This is an important message from Dr. Rabey.
As you are aware, Governor Hochul announced yesterday that she does not intend to allow the universal mask mandate in schools to expire on February 21st. As the Superintendent, I have advocated for specific metrics and the expiration of the mask mandate on that date. Her desire is to re-evaluate this decision on March 4th and after the mid-winter break. With that in mind, the Governor has recommended that all students and staff take a COVID-19 test prior to returning from the mid-winter break, in order to limit any potential exposure in schools. This strategy will go a long way at achieving our goal of being able to drop the mask mandate as of March 4.
Since New York State has made rapid COVID-19 Test Kits available for all students, faculty and staff, we will begin to distribute a test kit to each individual beginning Thursday, February 17th. All students will be sent home with a test kit.
If you do not want your child to be sent home with a test kit, please notify your child’s main office. You can then decide to pick up the test kit during normal business hours. The main offices will be open during the mid-winter break.
Please know that children are not required to take a test. The only requirement is that if you administer the test prior to Monday, February 28th and your child tests positive; that you keep your child at home, call your school nurse to report the test result and contact your child’s pediatrician if necessary.
I am optimistic that school mask mandates will be lifted within the next 3 weeks when Governor Hochul re-evaluates. I know that this has been a long and challenging period for us all. As a school community, we have stayed strong throughout the pandemic. I thank you for your continued patience, support and cooperation.