School district will require masks for Sept. 2 fully in-person start of classes

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The Manchester School District will start the year with mask requirements with the goal of making masks optional. File Photo/SARAH GIBSON, NHPR

MANCHESTER, NH – The following updates were announced by the Manchester School District on Aug. 20 in advance of the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.


  • The start of school: First day is Thursday, Sept. 2
  • Return plan: We begin the year fully in person with masks required
  • COVID-19 precautions: Safety measures in place for start of school
  • Vaccinations available: Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics
  • Registration continues: You can register students online right now
  • Bus routes updated: Check our website for your student’s bus stop
  • School supply lists: Find what your student needs for school year
  • Student accident insurance: Information available on our website

The start of school: Reminder: the first day of school is Thursday, Sept. 2. You can find a printable school year calendar below, or by clicking this link.

This message contains important information for the start of school. Please read it carefully.

Return plan: Our return to school plan includes color-coded phases that are determined by the spread of COVID-19 in Manchester (see below). In-person instruction is a top priority as we work to help students recover from the impact of the pandemic. There is no remote learning option this year. 

We will open the year in the Yellow Phase due to the substantial level of spread of COVID-19 in the community. Under this phase, masks are required for all in school buildings. 

If we are able to get below the substantial level of community spread, our plan allows for optional use of masks. It will take work on all of our parts to get below that substantial level, including a focus on getting all eligible people vaccinated and following COVID-19 precautions.

COVID-19 precautions: After 18 months of the pandemic, we all know the precautionary measures. It was our hope that we would not be in this situation again, however the delta variant has had a massive impact. In addition to universal mask-wearing in schools, the following precautions will be in place in our schools:

  • Physical distancing of 3-6 feet whenever possible
  • Frequent hand washing or sanitizing
  • Enhanced air handling procedures
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures

Families will be asked to screen students for COVID-19 symptoms before sending them into school. Please remember: when your student is sick keep him or her home.

Vaccinations available: Vaccinations play an important role in protecting against COVID-19. If you or your student (age 12 or older) have not yet been vaccinated and would like to be, the Health Department holds walk-in vaccination clinics Mondays from 9-11 a.m. and Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m. No appointment is needed. You must be age 12 or older; anyone younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Manchester Health Department is located at 1528 Elm Street, on the backside of the building, and is accessible by MTA bus transportation.

Registration continues: If you still need to register a new student, you can do that online right now. Only students who are new to the district or did not attend school in the district last year need to be registered. You can find out what you need to register a student and find step-by-step directions at this link:

Bus routes updated: All regular school bus routes have been updated on our website: We have consolidated some stops – please check the routes to find the stop nearest to you. Families are reminded that masks are required on buses. It is recommended that students be at their stops 10 minutes prior to the scheduled stop time. Families please note: bus arrival times may vary slightly due to weather, road conditions, or traffic.

Links to bus routes by school can be accessed below.

School supply lists: We have a district-wide school supply list for all grades. You can find the lists at

Student accident insurance: Voluntary Student Insurance is available for students who don’t have their own coverage. For students who do have other insurance, student insurance can help fill gaps in coverage. You can find more information at

2021-22 Manchester School District Calendar

About this Author


Andrew Tolanc

Director of Communications and Community RelationsManchester School District