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Updated information on mask requirements for schools

 

Monroe One has been working throughout the weekend to get clear and updated information from state officials on the guidelines for schools when it comes to wearing a mask starting tomorrow, June 7.  

 

We were informed on Sunday by the State Education Department that there is no change to guidance for schools. 

 

This means all students, staff, and visitors will still need to wear a mask when on school property and in our buildings.  

 

The confusion stems from a letter sent by the NYS Department of Health to the Centers for Disease Control on Friday, looking to modify guidance relative to wearing masks on school grounds.

 

We have been in contact with the State Education Department to clarify the result of this letter. They explained their staff has been in communication with the Governor’s team and the intent of the letter was to obtain a response from the CDC regarding differing standards for summer camps and schools, but that the release of the letter has not changed any existing arrangements.

 

The State Education Department stressed schools should continue operating under their existing procedures, that no changes will be made by the Governor’s office until after June 7 to give the CDC an opportunity to respond to the letter from the NYSDOH.

 

We want to take time to answer some of your questions:

 

What about outdoor activities in hot weather? 

Current guidance does allow us to use our discretion for mask intolerance. We will keep using the best judgement when it comes to keeping students and staff safe and comfortable while outside in P.E., on the playground, and in indoor areas with high temperatures.

 

What about students and staff who are vaccinated? 

There has been no change in state guidance for vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals. This means everyone will still need a mask, even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

 

What needs to happen to make this change? 

We’ve been pushing for updated information and advocating for new guidance. It has been explained to us that there needs to be written guidance or an Executive Order issued that specifically addresses mask wearing requirements on school grounds. 

 

So, what will happen tomorrow when my student returns to school? 

As of right now, there will be no change. If and when changes are officially made to the NYSDOH guidance, we will review our procedures and make appropriate adjustments. Any update will be communicated with you.  

 

Thank you for your patience with this, we will continue to work with state officials to get you answers.