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Superintendent Memo (June 6): Mask Guidance Update

June 6, 2021

The following message from District Superintendent, Dr. Abitabile, was emailed to all Lansingburgh families on Sunday, June 6.

Dr. Abitabile's message is also available on district letterhead here.

All school reopening news and COVID-19 updates can be found on the district’s Reopening Updates page here.

Lansingburgh School Community,

In anticipation of the expected heat and humidity tomorrow and without additional guidance from the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), we will implement some temporary mask adjustments to protect the health and safety of our students and staff.

On Monday, teachers and staff are being given the discretion to increase the frequency and duration of mask breaks in class while students are seated. We will NOT be requiring the use of masks while outside and will continue following all other COVID-19 mitigation protocols, including social distancing, handwashing, and the wearing of masks on buses. These measures have worked throughout the school year and have allowed us to keep our schools and offices open. Additionally, if using fans in the classrooms, teachers have been asked to position them in such a way to act as an exhaust and blow air outward.

The District is aware of the letter that Dr. Zucker sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, last Thursday regarding new COVID-19 guidance for the wearing of masks in schools across NYS. While Dr. Zucker’s intent has already been publicized in various media outlets, these changes have not been formally communicated to school districts. Today, districts were advised by the NYS Education Department that current reopening requirements for schools remain in place until such time as NYS DOH provides revised written guidance to schools. It is anticipated that such guidance could be received as early as tomorrow. The school district will review and evaluate the guidance before considering or making any changes to its COVID-19 mask protocols

The health and safety of our students and staff remain our top priority as we prepare to finish one school year and plan for another. We thank you for your patience as we await formal guidance that will allow us to make any permanent changes to the mask protocols.

Ever Upwards,

Dr. Antonio W. Abitabile, Ed. D.

LCSD Superintendent