STATEMENT BY ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON CATHOLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT THOMAS W. CARROLL Today, in light of Governor Baker's announcement and updated DESE guidance, the Archdiocese of Boston is eliminating all school masking mandates on behalf of all Archdiocesan parochial schools and Archdiocesan-related Catholic schools. This applies to children of any age in our schools. As always, however, we will follow any local health board mandates. Similarly, we will follow the existing federal order for mask wearing on school buses. DESE guidance on mask wearing for students returning after Covid cases will remain. Individual teachers and staff members will be allowed to wear masks at their own discretion. All parents can decide for their own children whether a mask for their children is advisable. These personal decisions will be respected. This will be effective on Monday, February 28th, the first school day after February Break. This will give schools time to adjust their policies and communicate with parents and other affected parties. In a limited number of instances, the Catholic Schools Office will consider requests from individual schools where there is a parent consensus and compelling data to continue mask wearing. As in the past, this change of policy will not apply to Catholic schools that are independent of the Archdiocese or any Catholic schools operated by religious orders. This decision was made after consultation with Cardinal Seán O'Malley. We are proud of our decision to keep our Catholic schools open and doing so in a way that has kept our students, faculty and staff safe during the global pandemic.