Preschool through Grade 12

ISB Campus COVID-19 Safety and Operations 2021-2022

As of Monday, March 14th, the International School of Boston will move to Mask Optional for All Grades. This means that masks will no longer be required inside school premises, except in narrow circumstances. 

In deciding to adopt "Mask Optional" for our community, please know we have reviewed the data closely. The encouraging sustained results of our weekly pooled testing, high rates of vaccinations among students and colleagues, continuing data showing low rates of infection in our local area, along with clear recommendations from Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) and the Cambridge Public Health Department all factored into our consideration.

Importantly, anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask for whatever reason and for whatever portion of the school day remains welcome to do so, respecting individual decisions. 

What does "Mask Optional" mean in practice?
From Monday, March 14th, there will be no mask required

  • indoors for anyone, students or faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status 
  • on school buses
  • for clubs and sports

Will there be exceptions?
For now, masks will still be required in the following scenarios/locations:

  • in school health offices, per DESE protocol
  • for COVID-19 positive individuals who return to school with a negative Antigen test during days 6-10 from the date of positive test or onset of symptoms (except when drinking, eating, or outdoors)
  • for close contacts who are part of the "Test & Stay" protocol
  • if a specific class, event, or community situation warrants it
  • certain visitors allowed in school premises
  • on public transportation, if used for field trips

As such, we recommend you continue to send your student to school with a couple of masks in their backpack.

Please also note that if there is an individual who tested positive in the class, upon notification from the School, we recommend all close contacts wear a mask for five days after the date of exposure, regardless of their vaccination status.

Can I continue wearing a mask even when it's no longer required?
As a school community, we will entirely respect the decision of anyone to continue wearing a mask. There are any number of reasons why someone may choose to do so. For example, a person may:

  • have a family member who is immunocompromised
  • be more comfortable wearing a mask for their own peace of mind 

Whatever the circumstances, it's important that we respect both individual choice and individual privacy. In this spirit, we kindly request that we collectively refrain from asking fellow members of our community about their reasons for wearing (or not wearing) a mask on school property

For Elementary School parents: If you would like your student to keep wearing a mask throughout the day, we advise that you drop them off wearing one.

What COVID-19 mitigation measures will remain in place?
We will keep a range of other mitigation measures in place, including:

  • Weekly pooled testing
  • Testing of symptomatic individuals while at school
  • Enhanced focus on hand hygiene
  • Open windows for increased ventilation
  • "Test & Stay" protocol for close contacts for five days with Antigen tests if an individual tested positive in the class
  • Appropriate visitor protocols 
  • Outdoor drop-off and pick-up 
  • Lunch in classrooms  

In addition, large indoor gatherings—such as student assemblies—will remain limited until the April break. We will reassess events like these as time progresses and as the situation evolves. 

We will also continue to ask that you stay home if you are not feeling well or experiencing COVID-like symptoms.

We will revisit our protocols on a step-by-step basis and expect to review each of our measures more closely as we approach the April break.

How did we get to this Policy?

It's been a long road. For the past two years, ISB has placed educational continuity as our top priority while taking all the necessary measures for a safe and healthy environment. Many will recall the early days of the pandemic and how swiftly our school moved to full remote learning as Boston and the world locked down in an attempt to slow the spread of a globally impactful, deadly virus.  

Then, over the summer of 2020, the School worked hard to put in place a series of health and safety protocols that allowed us to open our doors that September at a time when many other schools remained closed. We were thrilled to be able to offer uninterrupted in-person learning, knowing that students benefit most from daily interactions with their teachers and peers.  

Since then, our school has continued to update safety measures based on information and guidance from a range of authorities to fit the times best. On this journey, our community has offered critically valuable support every step of the way. We did this together with an amazing team of teachers and staff alongside eager students and supportive families. The pride in ISB is palpable, and,we are so appreciative of the dedication of our community during this period.  


  • For questions about the program, teaching and learning, and schedules, please contact ISB Division Directors:
  • For questions about COVID protocols, please contact the Chief Financial Officer/COVID Response Officer: Isabelle Praud
  • For questions about Admissions, please contact Admissions Director, Lucy Pelham.
  • For questions about health risks, please contact the ISB nurse: Maeve Glynn Hermida
  • For questions about garderie and extracurricular activities, please contact: