As the mask mandate in schools has been recently lifted by New York State, we want to let you know that we spoke with all the children today regarding the upcoming changes in masking requirements at school, letting them know why the changes are taking place, what changes they can expect, and what will remain the same.
On Wednesday, March 2, wearing a mask in school will become optional for students and staff who are feeling well, who have not been exposed recently to someone with COVID, and who would prefer not to wear one.
Of course, wearing a mask remains an option for those who choose to do so, and wearing a mask will still be required for those who have been exposed to someone infected with COVID, and for those who have been infected with COVID in the last ten days.
As these changes occur, we will remain respectful to everyone in our community. Please keep speaking with your children to reinforce that people will now have a choice regarding whether to wear a mask, and that these choices are often private matters. We will see students and staff who are wearing masks, and we will see students and staff who are not wearing masks. Both choices will be respected, and no one should be asked by peers to defend or explain their choice. We do not tolerate bullying for any reason, and we respect each other in our school community, including respecting each other’s feelings and decisions.
Please also remind your children that all other COVID risk mitigation protocols will remain in place. We will continue to practice required testing for those with COVID symptoms, a quarantine period for those exposed to COVID, social distancing, contact tracing, extra cleaning and disinfection procedures, and all other recommended procedures shown to reduce the transmission of illness. These practices remain important in order to keep our schools safe, healthy, and open!
Thank you so much for your patience and support as we implement these changes. We anticipate that additional guidance from the New York State Department of Health will be forthcoming, and we will update you as soon as we are able. If you have any questions or concerns regarding mask use, please reach out to your child’s teacher or principal. We look forward to a wonderful Spring together, full of smiling faces and happy hearts. Thank you for all that you do to make every child’s school experience a great one.
Dr. Mary Yodis