Unity-based Regional School Unit 3 announced on Wednesday that it will not require face coverings on district property beginning July 6, a move that most immediately would affect those attending summer school.

Mount View High School in Thorndike. Regional School Unit 3 announced plans to end face-covering requirements on district properties beginning July 6. Morning Sentinel file photo

The announcement comes as Maine Gov. Janet Mills will lift the state’s coronavirus pandemic state of emergency at the end of June. Beginning July 1, the Maine Department of Education’s health and safety standards turn from requirement to recommendation, allowing for individual school districts to adopt their own face covering, physical distancing and other health and safety requirements.

“As requirements are becoming recommendations, that’s the path a lot of schools are doing,” RSU 3 Superintendent Charles Brown wrote in a letter to the community, announcing the plans. “We might have put it out in the public before everybody else, but there’s a lot of talk among superintendents.”

RSU 3, which held its high school graduation Sunday, serves students at eight schools from the towns of Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Monroe, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, Unity and Waldo.

The new mask rules comes into effect during the second week of summer school. Parents who want their child to wear a face covering are required to send in a written note.

“If somebody wants to wear a mask, they can wear a mask,” Brown said. “If we have a child not wearing a mask, we can’t tell them to put a mask on unless that’s the parent’s wishes.”

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