The Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators (MASA) today issued the following statement regarding the pressure on school district leaders to make decisions in lieu of mandates from health officials:

“While the CDC continues to stress the value of masking indoors – particularly for the unvaccinated like many of Michigan’s children – the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and many of our local health departments have so far refused to issue mask mandates for myriad indoor settings in Michigan. MASA believes that our members should evaluate multiple data points and do what is best for the health and safety of students, staff, and the entire PreK-12 community.

If health officials desire universal masking, various laws in the state of Michigan empower those individuals to require face coverings. Until such orders are issued, MASA encourages local health departments and state officials to act as partners, rather than adversaries, in the discussions and decisions related to masking and schools.

MASA stands ready to support our members and assist in any vaccination efforts and other mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect Michigan’s students. Further, MASA encourages state and local health officials to develop a vaccination plan with haste to prepare for the expansion of vaccine eligibility to all Michigan’s children.”

Quote from Dr. Tina Kerr, MASA Executive Director:

“District leaders across the state are tirelessly working to do what’s best for their students and their communities every day,” Kerr said. “Absent state or local mandates, our institutional leaders must collaborate and support the collective decisions that have been made. However, as we work on these issues of local control, it’s important that all players avoid seeking local blame.”

Quote from Andrew Brodie, MASA Executive Board President and Superintendent of Flat Rock Community Schools:

“Superintendents across the state are preparing for yet another year that will be unlike any other for students, staff, and families, and short of a mandate from the appropriate governmental agency supporting our mission, any additional rhetoric is unproductive and potentially harmful,” Brodie said. “It’s time to let educators do what they do best – focus on teaching and learning and the social and emotional wellbeing of Michigan’s children. We will continue to make our students a priority in every way, educating children is our responsibility.”