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Home Health Rye School Boss "Personally Disappointed" Mask Mandate Remains for Schools

Rye School Boss “Personally Disappointed” Mask Mandate Remains for Schools

Rye schools boss Eric Byrne is “personally disappointed” the mask mandate remains in place for schools. Along with the Harrison School District, the Rye schools are advocating linking mask mandates to local health metrics.

For now Governor Hochul announced a lifting of mask mandates for businesses on Thursday. Byrne is encouraging residents to contact public officials to support the change being advocated by the Rye and Harrison school districts. The Governor has said the school standard will be looked at in March after the February break.

Byrne’s note follows.

(PHOTO: The Rye City School District's Director of Health Services Tracey Barnett (left) and Superintendent Eric Byrne (right) visited seniors at Rye Recreation's Damiano Recreation Center Wednesday to distribute 180 iHealth COVID-19 test kits.)
(PHOTO: The Rye City School District’s Director of Health Services Tracey Barnett (left) and Superintendent Eric Byrne (right) visited seniors at Rye Recreation’s Damiano Recreation Center last Wednesday to distribute 180 iHealth COVID-19 test kits.)

From: Eric Byrne

Date: Wed, Feb 9, 2022 at 2:15 PM
Subject: New York State School Indoor Mask Mandate to Remain in Place
To: Rye City School District Recipients

Dear RCSD Community

In a press conference this morning, Governor Hochul announced that she will be lifting the indoor mask mandate for businesses throughout the state effective tomorrow, Thursday, February 10The mask requirement remains in place for schools and other public facilities including prisons, nursing homes, and transportation hubs.

The Governor has said she will revisit the school mask mandate after the February break once case metrics are available, likely on Friday, March 4. She has indicated that she would like school-aged children to be tested prior to the return to school from break, and again on the Wednesday after the return to school in order to identify individuals who were infected over the break.

To comply with the Governor’s testing request, we will be sending home test kits with students starting next week. If you have need of additional kits, please stop by the District’s central offices at 555 Theodore Fremd, Suite B101, during office hours of 8:30-5:00 p.m. Please note the offices are closed on Monday, February 21, and Tuesday, February 22, for President’s Day. You may also ask your child(ren) to stop by their school’s health office to pick up as many kits as you need – we have plenty!

I am personally disappointed in the Governor’s decision as I believe the best path forward involves linking mask mandates to local health metrics. This one-size-fits-all approach does not seem sensible to me.

Please join me in lobbying our state and local politicians for mask requirements that reflect our reality here in Rye, not Staten Island or Clinton County. Please consider sending an email to our local and state legislators as well as health and education officials using the joint Rye/Harrison advocacy website linked here. The letter is all set up for you; all you have to do is enter your name, address, email, and phone number.


Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


  1. Thank you, Eric Byrne, for informing those of us who care about the safety of children and communities who to contact to maintain the mask mandate. Does the Rye School District Superintendent not understand that viral contagion doesn’t know from County borders? Does he not understand people travel? Perhaps Byrne could learn something from protocols in other school districts in other countries to keep children and their families safe.

  2. Well said, Brook.

    Forget the fact that the risk is infinitesimal to children and we routinely ignore bigger risks every day.

    Forget the fact that cloth masks are “facial decorations” according to medical experts.

    Forget the fact that masks impeded the development of children academically, linguistically and socially.

    The fact is you can never be safe enough, no matter what the cost.

    And you’re main point comes through loud and clear, “Look at me. I’m one of the ones who cares”.

  3. Exactly Kate. Couldn’t have stated it better

    Keep this up and kids will begin to fear everything.

    Sorry but that’s where this is headed


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