March 17, 2022
Dear Bridgeport Public School Community:
The purpose of this letter is to update you on the recent events related to masking in schools. At a regular meeting of the Bridgeport Board of Education on March 14, 2022, the Board voted to remove the mask mandate in all Bridgeport Public Schools beginning March 31, 2022. The decision to shift to a mask optional school environment was not made without important guidance from our local health officials. This decision is also in response to low levels of COVID-19 in the state and Bridgeport community.
We understand that this change will impact our students, staff and families differently. We want to maintain an environment of mutual respect and care in all our schools. We encourage everyone to support individual decisions on mask wearing–whether individuals choose to continue to mask or remove masks– as we move into a mask-optional environment.
It has been a very stressful two years for everyone in our community. Since the start of the pandemic, we have made decisions to maintain the health and safety of the entire school community. I cannot stress enough the importance of continuing to practice healthy habits. Students and staff should wash their hands often and thoroughly. We will continue to make all PPE available to everyone. Most importantly, I remind everyone of the importance of continued self-monitoring. If you are sick, stay home and contact your school nurse and/or health provider for additional guidance. This practice has played an important role in helping us get to this time of mask optional.
We will continue to monitor the trends of COVID-19 in our school community. Our local positivity rates and percentage of children vaccinated are important data points that will help drive our decision making. If increased levels of COVID-19 cases are reported in a specific school, we may require that students/staff wear a mask for a period of time to maintain the health and safety of everyone in the building. Thank you for your continuous support.
Michael J. Testani
Superintendent of Schools