The State Board of Education understands the complex decision-making regarding masking for District families. Each family has different variables that must be weighed on a daily basis to protect their health; this is especially true for families with children who are unable to be vaccinated or with health-compromised adults or children at home. We have listened closely to the wide variety of perspectives held by our constituents on the issue of masking in schools. We believe that, for the near future, the mask mandate should remain in place for indoor spaces in schools to protect our youngest students. We strongly support increasing District efforts to promote vaccination of all eligible children, to expand distribution of high-quality masks and at-home COVID tests and to increase robust outdoor education options for every school to help reach a negligible rate of community spread.