RISSA calling for “consistency” with school masking policies

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Controversy continues on masking in school. As the incoming school year approaches and the Delta variant continues to spread, many districts are making tough calls on COVID-19 protocols.

As some districts call for mask mandates, others are letting parents decide. The Rhode Island School Superintendent Association is now calling for consistency.

“We’re such a small state, so our hope would be that we would end up with a state protocol that would apply to everybody rather than ending up with 36 different approaches to this,” Thomas DiPaola, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Superintendent Association said.

Governor Dan McKee has announced it’s up to schools to make that choice.

Providence, Cranston, and Barrington schools all announced masks are required in the classroom. East Providence and Johnston schools have both strongly recommended masks, but did not require them. Dozens of others are still up in the air.

“The kids, families, and educators are interacting across those community and district lines all the time,” DiPaola said. “Whether it’s youth recreation, extra-curricular activities associated with schools, or just simply being out and about; it’s even common to have educators that live in one district and live in the neighboring district.”

DiPaola says RISSA follows medical expert advice and most advice they’ve gotten leans towards masking up in the classroom. In the end, he says they just want what’s best for the students.

“Everybody is working in the best interest of kids and their families. Everybody wants the kids to have a great year,” DiPaola said. “People just need to be positive about it and think about each other and do things that will help each other.”

All protocol, including masking, will be updated through the year depending on the spread of the virus.

Categories: Cranston, News, Our Schools, Providence, Rhode Island