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St. Louis area schools consider easing mask mandates

Hazelwood keeps its mandate while Rockwood and Parkway are set to vote

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Several school districts in St. Louis County are making changes or considering modifications to COVID-19 policies.

This comes on the heels of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sending letters to districts claiming enforcing masks, quarantines and other safety protocols are illegal.

Schmitt sent letters on Dec. 7, with details about last month's court ruling out of Cole County, Missouri. Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled that health orders issued by local health authorities in Missouri are illegal and should be lifted. He said the orders violate the Missouri Constitution’s separation of powers clause affecting the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

Green ordered all existing health orders issued by local health officials are “null and void.”

The ruling forced St. Louis County to rescind its mask mandate last week.

Schmitt encouraged parents to report districts to his office who are still enforcing mask mandates and quarantines. When his office receives a complaint, it sends a cease and desist letter to the district.

Some districts have said they believe they have the right to enact their own masks mandates and other COVID-19 policies, despite the Cole County ruling.

All districts still require students to wear a mask on school buses, per federal transportation guidelines.


Affton: The board of education voted unanimously on Dec. 7 to continue its current policy, keeping an indoor mask mandate in place. The "Return to Learn" task force is scheduled to meet this week, while the board has its next meeting set for Jan. 4. A target date for any approved changes would go into effect after Jan. 8.

Brentwood: A mask mandate continues to be in place. The board will meet again next week.

City of St. Charles School District: The board voted on Dec. 9 to continue its current policy, keeping a mandate in place for K-8 students. Masks are optional for high schoolers.

Clayton: Masks are still required for all students. The board of education is expected to vote Dec. 15 on the district's "Safe return to in-person learning plan."

Francis Howell: As of Dec. 2, masks are still required for students in pre-K through sixth grade. The school board has its next meeting Dec. 16.

Hazelwood: The board of education voted to continue its COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including a mask requirement.

Kirkwood: The board of education voted to adopt a mask recommended environment. Middle and high school students will no longer be required to wear masks starting Dec. 22. and the same goes for K-5 students beginning Jan. 18.

Lindbergh: The school district announced last week masks will be optional for students and staff after they return from winter break on Jan. 5.

Mehlville: The school district announced it will be making masks optional starting Dec. 23 for high school students. Masks will be optional for elementary and middle school students after Jan. 17.

Parkway: The board voted unanimously Dec. 15 to revise the district's COVID-19 mitigation plan to remove the mask mandate in all Parkway school buildings starting Jan. 17, which is two weeks after students return from winter break.

Rockwood: The Rockwood School District will move to a mask optional policy starting Jan. 18 after a school board vote. The change will take effect Jan. 18, two weeks after students return from winter break.

St. Louis Public Schools: The mask mandate remains in place. The Board of Aldermen voted again Tuesday to extend the health department's mask mandate for the entire city.


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