PHOENIX — The Governing Board for Phoenix Elementary School District is the latest to decide on enforcing masks, beginning when students return to classes on Thursday.
The board went into executive session Monday night and voted to amend their health and safety protocols to enforce face coverings with limited opt-outs for medical reasons.
Phoenix Union High School District also decided last week that it will be requiring masks indoors for all students, staff, and visitors as COVID-19 cases continue an upward trend in our state.
"Phoenix Union will begin the school year on August 2 enforcing our existing Board-adopted mask requirement of universal indoor masking only, regardless of vaccination status," a Friday announcement said.
On Aug. 5, school leaders from PUHSD and the Governing Board will discuss mitigation policies, including masks.
The announcement also said, "we have heard from our staff, students, and families that they want us to realign our mitigation practices with the guidelines and recommendations of national and local health agencies."
Both districts cited the rapidly spreading delta variant as the reason for the mask policy.
When asked Friday about Phoenix Union High School District's mask requirement, a spokesperson for Gov. Ducey said the district's decision "has no teeth" and is not enforceable under the governor's previous order banning mask mandates.
"Arizona is not anti-mask, we’re anti-mask mandate," a statement from Ducey's office said. "As the governor has often said, mask usage is up to parents. If a parent wants their child to wear a mask at school, they are free to do so. This is not a state decision...School administrators should be doing everything they can to encourage eligible students and staff to get vaccinated, not break state law."
Creighton Elementary School District will meet on Tuesday to consider their own mask mandate as well.