Universal Masking a Must for Now

With the COVID-19 Delta variant on the rise and new variants on the way, the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) recognizes that as we open our schools, we must take greater precautions than imagined a few short months ago.  

Based on the evolving variants and the new findings of science, we are in full support of all mitigation methods recently recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)​, including vaccination for all eligible members of the school community and universal masking in K–12 schools through the end of the 2021–2022 school year.

In our May 2020 guide, Reopening Schools Safely in the Age of COVID, AFSA embraced the challenge of restoring in-person instruction to the maximum extent possible. Now that the miracle of the vaccine is upon us, we stand with the CDC on all its precautionary measures. 

We wish these measures were not necessary, but they are not overly disruptive, and they will not go on forever. They will provide further protection for staff and children, especially those younger than 12. They are well worth some inconvenience, as we are not back to “normal” yet. Let’s keep an open mind and continue to be flexible. 

We return to our buildings with this spirit of cooperation and we hope our districts have everything in place, including the lines of communication to school leaders. It is our school leaders who will be responsible for operationalizing everything, in frequent consultation with parents and families, and with unwavering sensitivity.  

What matters is that we reopen our schools, in person and safely, because there is no place like school to ensure our students’ academic, social and emotional progress.