Dear GCSD Families,
As has been reported on Friday afternoon, New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker issued a letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) seeking clarification and guidance regarding mask requirements in schools, with the anticipation of easing mask restrictions as early as Monday, June 7.
Earlier today, the State Education Department issued a statement clarifying that per discussion with Executive staff, the intent of Dr. Zucker’s letter was to obtain a response from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding differing standards for summer camps and schools and not to change any existing arrangements. The statement went on to say that the Governor’s Office will not be making any changes until after Monday, June 7 to afford the CDC an opportunity to respond to the letter. “Therefore, schools should continue to operate under their existing procedures until further notice.”
Based on this guidance from SED, the Guilderland Central School District will continue mask wearing protocols in accordance with our approved school district Reopening Plan.
District mask policies include requirements for mask use on school buses, in classrooms, in school hallways and on playgrounds. Students regularly take mask breaks through the school day, which include during time of physical exertions.
Especially during these warmer days, teachers and staff often allow students to take masks breaks within appropriate social distancing when inside the school building. When outside, relaxed mask use is also allowed in accordance with applicable health and safety measures.
“Throughout this challenging year, we have managed to remain open and to keep our children and staff safe by following the written guidance provided to schools by the State and County Health Departments,” said Superintendent, Marie Wiles. “Although I understand that many may wish to make immediate changes to our protocols, in the interest of the safety of students and staff, we will await direct guidance and take all relevant facts and factors into consideration before making any changes to our plan.”
Anyone with questions or concerns should contact our district COVID coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Marie Wiles, Ph.D.