Dear Schalmont families,
We would like to share the latest information about reopening our schools this fall with the growing concern over COVID-19 infection rates.
Schools across New York are working with their county Health Departments to plan for September as the state Health Department has not released guidance for schools. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul has said the state may mandate masks in schools but until we get official notice, we are moving forward as we know our community has questions.
Schalmont and other area schools met Monday with our county Health Department partners where we were informed our area is currently at the highest transmission level for COVID-19.
Given their concerns about the COVID-19 Delta variant, Schalmont expects to start the school year with the following health precautions. It is our hope that as the school year progresses we will be able to relax these precautions as infection rates decline but at this time we believe these requirements are necessary to keep our schools open and safe.
- Students, faculty and staff will have to wear masks indoors. Like last year, students will have mask breaks during the day whenever teachers determine it is safe for students to do so. Masks will not be required outdoors and we will make every opportunity to give students breaks outside when we can. Masks will be required on school buses, per Federal regulations for public transportation.
- We will welcome back all of our students five days a week as the newer 3 foot social distancing guidance provides enough class space for all our students to return each day.
- Our Facilities Department will continue to regularly clean and sanitize throughout the school day.
- We will continue to work with the county Health Department to monitor COVID-19 community transmission levels and determine when quarantining is needed so we can call families if their children are possibly exposed.
Please know we all look forward to a time soon when our students, faculty and staff no longer have to wear masks. But the safety of our community’s children is our top priority and our county Health Department partners believe masks right now are critical in stopping the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Like last year, we will do everything we can to make sure our students are comfortable and happy at school. We are proud that Schalmont schools not only stayed open all of last year, thanks to the help of the county Health Department, but that it was a successful and enjoyable one for our students. We plan the same for this year.
We will share additional details in the coming weeks as we get closer to September. If you have a question, please contact your child’s school to talk with your principal. Please enjoy the rest of the summer with your family. We are excited for a great year this fall when we are able to have our school community back together again.
Dr. Thomas Reardon