SEARSPORT — It is not necessary for students or staff in Regional School Unity 20 to wear masks to school anymore as of March 2. The district’s mask mandate was lifted by the joint school committee at its special meeting March 1. Individual classrooms may have special desk arrangements depending on the grade and the teacher’s choice, but they may not be divided in the room according to masked and unmasked or vaccinated and unvaccinated.

The meeting attracted a crowd of fewer than 20 people and only one parent spoke in favor of keeping masks on “to keep our children safe.” Both middle and high school Principal Josh Toothaker and elementary school Principal Larry Clement spoke about the low incidence of coronavirus cases in their schools.

The number of cases in district schools has been below 10 per day since January, although 40 students have been quarantined because they tested positive. Tony Bagley, a Searsport representative, mentioned that these quarantined children are missing valuable instruction and in-school time.

After board members agreed that masks should now be a personal choice, there was a discussion of when the change should be implemented. Stockton Springs representative Denise Dakin moved to make the wearing of masks optional as of March 2, a vote was taken, and the measure passed 4-1, with only Searsport representative Ruth Fethke opposed.