Dear Faculty, Staff and Families,
You may have seen the ruling regarding mask mandates in schools that was announced late last night. However, Governor Hochul and the New York State Department of Health filed a notice of appeal on this decision. We have been advised that this appeal will result in an automatic stay on the ruling, which would keep the mask mandate in place until an appellate court issues a further ruling. At this time, all students and staff must continue to wear masks in school.
The State Education Department (SED) issued the following statement to schools in response to the ruling:
The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al. This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.
It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling. Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.
Based on the SED directive above, masks continue to be an expectation of all faculty, staff, students, and visitors in our schools. The indoor masking policy aligns with positions of several authorities—most notably the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics—and is designed to prevent COVID spread in schools and communities. If any changes to our policies or practices should occur, we will communicate that to you as soon as possible.
We know this is a contentious issue and we ask for your patience and understanding as this situation unfolds. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. As always, the health and safety of our school community is of the utmost importance and your continued support is appreciated.
Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent of Schools