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Saturday, October 1, 2022
Home Health Schools Unmask Themselves

Schools Unmask Themselves

Per new State guidance, Rye schools unmasked themselves on Wednesday. The new rules make mask wearing completely optional.

“These are deeply personal decisions and are dependent on a variety of factors that only you and your family know,” schools boss Eric Byrne said in a note to parents. “Masking has become a highly-charged and politicized issue but there is no place in our schools for bullying, harassment, or shaming about masks or anything else.”

A five day quarantine is required for COVID positive folks and the schools will still notify families about any suspected COVID exposures. The full set of correspondence is below.

Rye High School

NEW COVID-19 SCHOOL GUIDANCE FROM NEW YORK STATE: 3/1/22
Dear RCSD Community,

As you know from my communication on Sunday, as of tomorrow, March 2, masks will be optional in schools and on school buses. This evening we received new guidance from New York State with regards to how school districts are to handle positive COVID cases. Moving forward students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID will be required by NYS to quarantine for 5 days after testing positive or the onset of symptoms. These individuals can return to school/work on day 6 if they are fever-free and have no symptoms, and they will then be required to wear a mask when indoors for days 6-10. If they are not able to wear a mask (for example, when eating or drinking) they must remain six feet away from others.

The State also recommends that school districts continue to contact families and faculty/staff when an individual has been exposed to COVID at school. The District has been and will continue to comply with this request. The State strongly recommends that exposed individuals wear a mask in school for 10 days after exposure. Exposed individuals are no longer required to quarantine.

The State will be sending another shipment of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests shortly, and we will distribute these to families and faculty/staff. We also have test kits available in the nurse’s office at each school for either you or your children to pick up whenever necessary. Surveillance testing will continue two times per week. Please carefully monitor your students for any signs of illness and do not send them to school without first consulting the school nurse. Please also continue to notify school nurses of any positive test results.

Thank you for your help in keeping our community safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. Stay well.

Sincerely,

Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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RCSD RETURN TO SCHOOL AND MASK MANDATE UPDATE: 2/27/22
Dear RCSD Community,

I hope you had a restful and relaxing mid-winter recess! It always seems that school breaks come at the exact right time when everyone is tired and ready for recharging. For me, a few days away in Newport gave me a chance to put down my phone and step away from the computer. I hope you are recharged and restored after some time away from the regular routines.

On Friday, the CDC recommended that masks be optional in schools in communities with low COVID risk based on local health metrics. This afternoon, Governor Hochul announced that masks will be optional in schools as of this Wednesday, March 2. The Governor has said that additional school-related guidance will be forthcoming and we will share any pertinent information with the community.

In the meantime, we would encourage you to have a conversation as a family over the course of the next few days about whether or not you would like your child to continue to wear a mask in school beginning on Wednesday. These are deeply personal decisions and are dependent on a variety of factors that only you and your family know. We would also ask that you speak to your child(ren) about respecting the mask choices that other families make. Masking has become a highly-charged and politicized issue but there is no place in our schools for bullying, harassment, or shaming about masks or anything else.

We have been working to prepare our faculty and staff for the day when masks become optional and similar conversations around personal choice are being held at the schools.

We will hold another Parent University session with our ESS counselors to support parents with preparing for mask optionality tomorrow, Monday, February 28, from 5:30-6:00 p.m. The Google Meet link for this meeting is here.

If you are concerned about your child’s health and safety once masks become optional, please contact Dr. Tricia Murray, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, at murray.patricia@ryeschools.org.

We look forward to welcoming your students back tomorrow!

Sincerely,

Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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