There are 46 public school districts in the the Twin Cities metro area, and 18 districts have already decided that mask mandates are necessary to protect children and staff from COVID-19 when the 2021-22 school year begins.
Bring Me The News has checked in with every metro-area district about mask policies. Here's what we've found via each district's Safe Learning Plan, which are subject to change.
Districts requiring masks
Anoka-Hennepin Schools: Masks are required for everyone in K-6 settings, regardless of vaccination status, while masks are "strongly recommended" for those in 7-12 settings. The mandate is linked to local weekly transmission data. Full details.
Burnsville-Eagan-Savage: Masks required. The mask requirement applies to anyone three years of age or older regardless of vaccination status. Exceptions or accommodations will be allowed as outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health. Full details.
Columbia Heights Public Schools: In alignment with recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health, beginning August 16, CHPS will require universal indoor mask wearing for all people (ages 3 years and older) in school settings including teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. Full details.
Edina Public Schools: Masks required. The plan includes universal indoor masking required for all people in the school, athletic (unless actively competing or practicing) and activities settings (ages 2 years and older), including teachers, staff, coaches, advisors, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. Plan will be reevaluated Sept. 30. Full details.
Hopkins Public Schools: On Aug. 17, the Hopkins School Board approved a safety plan that will require all K-12+ students and all staff, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face masks in indoor spaces. We will continue to monitor changes in the pandemic and update these measures as needed. Full details.
Inver Grove Heights Schools: Starting August 23, face coverings will be required for everyone age 3 and older inside ISD 199 buildings. Thank you to all of the families who provided their perspective to assist in our decision-making for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Full details.
Mahtomedi Public Schools: Face coverings are required for all people (students, staff, and visitors) while inside our school and district buildings regardless of vaccination status. Protocols will be reviewed the Week of Oct. 18. Full details.
Minneapolis Public Schools: Face coverings are required for all staff, students, and visitors over 2 years of age regardless of an individual’s vaccination status in all MPS buildings as of August 9, 2021. Full details.
Mounds View Public Schools: Mounds View Public Schools will require that students, staff and visitors wear masks while inside our buildings, effective Monday, August 23. Full details.
North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale: Required for preschool students and older, regardless of vaccination status. Required for staff when in the classroom, when around students/families, and in a large group when physical distancing cannot be met, regardless of vaccination status. Required for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Full details.
Osseo Area Schools: Staff, students in early childhood through grade 12 and visitors will be required to wear a face covering/mask inside school facilities during trimester one (Sept. 8 - Dec. 6). Full details.
Robbinsdale Area Schools: Beginning Monday, Aug. 23, face coverings will be required for all pre-K-12 students over the age of two, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, while on the school bus, or while indoors at all schools and District facilities, including the Crystal Learning Center. Full details.
Roseville Area Schools: On August 17, the school board of Roseville Area Schools adopted a resolution requiring all students, staff and visitors in early childhood programs through grade 12 and adult education, to wear a mask while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Full details.
St. Anthony-New Brighton Schools: Starting on Monday, Aug. 9, it will require masks while in any school buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Full details.
St. Louis Park Public Schools: In accordance with Policy 808 COVID-19 Face Coverings, masks are required for all students, staff, and visitors indoors. Masks are also required when traveling by school bus. Masks are not required outdoors at any time. Full details.
St. Paul Public Schools: The Board of Education has voted to require face masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors (ages 2 and older) in all SPPS buildings, regardless of a person’s vaccine status. Full details.
South St. Paul Public Schools: Face coverings are required for all people (ages 2 and above), inside all SSPPS buildings, including indoor athletic/activity events, beginning August 23, 2021. This includes students, staff, visitors, and contractors, regardless of vaccination status. Full details.
South Washington County Schools: Face coverings are required for all people in a school setting (age 2 and above through grade 8) including staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status beginning Aug. 23. Full details.
West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools: Universal indoor masking for all students, staff, and visitors (ages 2 and up) regardless of vaccination status beginning August 23, 2021.
White Bear Lake Area Schools: If transmission rates in Ramsey and Washington counties are substantial or high, face coverings will be required for all age 2+, regardless of vaccination status, while in district buildings. Full details.
Districts not requiring masks
Eastern Carver County Schools: "At this time, we are not requiring face coverings. I know this community is divided over the issue of masks and not everyone will be happy with this decision. I want to be clear that we will continue to look at the data every week, and if we see cases start to rise or outbreaks in our buildings, we will revisit this decision." Full details.
Farmington Area Public Schools: Face coverings are optional in district buildings. The CDC and MDH recommend all people in a school setting (ages 2 years and older) wear a mask, including teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. Full details.
Forest Lake Area Schools: Current state guidelines recommend but do not require that masks be worn in schools. Our district plans to follow the same guidance for the start of the school year and recommend but not require that masks be worn in our buildings for students and staff. Full details.
New Prague Area Schools: Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask while in a school building. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask while in a school building, but not required, unless federal or state guidance mandates face coverings. Full details.
Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools: Universal indoor masking is recommended for all people in the school setting (ages 2 years and older), including teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. Full details.
Randolph Public Schools: Masks are encouraged, but not required except for on school transportation vehicles. Full details.
Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan: "As we have done throughout the pandemic, the district will continue to follow guidance from the state, but will not require anything not required by the state or other regulatory agencies. We will support and communicate the recommendations of public health agencies while allowing families and staff the personal choice on whether to follow the recommendations." Full details.
Spring Lake Park Schools: Face masks are not required but are recommended. Minnesota is recommending – not requiring – that everyone inside public school buildings wear masks this fall regardless of their vaccination status. Face masks are required on student transportation following federal requirements. Full details.
St. Francis Area Schools: "Face coverings and masks will be optional for students and staff as of August 18, 2021. Keeping in mind that we need to be flexible if the situation dictates. The CDC recommends wearing a mask but is currently not requiring them. The district is encouraging precaution and safety as we have in the past." Full details.
Waconia Public Schools: Masks will continue to be recommended for students, teachers, staff and visitors (ages 2 year and older) who are not yet fully vaccinated. Masks will be allowed and encouraged for those who wish to continue wearing them, yet not required at our ONE10 facilities. Full details.
Watertown-Mayer Public Schools: If mandated by the state of Minnesota, masks will be required. Full details.
Districts yet to announce mask policies
- Belle Plaine
- Bloomington Public Schools
- Brooklyn Center Community Schools
- Centennial School District
- Central Public Schools
- Fridley Public Schools
- Hastings Public Schools
- Jordan Public Schools
- Lakeville Area Schools
- Minnetonka Public Schools
- Orono Schools
- Osseo Area Schools
- Richfield Public Schools
- Shakopee Public Schools (decision to be announced Aug. 24)
- Stillwater Area Schools (board to vote Aug. 26)
- Wayzata Public Schools
Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, St. Cloud policies
Duluth Public Schools: At this time, we are requiring the following until further notice and will make a final decision by August 24 for the beginning of the school year: Masks required for all students age 2 and older, ISD 709 employees and the public unless medically exempted, regardless of vaccination status. Full details.
Mankato Area School District: Students and staff will be required to wear masks inside elementary and middle school buildings in the Mankato Area School District. Masks are not required at high schools.
Moorhead Area Public Schools: Students and staff will be required to wear masks inside all school buildings. The mask mandate will be revised as local transmission data changes. Full details.
Rochester Public Schools: The policy requires all students older than two years of age as well as all staff and all other adults to wear face coverings inside all RPS facilities and on all forms of transportation. The policy recommends but does not require masks outdoors on RPS grounds. Full details.
St. Cloud Area School District: Covid protocols will remain in place to mitigate transmission, including masking, social distancing when possible, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, as well as enhanced cleaning protocols. Outdoor learning spaces will be utilized when possible. Full details.