Community Message 2.27.22


Community Message 2.27.22

February 27, 2022

Dear Warwick Valley CSD Community,

This afternoon at about 2:45 p.m., Governor Kathy Hochul announced New York schools would follow the CDC’s recently amended mask-wearing guidelines, effective Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Therefore, Warwick Valley Central School District will make wearing masks on school campuses optional for all students and staff, effective Wednesday, March 2, 2022.  

During the Governor’s press conference, she indicated the further guidance, along with the answers to frequently asked questions, will be published tomorrow. 

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and Dr. Greta Massetti of the COVID-19 Response  Incident Management Team shared Friday evening their updated recommendation that the CDC will now only recommend universal school masking in communities at high levels of transmission. COVID-19 Community Levels are classified as low, medium, or high based on the number of hospital beds used, hospital admissions, and total COVID-19 cases in a given area. Currently, Orange County falls in the low transmission zone. Anyone can check their COVID-19 Community Level using a new online tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Massetti explained, “Children are relatively at lower risk from severe illness that school can be safe places for children and so, for that reason, we’re recommending that schools use the same guidance that we are recommending in general community settings.”

Dr. Walensky added, “We want to give people a break from things like mask-wearing when our levels are low, and then have the ability to reach for them again should things get worse in the future.”

Now that mask-wearing is optional in schools, allow me to take this opportunity to explain a few points:

  • All students must continue to cooperate with the mask requirement for two more school days so that teachers, school administrators and students can focus their efforts on learning.
  • Each person who comes to our schools can decide whether or not to wear a mask, effective Wednesday, March 2. Everyone’s preferences will be shown equal respect.
  • A student’s decision to wear or not to wear a mask is a family decision. We ask that parents communicate their preferences to their children. If a pupil arrives at school wearing or not wearing a mask, our teachers and staff will assume that this decision was made by the family.
  • Although a district survey was sent to all families weeks ago, parents of elementary school students who plan to continue to wear a mask in school should send a note or email to the teacher.  
  • Students will not be treated differently depending on whether or not they are wearing a mask (e.g., relocated or moved within a classroom, or removed from a classroom).
  • Masks (surgical, KN95 and N95) will be available at each school for any student or staff member who needs them. 
  • Respecting individual masking choices for both students and staff is critical. Therefore, disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. We will carefully monitor for any pressure, bullying, or other negative interactions based on whether or not a person is wearing a mask.

I’d like to express my heartfelt appreciation for your continued support and understanding at this difficult time. We appreciate your recognition that the district is legally required to comply with all applicable state regulations. I also appreciate the care you’ve instilled in your children regarding the several mitigating measures that remain in place. 


David Leach
Superintendent of Schools


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