June 6 mask protocols update

On Friday, June 4, 2021 the New York State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, issued a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the current CDC guidance for K-12 schools and the wearing of masks by all students, teachers, and staff. Dr. Zucker indicated in his letter that New York State would be implementing the following mask guidance for its public schools and summer camps:

  • Indoors:
    • Mask use will be strongly encouraged but not required for students, campers and staff/teacher/counselors who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Outdoors:
    • Masks are not required
    • Students, campers, and staff/teachers/counselors who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask in certain higher-risk circumstances
  • Both indoors and outdoors:
    • Students, campers, and staff who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks

However, there was no formal guidance from the NYS Education Department until this afternoon, June 6. The letter from NYSED to superintendents reads as follows:

As of September 1, 2020, school districts were permitted to reopen, under Executive Order 202.60, “subject to adherence to Department of Health issued guidance and directives.”  These have included the submission of reopening plans to address, among other things, distancing and health requirements.

SED has been in communication with Executive staff regarding the attached letter from Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State Commissioner of Health.  According to conversations with Executive staff, the intent of this letter was to obtain a response from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding differing standards for summer camps and schools; it has not changed any existing arrangements.  Therefore, schools should continue to operate under their existing procedures until further notice.  No changes have been, or will be, made by the Executive until after Monday June 7 to afford the CDC an opportunity to respond to the letter.

At this point, Schuylerville CSD will continue with all mask and physical distancing requirements that are currently in place for Monday, June 7. There will be no changes made. However, districts can make accommodations on the local level during the last three weeks of school, especially in regard to the warmer days. Mask breaks will be allowed when students are seated and when they are outside. Principals will communicate with teachers further details on mask breaks.

If you have any questions, please reach out. We will continue to keep staff and families updated on any changes to COVID-19 related guidance.

Thank you,

Dr. Ryan Sherman

Gregg Barthelmas
Director of Pupil Personnel Services
COVID-19 Coordinator