WAKEFIELD — The School Committee voted last night to end the school mask mandate effective tomorrow, Thursday, March 3. In doing so, the committee abandoned its decision from two weeks ago to continue the school mask requirement until March 9.

A motion by School Committee member Michael Boudreau to end the mask requirement effective immediately failed after a tie 3-3 vote, with Boudreau, Amy Leeman and Thomas Markham voting to end the mandate immediately. Kevin Piskadlo, Stephen Ingalls and School Committee chair Suzy Veilleux opposed the motion. School Committee member Ami Wall was not in attendance last night.

At its Feb. 15 meeting, the School Committee voted 4-3 to extend the mask mandate until March 9. Those whose positions changed, including Markham and Piskadlo, cited new guidance issued by the CDC and local Health Director Anthony Chui as the basis for their decision to now support ending the school mask mandate sooner.

But in recent days, several outspoken opponents of the School Committee’s policy on masks have pulled nomination papers to run for School Committee in the April 26 Town Election. Two of those potential candidates, Gregory Spry and Alexandra Makarewicz, addressed the School Committee during public participation last night, calling for an immediate end to the school mask requirement and suggesting that the School Committee has been less than responsive to growing public and parental impatience with mask mandates.

Ultimately, last night’s decision came down to ending the school mask mandate immediately or ending it as of Thursday, March 3. Those who wanted to wait cited a need to give the schools a chance to get the word out and give families a chance to adjust their thinking and prepare for the change.

But Boudreau pointed out that families have already been thinking about the end of the mask mandate and those who want to continue masking are free to do so. It would take no time at all to get the word out, Boudreau argued, with most families anticipating the decision to lift the mask mandate.

After Boudreau’s motion to immediately lift the mask requirement failed, Markham made a motion to end the school mask mandate on Thursday, March 3. That motion passed unanimously.