Dear South Colonie Community,
This afternoon, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the statewide mask requirement in schools will be lifted on Wednesday, March 2. This means that starting Wednesday, students, faculty, school staff and visitors will no longer be required to wear face coverings or masks in any of our school buildings or on school buses. Students, faculty, staff and visitors to our schools are welcome to continue wearing masks but it will no longer be required.
Please know, keeping our schools healthy and open remain top priorities, and have been since this pandemic started. Our custodial and maintenance staff does an outstanding job cleaning and disinfecting throughout each day. Our school nurses help countless families, answering questions and caring for all children. Our teachers, support staff and principals ensure students are learning and happy in school each day. Our food service staff and bus drivers have provided essential services and we can’t thank them enough for their efforts!
Thank you to our South Colonie families as well for your patience this year. We could not have done it without you. Despite the highs and lows of this pandemic, South Colonie has remained resilient and strong. Once again, thank you for your support!
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s building principal or the District COVID-19 Coordinator, Christopher Robilotti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Superintendent of Schools
How can parents start preparing their children for the changes to the mask mandate?
The district wants to help prepare all of our students and families for changes that will be coming effective, Wednesday, March 2. Once the state lifts the mandate, it will be very important that we respect everyone’s choice and decision whether or not to wear a mask. We know that this may feel awkward and different for many, and we want to ensure that no matter the personal decision to mask or unmask, that we are kind, respectful, and courteous to every member of our school community.
What if my child decides to continue to wear a mask in school?
Students and staff will continue to have the option of wearing a mask at any time during the school day. This will become a personal choice that must be treated with mutual respect by all. Staff will not be responsible for the enforcement of a parent’s request for their child to wear a mask. Please have this conversation with your child so they know what your expectations are while in school.
If my child/family decides to not wear a mask in school, do we need to inform anyone?
Once the state mask mandate ends in schools, students will no longer need to wear a mask. You do not need to notify the school and students will not be asked to wear a mask by any staff member including on a school bus. If for any reason in the future, the state implements a new mask mandate, the district will make the necessary adjustments to our plan and will communicate this out to all stakeholders.
Does my child need to wear a mask on a school bus?
We have been asked if the ending of school mask requirements applies to school buses. It does. Students and staff will no longer be required to wear a mask while on a school bus/van effective March 2.
Will students and staff still be required to wear a mask after they return to school following a positive case of COVID-19 but still in the 10 day quarantine?
Yes, at this time the release from early quarantine still requires an individual to wear a mask in a public setting until the end of the 10 day quarantine period.
Do unvaccinated students still need to be tested to participate in athletics or extracurricular activities?
No, this requirement has expired as well and students will no longer be subject to testing to participate in these activities.