New Masking Policy For GLPS


Garrett Callison and Cole Bennett

As of February 17th, 2022 the Grand Ledge School Board has voted to change the mask mandate from required to optional. 

  The board decided to vote in favor of changing the mask mandate after the Michigan Department for Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced on February 16, new guidelines on masks. This was in response to the decrease in daily COVID-19 cases compared to last month and the seven day testing rate has been the lowest since October. These new numbers set the state of Michigan into a “recovery” period after surges in January.

  “I certainly saw value in wearing masks when COVID numbers were spiking and peaking, and I am hopeful we don’t have to wear a mask again in the future… On the flip side of that, when there’s… a reduced risk of people contracting and spreading COVID, I think it’s the right choice to let people take the masks off” said Greg Almy, the physical education teacher at Willow Ridge Elementary School.

  The board met, and after an hour-long segment of the meeting devoted to public comment, the board discussed the topic of repealing the mask mandate in Grand Ledge schools. Dr. Davenport, the superintendent of Grand Ledge schools discussed the possible issues that the district may face following the potential repeal. Board member Toni Glasscoe talked about how to plan on dealing with those issues.

  “We can decide the what but we need to expedite the how.” said Glasscoe during the meeting.

  The board went into closed session, and soon after, it was announced that the board had voted for the mask mandate to be repealed. Two board members were not present for the meeting, but with the present members, the vote passed unanimously, 5-0.

  “The board made a decision based on the recommendation from the MDHSS as well as a collection of information provided from parents, community members, staff members, and building leaders.” said Dr. Davenport, superintendent of

 The possible ramifications of this decision are being evaluated. Some were mentioned at the meeting. 

  “The only concern is just simply keeping our students, staff, and school community as safe as possible, knowing this could be another surge that we may face in the near future.” said Dr. Davenport

This could put extra pressure on medical staff as well as teachers. Contact tracing could also be more challenging.

  “If we have people…come to school with COVID [without a mask], we’re gonna have more people in that person’s surrounding area be affected.” said Mr. Almy. 

  Although masks are optional in schools, they are still required on buses and all forms of public transportation, by federal law. 

  Students later received an email from Dr. Wright about the new decision, mentioning the new changes in the policy and reminding students to be respectful of their peers’ choices.