We are entering an encouraging new phase of the pandemic; however, it will bring its own challenges. The removal of the mask mandate is a BIG change which is exacerbated by a number of compounding issues:

  • Everyone (students, staff, and families) has experienced the pandemic differently and all have been significantly impacted – often in considerably different ways
  • Strongly held divergent views are prevalent within communities regarding mask wearing and vaccination
  • Continued mixed messaging regarding what is safe and what is not safe  
  • Increased anxiety is being experienced by many (students, staff, and parents)
  • Lack of clarity regarding health department guidance and safety protocols

And last but not least, the pandemic is not over, and we will continue to see Covid infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Change is difficult for brains in the most stable of times – what we are asking our brains to do in a period of continued instability and ambiguity is challenging. 

The GOOD news is we have a couple of weeks to prepare!

We have pulled together a tipsheet of some insights and resources to help you support your school community as we transition to a ‘mask optional’ school environment. 

In the tipsheet you will find:
  • A video clip of Dr. Maurice Elias which aired recently. This has been very positively received and does a fabulous job of reminding us of what is important during this transition time.
  • A list of concerns which were generated form the School Support Network (SSN) meeting held on February 16th. This SSN was attended by a mix of school support staff, building and district leadership, teachers, and other staff. K-12 was well represented. 
  • A list ideas of what schools can do now to prepare all for an easier transition in March. 
  • A short overview of the science behind change along with a reminder of what may be the "brain threat response".