Students Desire More Communication About School Masking Policies, COVID Protocols

Voice of The Staff

Students Desire More Communication About School Masking Policies, COVID Protocols

As Oct. 1 approaches, Blake continues to reevaluate their mask policies and mandates in order to keep the community safe. Both vaccinations and masks have been controversial topics, with high levels of debate surrounding them. 

Frustration among the student body grows as COVID-19 policies and safety measures are highly contradictory. According to Blake’s protocols, they do not require proof of vaccination for employees, students, or families. This policy, however, is complicated as those who are vaccinated are not required to quarantine. Without checking vaccination cards and not requiring fully vaccinated people to quarantine, we are operating on the honor system. It becomes dangerous to leave safety precaution to the discretion of the student body. Furthermore, many students are confused as lunch periods have returned to a pre-COVID-19 fashion without plastic dividers and no separated tables or desks. Despite this, students are still not allowed to serve their own food, which makes the waiting time in line longer, increasing COVID-19 exposure risk as people are extremely close together.

Vaccination status, however, is extremely high among the student body. Out of 276 responses in an anonymous survey sent to Upper School students, 97.1% of people reported they are fully vaccinated. Some said that they are in the process of getting vaccinated, can’t receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, and chose not to be vaccinated. As most students are vaccinated, this data is highly encouraging as it restores hope and eases anxiety within the community. 

When asked about Blake’s mask mandate, 56.6% of students agreed that the mask mandate is not only helpful, but they also want it to continue. 32% of people thought that Blake’s mask policy was not beneficial and it should not continue. Many other respondents agreed that if everyone is vaccinated, with the exception of medical or religious exemptions, masks should be optional. Students also agreed that they appreciate that masks are required, but proper mask-wearing is not enforced enough. When asked what students would do if the mask mandate was lifted, 32% of people said they wouldn’t wear a mask, 29.4% of people said that they would bring a mask with them and assess how many people are wearing them, 22.7% of people shared they would wear a mask. The remaining 16% of respondents answered that they would wear a mask for the first few weeks to track COVID-19 numbers, then reassess. Finally, when asked if vaccinations should be required if the mask mandate was lifted, 72.9% responded in agreement, and 14.3% of people said no. The rest of the respondents shared that if an individual is vaccinated, masks should be optional, but those who aren’t vaccinated should be required to wear masks. 

Overall, it is crucial to do everything we can to ensure safety for ourselves and the broader community. Protecting those around us, including individuals at a higher risk and unable to be vaccinated, is extremely important. Following Blake’s guidelines and safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be our best chance at returning to a sense of normalcy. 


Upper School COVID Student Survey Results:


Are You Vaccinated Against COVID-19:


97.1% Vaccinated

2.9% Not Vaccinated


Do You Think Blake’s Current Mask Mandate is Helpful, and Do You Want It To Continue:

56.2% Strong Yes

32.5% Strong No

8% Leaning No

3.3% Undecided


If Blake discontinues the mask mandate, how would you feel/what would you do:


22.8% Would Wear a Mask

32% Wouldn’t Wear a Mask

16.2% Would Wear a Mask Then Would Reassess

29% Would Choose Based on Other People


If the mask mandate is lifted, should vaccinations be required to attend school:

73.2% Yes

14.1% No

12.7% Other