Masks

Education news, analysis, and opinion about research and policy on students and staff wearing face masks in school to combat the spread of the coronavirus
Image of a face mask on a school notebook.
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Teaching Profession From Our Research Center 'Over It': Most Educators Say They Won't Mask This Fall
But teachers are more likely than administrators to keep masking, EdWeek Research Center survey data show.
Madeline Will, August 12, 2022
7 min read
A partially unzipped backpack contains a face mask, pencils, scissors, and hand sanitizer for the return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Student Well-Being As Students Head Back to School, COVID Protocols Wane
Many districts have dropped one of the most visible and contentious responses to the virus: mandatory universal masking.
Evie Blad, August 4, 2022
8 min read
Students are reminded to wear a mask amidst other chalk drawings on the sidewalk as they arrive for the first day of school at Union High School in Tulsa, Okla., Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.
Chalk drawings from last August remind students to wear masks as they arrive at school.
Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP
School & District Management Some Districts Return to Mask Mandates as COVID Cases Spike
Mask requirements remain the exception nationally and still sensitive in places that have reimposed them.
Libby Stanford, May 16, 2022
4 min read
Face mask hanging on computer screen at an empty desk.
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School & District Management From Our Research Center What Will Schools Do If Another COVID Wave Hits? We Asked Educators
Fifty percent say their schools would reimpose the mask requirements previously in place.
Evie Blad, April 15, 2022
5 min read
Student teacher Olivia Vazquez, standing, left, speaks with a student at the Eliza B. Kirkbride School in Philadelphia on Oct. 20, 2021.
Student teacher Olivia Vazquez, standing, left, speaks with a student at the Eliza B. Kirkbride School in Philadelphia on Oct. 20, 2021.
Matt Rourke/AP
School & District Management School Mask Mandates and the New COVID Variant: What to Watch
As a contagious COVID-19 variant causes climbing case rates in some areas, most schools have yet to re-adopt mask requirements.
Evie Blad, April 13, 2022
6 min read
Kindergartener Quinn Bonk helps her classmate Carter Fairley, both 6, as the two color hearts for a craft project together during a Valentine's Day party in kindergarten teacher Julie VanEvery's classroom on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022 at Thomson Elementary School in Davison, Mich.
Kindergartener Quinn Bonk, right, helps her classmate Carter Fairley on a craft project during a Valentine's Day party last month at Thomson Elementary School in Davison, Mich.
Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP
Student Well-Being A New Imperative for Schools: Protecting Vulnerable Kids as Masks Disappear
Relying only on virtual learning or voluntary masking for kids at greater risk of illness from COVID-19 is legally and medically risky.
Catherine Gewertz, March 10, 2022
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion School Masking Mandates Are Ending. What Have We Learned?
Researcher Nat Malkus talks about his new database that makes it possible to analyze masking requirements of more than 8,000 districts.
Rick Hess, March 10, 2022
5 min read
Image of a high school classroom.
Getty
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Mask Mandates Cut COVID-19 Spread in Schools, Studies Find
In one study, stricter mask policies reduced school infections by more than 70 percent during the delta wave.
Sarah D. Sparks, March 9, 2022
6 min read
A sign posted outside an August 2021 meeting of the Douglas County school board meeting in Castle Rock, Colo., asks visitors to wear masks. The meeting was held to discuss the use of masks and other protective measures in county schools.
A sign posted outside an August 2021 meeting of the Douglas County school board meeting in Castle Rock, Colo., asks visitors to wear masks. The meeting was held to discuss the use of masks and other protective measures in county schools.
Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via AP
Student Well-Being Relaxed Mask Guidelines Raise Anxiety for Parents of Children With Disabilities
The CDC's changes could undercut some legal arguments for those who have pushed universal masking to protect medically vulnerable children.
Evie Blad, March 1, 2022
5 min read
Sunlake High School chemistry teacher Dave Maggi, right, orients his students during the first day of school for Pasco County Students on Aug. 10, 2021, in Land O' Lakes, Fla.
Dave Maggi, a chemistry teacher at Sunlake High School in Land O' Lakes, Fla., introduces his students—most unmasked—to his classroom's routines and expectations on the first day of school last August. Universal masking requirements in schools are quickly giving way to mask-optional policies as the pandemic approaches its second anniversary.
Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP
School & District Management Masks Are Coming Off. Who Benefits? Who Is at Risk?
After nearly two years of COVID-19-induced restrictions, millions of people—including students and staff in K-12 schools—are ditching masks.
Catherine Gewertz, March 1, 2022
7 min read
Students wearing masks leave the New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math (NEST+m) school in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, Dec. 21, 2021, in New York.
Students wearing masks leave the New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math (NEST+m) School in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, late last year in New York.
Brittainy Newman/AP
States States Are Dropping School Mask Requirements. Here's the Latest and What's Ahead
By the end of this week, only five states and the District of Columbia will still mandate universal masking in schools.
Stacey Decker & Holly Peele, February 28, 2022
2 min read
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles on April  2021.
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles on April 2021.
Jae C. Hong/AP
Federal What the CDC's Relaxed Mask Recommendations Mean for Schools
Federal officials adopted new metrics that will give districts the green light to end mask mandates in a broad swath of the country.
Evie Blad, February 25, 2022
6 min read
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas.
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, stand outside their home in Plano, Texas. Curtis talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling and her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week
School Climate & Safety In Their Own Words 'COVID Is Not Over Us': As Pandemic Lingers, a Texas Mother's Dismay Deepens
A mother describes her frustrations over masking policies, staffing shortages, and the quality of education her honor roll son has received.
Stephen Sawchuk, February 25, 2022
7 min read
Emily Jeter helps her son Eli, a kindergarten student, get his mask on before heading into his Tulsa, Okla., elementary school in August 2021.
Emily Jeter helps her son Eli, a kindergarten student, get his mask on before heading into his Tulsa, Okla., elementary school in August 2021.
Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP
Federal CDC Plans Update to Indoor Mask Guidance. How Could That Apply to Schools?
The CDC will soon update its general masking guidance, but has yet to say how any changes will affect recommendations for schools.
Evie Blad, February 16, 2022
3 min read