CLEVELAND — With Ohio Governor Mike DeWine reportedly slated to release updated COVID-19 for schools as cases once again rise in the Buckeye State, many parents are wondering whether or not their child's school district is enforcing a mask mandate for the upcoming school year.
Below, we have compiled a list of several school districts in the area and the mask policies that they have made public.
Akron Public Schools
Following the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) officially recommending that students and staff wear masks while inside public spaces, Akron Public Schools announced that they would require face coverings for all children and staff, regardless of vaccine status.
Aurora City Schools
Superintendent Mike Roberto announced the school district's new mask plans on Thursday, August 5, telling families and students that masks will be optional for the upcoming school year.
Avon Lake School City Schools
Avon Lake officials announced on August 27 that beginning on Monday, August 30, a mandatory face mask policy will be in place for all students and staff for a temporary period.
Barberton City School District
The district announced on September 2 that beginning Tuesday, September 7, all buildings in the district would require masks for students and staff. Officials said that the decision was made in order to "avoid going fully remote."
Bay Village City School District
In a plan released by Bay Village officials, the school district announced that masks will be mandatory for all students and staff, at least for the beginning of the school year.
Berea City School District
On Saturday, September 11, district officials announced that a mask mandate would take effect on Monday, September 13, at Berea Midpark Middle School. Officials also strongly recommend masks, regardless of vaccination status, to all students and employees in the district. Masks are also required for all students while riding on school busses.
Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District
The Brecksville Broadview Heights School District is now requiring masks for all students and staff in grades K-5 "until further notice." Additionally, coverings are required on buses and will be strongly recommended for other unvaccinated students.
Brunswick City Schools
According to the school district's 2021-22 health and safety plan, masks are not required but are recommended for anyone who may be at an elevated risk due to health concerns, as well as anyone who has not been vaccinated.
"The wearing of facial coverings (masks) for students, staff, and the public is voluntary, but is recommended for those who have elevated health risks or have not been vaccinated. If state or local health orders change during a time of elevated communicable disease community spread, the superintendent may require the correct use of facial coverings in accordance with Board Policy 8450.01."
Canton City School District:
Superintendent Jeffery S. Talbert announced on July 29 in a letter to staff and parents that a mask mandate would be in effect for all those who enter a building within the school district.
We are implementing a universal indoor masking policy for all staff, students and visitors beginning August 2, 2021."
Talbert says the decision stemmed from a recent rise in cases across the state, as well as the CDC's recommendation and current vaccination rates inside of Stark County.
Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools
At first, masks and face coverings were required only for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. However, the district will now mandate them for all students, staff, and visitors while indoors beginning Sept. 27.
Chardon Local School District:
In a statement to parents and families, school officials announced on July 20 that masks will be recommended for unvaccinated individuals.
"Health officials recommend - but do not require - that unvaccinated individuals wear a mask. In Chardon Schools, wearing a mask will be a personal choice (optional) for students and staff based on individual comfort level in the school setting."
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
CMSD CEO Eric Gordon made the announcement in a social media video posting on Monday evening. For the first five weeks of the school year, students, staff, and guests will be required to wear masks, whether they are vaccinated for COVID-19 or not.
This requirement will be in place unless the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides any new guidance for schools.
Coventry Local School District
In a letter sent home with students on September 3, the school district announced that all students, staff, and visitors would be required to wear a mask or face covering while inside school buildings, beginning on September 7.
Cuyahoga Falls City School District
Officials announced on August 17 that as students begin to return to the classroom, masks will not be required, but are strongly recommended. This announcement came just hours after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that he and health officials strongly recommend masks in schools.
"I fully understand the various positions with regard to mandating the wearing of face coverings for students and staff. I want you to know that we take health and safety very seriously and we also respect everyone's opinion. Therefore, the wearing of masks is strongly recommended for all, especially those who have not been fully vaccinated," wrote Cuyahoga Falls City School District Superintendent Todd M. Nichols.
Hudson City School District
The Hudson City School District will implement a mandatory mask requirement for all students K-12 and all staff. After the first five weeks of school, the mask mandate protocol will be reviewed.
Kirtland Local Schools
Board members for Kirtland Local Schools voted unanimously on August 30 to require students and staff to wear masks inside school buildings.
Lorain City Schools
The Lorain City School Board unanimously voted for a mask requirement for the district's students and staff beginning on Thursday, August 26. The "Masks for All This Fall" mandate will be in place for at least the next 8 weeks.
Manchester Local School District
A mask mandate will begin on September 1 within all school buildings. The mandate will apply for all students, staff, and visitors. The mandate will be in place through at least the end of October.
Massillon City School District
Teachers, students and staff will be required to wear masks in school buildings and on all transportation. If one cannot medically wear a mask, documentation will be required. The entire plan can be viewed HERE.
Mayfield City Schools
Mayfield City Schools is mandating face masks in all school buildings for all students, teachers, staff and visitors in grades Pre-K-12. The district says it will review the mandate weekly and give updates at regular Board of Education meetings
Mentor Public Schools
On August 18, Mentor Schools Superintendent Bill Porter announced that masks and face coverings will no longer be optional inside of school buildings. The mask-wearing policy is now mandatory.
The new policy will take effect immediately, according to the superintendent, and will remain in place until further notice.
Masks are required district-wide.
North Ridgeville City Schools
Beginning on Tuesday, September 7, masks will be required for all students in grades Pre-K through 6 while in school buildings. The new guidance is scheduled to be in place until at least October 1.
Olmsted Falls City Schools
A mask mandate is now in effect regardless of vaccination status. Superintendent Jim Lloyd says the decision will be reevaluated on Friday, September 17.
Parma City Schools
Parma City Schools announced in late June that it will lift the mask mandate for adults and children.
In a document posted on the district's website, there are still plans in place to keep elementary school students who are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine socially distanced, where it is possible.
Perry Local Schools (Stark County)
Perry Local Schools Superintendent Scott Beatty announced that the district will have a mask requirement for all students and staff starting on Tuesday, September 7.
Ravenna School District
Based on the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Portage County, and the low vaccination rate of Portage County residents, the Ravenna School Board voted to mandate mask wearing in all buildings and buses in the district through October 31.
Rocky River School District
As of June 12, the school district states that masks are optional for all individuals.
"Effective June 12, 2021, RRCSD will suspend Board Policy 8454 and masks will be optional for all individuals. The district will continue with safety protocols in buildings, including air filtration, hand washing, cleaning and sanitizing."
Sandusky City Schools
As of Sept. 11, students and staff will be required to wear face coverings while inside school buildings. Initially, the school had kept the mask mandate to just personnel, but the district later decided to switch the policy due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Solon City School District
All students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear masks beginning Sept. 8. The coverings had previously been required only for those in grades pre-K-6.
Strongsville City Schools
A 2021-22 health and safety plan released by the district says that face coverings will be "worn at the discretion of the individual on school property or school busses."
Stow-Munroe Falls City School District
The district announced to parents and families on September 1 that beginning Tuesday, September 7, masks and face coverings would be required while inside school buildings.
Tallmadge City School District
All students and staff in grades K-12 are required to have facial coverings inside school buildings whenever a 6 foot physical distance cannot be maintained. This indoor mask requirement will be for 4 weeks. Visitors to any school buildings will also be required to wear face masks.
Twinsburg School District
The Twinsburg School District announced on Sunday, July 25, that masks will be required for students younger than 12-years-old.
Wadsworth City Schools
Starting September 1, face coverings must be worn by all students and employees for the next three (3) weeks. The face covering requirement is only for when students or employees are inside of any of the district's buildings during the hours schools are in session.
West Geauga Local Schools
Universal masking for K-12 students indoors from Aug. 25 through the end of the first quarter (Oct. 22). The district says they will reevaluate their plan at that point to determine next steps.
Willoughby Eastlake School District
During the first week of school, the district was impacted by 25 cases of COVID-19, which resulted in approximately 82 quarantines.
In a statement released on August 23, Superintendent Steve Thompson says that masks will be required for all students, staff, and visitors until further notice.
"I would like to ask that you assist me to support our students, staff, and one another as we travel through these very difficult times. COVID-19 has presented everyone with challenges that we never imagined possible and in order to overcome those challenges, we must work together to remain strong," Thompson wrote.