Today, Governor Hochul announced the end of the mask mandate in schools, effective Wednesday, March 2. She cited declining metrics for making this decision, including a decrease in COVID cases and hospitalizations, as well as new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday.
Please note that masks are still required in school on Monday and Tuesday while we review and implement new school guidance. Starting Wednesday, masks will be a personal choice in our schools. Although we still recommend the use when applicable, we respect everyone’s right to choose for themselves.
Parents and guardians are asked to speak with their child(ren) about personal choice and respecting each other’s personal decisions. We will not tolerate any bullying of students or staff who choose to continue to wear a mask. The focus of school remains the educational well-being of all students, so mutual respect of each person’s choice to wear or not wear a mask will be honored in our school community.
We understand that this announcement may have a mixed reaction from parents, students, and staff. At this time, the metrics show that conditions are improving locally and across the state, with test positivity at the lowest rate since last fall and an increased number of students and staff that have been vaccinated.
Our schools also distribute at-home test kits to families – a mitigation tool that was scarcely available in the past. We encourage families to test their child(ren) this evening prior to sending them back to school tomorrow, February 28. Anyone testing positive should isolate at home and contact the appropriate Health Office:
- Grades PK-5: Nurse Weigelt, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grades 6-8: Nurse Haigh, email@example.com
- Grades 9-12: Nurse Geer, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Nurse Wood, email@example.com
Thank you for your ongoing patience and support; I recognize this has been a long and difficult situation. I will continue to share information with our school community as new developments take place.
Dr. Lisamarie Spindler
Superintendent of Schools