Masking Requirements Clarified for Graduation Ceremonies
Many questions were raised after the mask requirement updates in the last couple of weeks. The Minnesota Department of Education has issued this guidance:
- Mask requirements only apply during the instructional day and while riding on school transportation. The requirements do not apply during after school activities, such as sports or other extracurriculars.
- If your graduation ceremony is taking place outside of the instructional day—regardless of the date or location of the ceremony—masks are not required at your ceremony.
- Ceremonies that take place during the instructional day (for example, Kindergarten graduation) must follow the Safe Learning Plan if they are taking place in a school building.
- Regardless of the location of your graduation ceremony (whether it is in a school facility or an external facility):
- Graduation ceremonies that will take place through May 27 should follow the indoor/outdoor venue guidance.
- Graduation ceremonies that will take place beginning May 28 should follow the universal guidance for all businesses and other entities.
Other Updated Mask Guidance
The Minnesota Department of Health has updated the Frequently Asked Questions About Wearing Face Coverings document. Note that the mask requirements apply during the instructional day and while riding on school transportation. The requirements do not apply during after school activities, such as sports or other extracurriculars.
What are the requirements for schools?
Face coverings are generally required for all students, staff, and other people present in any public or private kindergarten through grade 12 school buildings or district offices during the instructional day, or when riding on school transportation vehicles to and from the instructional day. To provide a consistent, safe environment for students and staff, this requirement applies equally to kindergarteners, even those aged 5 or under. MDH and MDE also strongly recommend that all staff wear a face shield over their face coverings.
For more information, including information about exemptions, situations where face shields can be worn as an alternative to a face covering, and situations where it is allowable to temporarily remove a face covering, please refer to Executive Orders from Governor Walz and 2020-2021 Planning Guide for Schools (PDF). Children under 2 years or anyone with a medical, developmental, or behavioral condition that makes it unreasonable to wear a face covering must not wear face coverings.