As some of you likely heard in last night’s news reporting, a lower state court in Nassau County ruled that the New York State Department of Health exceeded its authority by requiring masks be worn in school settings. This ruling conflicts with an earlier ruling in Albany County Supreme Court that upheld the same New York State Department of Health’s mask requirement. We anticipate this issue moving forward to New York State Court of Appeals which is our state’s highest court.
Further, last night, we received notification from New York State Department of Education to continue the requirement that all individuals in school settings wear masks under our current regulations. Specifically, here is the directive we received from our governing education agency:
“It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling. Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.”
As we’ve always done throughout the pandemic, we will be waiting for headlines to materialize into guidelines from New York State Department of Health, Livingston County Department of Health, and New York State Education Department before we make any changes to our school policy. We will continue to closely monitor and keep you informed throughout the coming days and perhaps weeks as this matter moves forward.
Therefore, for today we are continuing to require that all individuals within school buildings wear masks while indoors. We will keep you informed when, and if, this requirement changes for schools.
Thank you for your continued support, patience, and understanding as we all work our way through the challenges and changes, twists and turns, and ups and downs that the pandemic consistently presents to each of us.
Matt Cole, Superintendent