Q&As offered about the district’s March 2 ‘mask optional’ policy

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Minisink Valley school community:

As the district — like all New York State school districts — awaits promised updated guidance from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) , we’re sharing some Q&As to help in our school community’s transition to our “mask optional”  policy beginning March 2.

We will share updated guidance once received and reviewed. Please check back to this page for any additional Q&As.  Thank you for your attention to this important information.

How can parents best prepare their children for the changes to the mask mandate?
With New York State now approving CDC guidelines, mask wearing is now optional at Minisink Valley as of March 2.  It’s critically important that we respect everyone’s choice and decision whether or not to wear a mask.  We want to assure students, parents and staff that no matter the personal decision to mask or unmask, the expectation is that everyone is respectful and kind to every member of our school community. We ask parents to have this important discussion with their children in advance of March 2.

Does mask wearing still apply to buses?
Effective March 2, masks are not required on school buses anymore.  Parents who wish to terminate parental morning drop-off/afternoon pickup and resume bus transportation to and from school should contact the district’s Transportation Office at 355-5140 as soon as possible.

What if my child or a staff member decides to continue to wear a mask in school?
Students and staff will continue to have the option of wearing a mask at any time during the school day. This is a personal choice that must be treated with mutual respect by all.

If a parent decides to not have his/her child wear a mask in school, do they need to inform anyone?
Parents don’t need to notify the school and students will not be asked to wear a mask by any staff member. Please keep in mind if local conditions change and new mask wearing guidance is issued, the district will communicate this out to our school community.

Will there be changes to Test-To-Stay (TTS) and school exposure policies?
The district will continue to follow  NYSDOH guidance as it evolves. Until NYSDOH guidance is released, it would be premature to discuss any potential changes on isolation, quarantine or TTS protocols. We will share any new guidance that is released from the state when it is available. We appreciate your patience.

Can parents still get COVID-19 test kits?
The district still has a supply of COVID-19 rapid tests for all students and staff. If parents are interested in getting rapid tests to test their children at home, they should contact their school’s main office.

Feb. 27: Important mask update: Gov. Hochul adopts recently updated CDC guidelines; effective Wednesday, March 2 masks are no longer required inside school buildings