On Friday afternoon a letter was released from the New York Commissioner of Health, Dr. Zucker, to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), stating the State’s intention to modify guidance relative to wearing masks on school grounds and at summer camps as of Monday, June 7, unless the CDC recommended otherwise. Unfortunately, the details of the letter were mischaracterized as a formal change to masking requirements. Later Friday evening, Saturday, and today, discussions occurred among the Department of Health, State Education Department and school districts. This afternoon the State Education Department released a memo that indicated schools should continue to operate under their existing procedures until further notice.
Like you, we are extremely frustrated and disappointed that the State continues to put school districts in this position, and limiting local control. Due to the timing and lack of clarity between the state agencies, and given the extreme heat forecasted for this week, we will be implementing the following changes effective Monday, June 7:
Students and staff will need their facemasks when moving throughout the school and during arrival and dismissal in our bus loops (“Stand up, mask up”)
While seated in school and on the bus, masks will be optional, but strongly recommended
Masking outdoors is no longer required
In addition, masking may be required during various activities during the school day (large gatherings, special events, etc.)
We still strongly recommend that unvaccinated staff and students mask in school, but we will honor the right to choose when seated. At this time, all social distancing protocols in our schools will remain in place.
Given the temperatures this week, we are requesting that students and staff bring personal water bottles for adequate hydration.
On behalf of the Board of Education and staff, thank you to our families who have exhibited patience and collaboration as we work through these conflicting State messages and pending changes. You have been a positive role model for your children and certainly exemplify our core beliefs of treating each other with dignity, honesty and respect. We look forward to a full reopening in the fall.