Local schools lift mask requirement for students

Safford High School - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

THATCHER — Following the announcement Monday by Gov. Doug Ducey that Arizona students no longer were required to wear masks in the classroom, area schools let parents know how soon that would apply to their children.

“Starting April 20, 2021, the mandated face covering requirement at all Thatcher Schools campuses and properties will be optional,” TUSD Superintendent Matthew Peterson wrote to parents Tuesday.

“As the district superintendent, I am very pleased with the response of the students, staff, parents and community throughout the last several months. It is with great excitement that I share my appreciation to the dedication of the Governing Board, school district faculty and staff and parents in continuing to provide an appropriate and outstanding educational experience for every student, especially during the last several months.”

Gila Valley Central’s calls to Pima Unified School District confirmed it, too, had lifted the mask requirement for students effective Tuesday.

In an e-mail to parents, Safford Unified School District Superintendent A.J. Taylor informed parents the change would go into effect Wednesday.

“Governor Ducey has lifted the mandate for masks in schools (EO 2021-10). Since masks are no longer mandated, SUSD will not require the wearing of masks beginning Wednesday, April 21. This adjustment is in line with our reopening plan, which can be reviewed on the website. Anyone who prefers to continue wearing a mask certainly can, and we will work as a school to help students be respectful of personal choices including wearing masks,” Taylor wrote.