Masks will be required for all students, staff and visitors inside Glocester’s two elementary schools. The announcement was sent to Glocester families in an email on Thursday from school administrators. 

The policy overrides the vote to allow parental objections to mask mandates by the local school committee Monday evening. The Glocester schools comprise two elementary schools.

“I’m very happy about the decision,” said Melissa Lavender, a parent of students in first and third grade, in an email. “We’ve come together as a small community of parents to make our voices heard, that we supported the mandate.”

According to Glocester Superintendent Pat DuBois, the state education department informed the district of protocol required by the Department of Health for schools, written after the Governor’s Executive Order.

The executive order, signed earlier this month, reads in part: 

[Districts] that have not adopted a universal indoor masking requirement shall be required to abide by a universal indoor masking protocol developed by the Rhode Island Department of Health.”

Some parents in neighboring Foster had voiced concerns about the Glocester committee’s decision, because the two towns share a middle and high school. The Foster School committee committed to masking mandates, during its own meeting Tuesday evening.

In a separate email, also sent Thursday, Michael Barnes, the superintendent of the Foster-Glocester regionalized schools, told parents masks would be required in both the middle and high school.

Both the Rhode Island Department of Health school protocol and Governor’s executive order are set to expire September 18th. 

With Associated Press reports.