Hello all Pine Bush families and staff,
I’m calling and emailing again tonight to address the continued confusion about mask expectations. The governor announced his intention to relax the expectations for masks in schools at a press conference late last Friday and he talked more about where he thought we should be going at a press conference today. The problem has been that we cannot rely on what the governor says in front of a camera. We have to rely on what the state Department of Health issues as direct guidelines for schools.
Well, I would like to announce that new state Department of Health guidance have been issued just a short time ago, this evening. It only applies to masks outdoors, and here is the exact language:
“Effective June 7, 2021, face masks are not required to be worn outdoors on school grounds, including during outdoor school sports. However, responsible parties may choose to require face masks outdoors on school grounds, subject to the parameters of this guidance. No student, teacher, staff member, or visitor may be prevented from wearing an acceptable face mask voluntarily on school grounds.”
Based on this freshly released guidance, Pine Bush will cease expecting children to be masked out of doors, but will support any families who prefer their children to continue wearing masks on outdoor settings. You simply need to alert the school to that preference.
Face masks continue to be required indoors at all times, except when eating. Mask breaks are still allowed, and you should know that we have reminded our staff earlier today that with an increased heat index, mask and water breaks should be more frequent, and we have encouraged staff to get their kids outside, whenever they can.
Finally, I want you to know that I have received so many emails about this issue over the weekend, that trying to respond to every one of them, which is normally my preference, is just not productive right now. So I ask for your understanding if I was unable to respond to your email over the weekend.
I don’t anticipate any further changes in the state guidance, but if there is, please know I will continue to provide you with the most up to date info we have.
Have a great evening,
Tim O. Mains, Pine Bush Superintendent