and more treatable. Removing the state mask mandate for public school students empowers schools to better focus their valuable time on supporting our students’ learning, well-being, recovery, and acceleration.
Ridgefield School District remains dedicated to the health and safety of our students and staff, and we will continue to follow all required health and safety protocols, as we have throughout the pandemic. Currently, the state still requires all students to wear a mask while in school; therefore, we will continue to enforce that policy at this time.
We appreciate the efforts made by health officials, staff, students and families during an exceptionally challenging time. After two years of gaining a better understanding of how to effectively manage these challenges, we eagerly await the announcement from Governor Inslee to lift the mask mandate.