Message from Superintendent Saxton Regarding Updated Mask Mandate

  • June 7, 2021

    Today saw a few positive developments for our school community. The extended 10-day forecast has only one more day that will reach 80 degrees and Governor Cuomo announced that there will no longer be a mask requirement for students, staff or visitors while OUTSIDE on school property--which includes during athletics. 

    Our Governor did announce though that there would be no roll back of masking requirements while INSIDE the school buildings (which we also interpret to be school buses). We will be continuing business inside the school just as we have been doing for the last month. With this news thankfully the temperatures are cooling. Here is the updated state guidance from June 7.

    The good news, since masks are not required outside, is that we have the ability to go outside when appropriate for instruction.  Here is what we are planning to do:

    • We have given our teachers broad discretion on the ability to go outside for mask breaks and have encouraged outdoor exploratory learning activities. 
    • We have found commercial tent companies to erect 6 tents around our campus to promote outdoor learning.
    • Principals have identified shaded areas which can be used for learning activities.

    Additionally we have identified for our staff all the small and large group instructional spaces in our building that are air conditioned and that staff can utilize for cooling breaks with their students throughout the day. Did you know that we have 19 such spaces in our building with three of those spaces having the capacity for multiple classroom groups at one time? We added nine of those spaces in our most recent building project.

    I know some parents have shared that they are not going to send their children to school with masks and that school staff would have to turn them away. I ask that you please not put your children in this difficult situation that is truly for adults to figure out. As a district we respect your personal choices regarding masks and if you do not feel comfortable sending your children to school, under the current rules, then it is your choice to do that. You each have your own personal reasons for your decisions and again we respect that.

    Lastly, I will share with you contact information to assist in your advocacy efforts, if not for the remainder of this year, at least for the return of students in September.  One is for a person on the Governor’s team and the other is at the NYS Dept. of Health.

    • Phillip Rumsey-- Phillip.Rumsey@exec.ny.gov
    • Loretta A. Santilli-- loretta.santilli@health.ny.gov