NewsLocal NewsGrand Rapids


GRPS debating whether to continue school mask mandate

GRPS 09122020
Posted at 4:46 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 16:46:52-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Public Schools is deciding whether to keep its mask mandate in place for students.

Right now, the Kent County Health Department's order is still in effect for students in pre-k through 6th grade. But that order is set to expire on January 2.

The superintendent sent a letter out to families and staff on Friday asking for input about the mandate. They want to know if parents, students and staff think it should remain a requirement or if the district should strongly recommend masks but not require them.

Parents, students and staff are asked to complete an online survey indicating whether they support a mask mandate or not. The survey is intended only for GRPS students, parents and staff.

GRPS says information from the survey, local COVID-19 data and guidance from officials on the federal, state and county levels will be used to make the decision.

The superintendent hopes to make an announcement before winter break.

As of November 10, GRPS COVID-19 data shows a total of 336 students have tested positive for the virus, as well as 98 total staff members.

The district has reported a total of six outbreaks. GRPS zip code vaccination rates stand at 43% for kids ages 12-17 and 71% for people ages 16 and older.

GRPS has partnered with Cherry Health to hold vaccine clinics in all its elementary and PK-8 school buildings starting next week.