Maine School Administrative District 75 will make masking optional effective Wednesday, March 9, in line with new guidance from the state.

 “While we know there are many people who will support the change to optional masking in our schools, we also recognize that we will have students and staff who choose to continue to wear face coverings,” interim Superintendent Bob Lucy said in a letter to families and staff on Thursday, March 3. “We all need to support and respect everyone in this personal choice.”

 “We will continue to monitor positive cases in our schools, and pooled testing will continue as another surveillance tool,” Lucy said. “Additionally, families and staff are asked to continue to monitor themselves for signs of COVID-19 before coming to school each day and contact our nurses to report all positive cases.”

 The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maine Department of Education will no longer recommend universal masking statewide as of Wednesday.

MSAD 75’s mask mandate has divided parents and students, and dominated many meetings of the MSAD 75 Board of Directors. The board last acted on universal masking in October 2021, when it voted 10-3 to leave the requirement in place as long as Lucy deemed it necessary.

 MSAD 75 includes the towns of Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham.