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Letter From Dr. Washington Regarding the Reopening of Schools

Dear Washingtonville School Community:

I hope everyone has been able to relax and enjoy this summer. As we continue to prepare for the opening of schools in September, our overall goal for the 2021-2022 school year is to continue to keep students, faculty and staff healthy and safe while returning to full in-person instruction, five days a week for all students. To do so successfully, we must continue to be mindful of the transmission of COVID-19, specifically the Delta variant, and remain proactive to prevent the spread of the virus in our schools and community.  

As mentioned at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, August 16, the New York State Department of Health will not be issuing guidance to schools for the upcoming year. Our district and building administrators have been working diligently to develop and refine the district’s reopening plan based on the guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Orange County Department of Health, and the New York State Education Department Health and Safety Guide released on August 12.

Based on the guidance and recommendations received at this time, the Board of Education voted and strongly recommended universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status and community transmission levels. 

While on school buses, passengers and drivers must wear a mask, including on buses operated by public and private school systems, regardless of vaccination status. This is in compliance with the CDC’s January 2021 order, that requires “all passengers on public conveyances...traveling into, within, or out of the United States...regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth.” This order applies to all forms of public transportation, including school buses. 

More Information on the Way:

In the coming weeks, we will continue to monitor local COVID-19 infection data as we anticipate further guidance or mandates from the NYSDOH. Please know we remain committed to keeping our students, faculty and staff as healthy as possible while providing a rigorous academic experience for all students. WCSD is prepared for all students to return to full in-person instruction. As the school year approaches, we will continue to update WCSD families about our plans as more information becomes available.

Please enjoy these final weeks of summer; we look forward to welcoming all students back on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Sincerely,

Dr. Larry Washington
Superintendent of Schools