Mask Update March 1, 2022
March 1, 2022
Dear KLSD Community,
This evening, we have received updated guidance from NYS DOH relative to the wearing of masks in school.
As I shared over the weekend, effective tomorrow, March 2, wearing masks in school is optional for students, staff, and visitors in most circumstances. Based on the guidance just received, there are limited circumstances in which masks must still be worn. Please read the rest of this document for more detail.
In general, masks are now optional for students, staff, and visitors in school buildings, at school events, and on school transportation. We will respect the individual decisions people make and we ask all families to support us by having conversations at home both about the decisions you would like your children to make in school and about the importance of respecting the decisions made by others. All our students must have the opportunity to feel welcome and supported in school, regardless of their individual mask choices. We will not tolerate any form of teasing or bullying around those individual decisions.
Please Note: Student seats in classrooms will not be relocated or moved based on individual mask decisions. Class activities also will not be changed based on those individual decisions.
NYSDOH requires that masks still be worn in the following circumstance:
Students and staff who develop COVID-19 are required to isolate at home for 5 days. Students and staff must then wear masks on school buses and when they return to school during Days 6 – 10.
NYSDOH recommends students and staff wear masks when:
- They feel more comfortable wearing a mask for personal reasons.
- They are known to have been exposed to COVID-19 in any setting within the previous 10 days.
- They are moderately-to-severely immunocompromised and have discussed the need to mask with their healthcare provider(s).
Important Reminder: Symptomatic individuals, regardless of vaccination status or recent infection, should stay home until tested and if positive or not tested, should isolate for 5 days, or until other criteria are met for school attendance (e.g., resolution of fever), whichever is longer.
For tomorrow and in the coming days, all other conditions (distance between desks, lunch seating arrangements, etc.) will remain the same as they have been in our schools this year. We will monitor these conditions over the next few days and determine whether any changes may be necessary or helpful.
As you know, most recently, we’ve been reporting very few new COVID cases in our schools. This, of course, is welcome news and we hope it continues. Today, we learned of just one new positive case at John Jay Middle School.
You can learn more about tonight’s guidance from NYS by reading this FAQ document.
As always, I thank you for your partnership as we work to keep all our students and staff safe, and our schools open and welcoming to all students every day.
Andrew Selesnick, Superintendent of Schools