The task of the mask

The task of the mask

by Emma K.

With the new school year, there has come new changes. Since classes resumed in mid-September, all DPS students and staff have been required for the duration of their time in the building.

Going into the school year no one was sure what would happen and it seems to have gone well so far considering we are still in school. Something the school planned for were mask breaks. They are short breaks that students can take with teachers to go outside, spread out, and take off masks. 

Ms. Bradford, a history teacher at Duxbury High School, said, “I think the school recognized that there may be times when students will need a break from the mask especially in the first few weeks of school.”

Ms. Bradford is a teacher who does mask breaks with her students. She does them before lunch with her period five academic support class. She finds that it is the best time because it is in the middle of the day and students have been wearing masks all day. 

“At the start of the pandemic and planning periods,” said Mr.Warmington, “the belief was wearing a mask all day would not be something staff and students could do without scheduled breaks.”

While talking with teachers and students about masks, it seems things have been getting easier and therefore mask breaks are not as necessary. 

Mrs.Peterson said, “I think almost everyone dislikes wearing masks even if they understand the reasoning for it, but overall people seem to be getting used to it.”

Mrs. Peterson is a teacher who started off the school year doing mask breaks more often. As the year progressed she has not been doing them as often. 

Julia G, a sophomore at Duxbury High School, said, “I feel like we don’t need them because we already get mask breaks during lunch.”

Some common problems with mask breaks are mostly that they interfere with class time. There can’t be a set time for mask breaks because classes are short and teachers don’t want to give up that class time. 

“I think it is harder [to do mask breaks] when it is colder and the curriculum started ramping up,” said Mrs. Peterson.

It has become much colder in recent weeks and sometimes it is raining so mask breaks are not ideal to do during bad weather. 

“There are times when students request a mask break,” Ms. Bradford said, “but due to weather or timing we do not take one.” 

Another issue Miss Bradford shared for mask breaks was if she has students on Zoom then she can’t always leave or plan a time out to leave for a mask break. 

In general teachers seem to think that students have been doing great with wearing masks.

“I think our students have been outstanding in wearing masks,” said Mr. Warmington. “Throughout class and hallway movement times it is a rarity that we have to say anything to anyone.”

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