One of the hallways at Malcolm Shabazz City High School, in Madison, on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. PHOTO BY MICHELLE STOCKER

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is strongly recommending school districts use newly updated COVID-19 recommendations for the 2021-22 school year.

Still, when asked why the DPI stopped short of trying to mandate masks in schools, state Superintendent Jill Underly said she hopes school districts “follow the science” but believes in local control over the issue.

“Certainly, spread and risk are going to be different in every community,” she told reporters on a call Monday.

Among the DPI’s updated guidelines, schools are encouraged to require masks for all children and adults while indoors and use layered mitigation and prevention measures.

“As a former Wisconsin school district leader who led a school district through COVID last year, I know many students and families desire in-person learning and a safe return to the classroom this fall,” Underly said. “We want schools open for in-person instruction. And we want to keep kids, educators, and families safe. The joint guidance we are strongly recommending districts follow provides a roadmap for a safe return to in-person school.”

See the updated guidance here.

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