Dear Plainedge Families:
We know that parents know what is best for their children! We promise to continue to fight for your rights!
On August 25, 2021, the Board of Education approved the 2021 School Reopening Plan after surveying the community for their feedback. The Board of Education heard the community and initially approved the implementation of a mask-optional environment in all schools. Unfortunately, this is no longer a local decision for any school in New York State. We are disappointed to share with the Plainedge community that we now need to comply with the commissioner's regulation to mask any person inside of our schools regardless of vaccination status.
On August 24, Governor Hochul directed the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to institute universal masking in all schools. On the evening of Friday, August 27, 2021, the NYSDOH issued emergency regulations mandating any person over the age of 2 (including all students, personnel, teachers, administrators, and visitors) must wear masks at all times indoors in P-12 school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.
As promised, we have consulted with our attorneys and we have been informed that non-compliance with this regulation will result in potential loss of State Aid, daily fines to the School District, as well as potential removal of our Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools. Additionally, I have consulted with Superintendents in Nassau County that were originally “mask-optional” and they too will be informing their communities that masks are now required in all schools. Therefore, for the next 90 days we will comply with the NYSDOH mandate and reassess as we near the end of this term.
We are very excited to begin a new school year and welcome back all of our children and staff. Effective immediately, everyone entering our schools is required to enter with a well-fitted mask covering their nose and mouth.
At this time, students will not be permitted to ride on school transportation or attend any classes inside of our school buildings without a mask.
What can we do to support local control of our schools?
- Continue to consult our attorneys to fight for local control of our schools
- Send letters to local and state politicians
- Carefully monitor our data to support our mask optional stance
- Band together as a community PLAINEDGE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
We thank you for ensuring that we comply with the mandate while we fight for “parent-choice” and local control of our schools. We will encourage outdoor learning wherever possible and allow students to take frequent mask breaks. Masks will continue to be optional outside of our school buildings while on school grounds. We look forward to a wonderful year, where our partnership will again be of the utmost importance. We are confident that we will be able to celebrate the success of each and every student as we navigate another unique year together. We look forward to seeing our students in person on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
Thank you for your continued support of the Plainedge Public Schools.
Edward A. Salina, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools