On Sunday, June 6, Fayetteville-Manlius School District Superintendent Craig J. Tice provided the following COVID-19 update to F-M families and staff.
Dear F-M families and staff,
Late Friday afternoon, June 4, 2021, we were made aware through a media report that New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker dispatched a letter to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding future mask requirements for New York state.
Media outlets reported that Governor Andrew Cuomo said Dr. Zucker’s letter inquired whether the CDC would have any objections if the state Department of Health (NYSDOH) changed the mask mandate in schools. To my knowledge, no additional information has been forthcoming since this announcement was made on Friday.
A media report carries no legal authority. While it may suggest the direction that the NYSDOH may take in the week ahead (unless the CDC directs otherwise), the media report does not reference an executive order, official NYSDOH guidance or a New York State Education Department (NYSED) regulation that would give school districts the authority to make the change.
As you may be aware, the district must wait for an official NYSDOH guidance document prior to making any changes to its current mask requirements. This is because the current contact tracing protocols remain in place based on facial coverings and social distancing.
Please know that we will provide an update via SchoolMessenger and on the district website when we receive any official guidance from the NYSDOH, NYSED, the Onondaga County Health Department or a gubernatorial executive order.
Until that time, all students, staff and visitors MUST follow the current mask requirement protocols as referenced in the Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District Reopening Plan.
The current NYSDOH and NYSED guidance directs school districts to engage and consult stakeholders for feedback before making any modifications to the reopening plan. While many of our families would support these changes, there are a significant number of others who would implore us to remain steadfast with our protocols because our youngest students have yet to be vaccinated.
If you would like to share your thoughts about the state’s proposed changes to face mask requirements in schools, please do so at any time via the district’s online communications platform, Let’s Talk.
Craig J. Tice
Superintendent of Schools
Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District