NORWOOD, Ohio — Preschool students through sixth-graders in Norwood will be required to wear masks to begin the school year, joining a growing list of local districts upgrading their safety protocols in the days leading up to the new year.
Norwood City School District Superintendent Mary Ronan announced the policy change in a letter to parents Friday. Classes resume next Wednesday, Aug. 25.
Ronan said a task force consisting of board of education members, staff, parents and healthcare professionals became "concerned that our youngest students are not eligible to be vaccinated. Due to current conditions of increased spread of the virus, we need to protect them by requiring a mask as part of our layered safety approach."
Because none of the three available COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in children under 12, health officials across the Tri-State have raised concerns about increased cases among kids and other unvaccinated people.
The board of education "strongly recommends" that seventh- through 12th-graders also wear masks. The district will also work with the Norwood Health Department to schedule a vaccine clinic in September for eligible students.
Earlier this week, multiple Tri-State school districts upgraded their mask policy from recommended or optional to mandatory among certain populations of students.