The following message from District Superintendent, Suzanne Guntlow, was emailed to all Ichabod Crane families on Monday, June 7.
We encourage you to carefully read the entire message but key points include:
- Barring any additional NYS guidance, the current indoor mask policies remain in place for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year.
- Students/staff will no longer be required to wear masks for outdoor activities, including sports
The New York State Department of Health also released their updated guidance about face masks in schools later that same evening. You can see that guidance here on pages 2 and 9, which confirms the key points above.
All previous school reopening news and COVID-19 updates can be found on the district’s Reopening Information page here.
Dear Ichabod Crane Families,
This is a follow-up to yesterday’s (June 6) message about the latest New York State mask guidance.
To summarize, late on Friday, June 4, Dr. Howard Zucker (the New York State Commissioner of Health) sent out a public letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This letter caused significant confusion among school districts and families over the weekend, with many unsure if masking requirements would no longer be in place effective Monday, June 7. Over the weekend school districts were told by the State it did not intend for Dr. Zucker’s letter to represent new school mask guidance and the letter should not have been interpreted as such. The Governor indicated the intent of Dr. Zucker’s letter was to obtain a response from the CDC regarding their differing mask standards for summer camps and schools.
Today during his televised briefing, Governor Cuomo stated that the CDC has informed the State it does not advise students to go without masks inside schools. Therefore, with only weeks left in the school year, the Governor stated masks will be required indoors for all students and staff for the rest of this school year along with other COVID-19 mitigation protocols including physical distancing. This means that barring any additional guidance the current indoor mask policies remain in place for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year.
The Governor also said the state will relax its mask mandate for schools when students are outdoors. We are still awaiting an NYS Executive Order with official details, but the Governor has indicated that will be available in the near future. Therefore Ichabod Crane will implement this change effective immediately and students/staff will no longer be required to wear masks for outdoor activities, including sports. However, this is not a requirement and all students/staff may continue to wear masks outdoors if they wish to.
I truly appreciate your patience this year as we have sorted through various updates from multiple sources including the Governor’s Office, the NYS/County Health Departments and the NYS Education Department. We have done the best we can to give clear, timely updates regarding COVID-19 policy changes in schools as we find out about them and will continue doing so.
Superintendent of Schools