Jan. 28 Update from Superintendent McGrath

It was certainly an eventful week. Although Omicron is still impacting attendance, things continue to trend in the right direction.  Cases, % positive tests, and hospitalization continue to trend downward. Two Fridays ago we reported a weekly total of 153 cases among BHBL students and staff. Last Friday that number was 114. This past week it was 62. All of the local and regional data can be found here.

I wanted to follow-up with further information about the status of masks. This message came out to all Superintendents from the Commissioner of Education this afternoon:

Update from Commissioner Betty A. Rosa Regarding the Status of Mask Wearing in Schools

NYSEDP20 2:16 PM (55 minutes ago) to SUPT-INFO

Earlier this week, the Appellate Division, Second Department issued a stay order which upheld the Department of Health’s mask requirement in schools (10 NYCRR 2.60).  Although the court set a hearing deadline for today, the State Education Department has confirmed that this deadline pertained only to written submissions.  SED anticipates that the court will issue a further ruling in the coming weeks.  Until such time, the mask rule remains in effect.  School districts must also abide by any commitment to mask wearing contained in their publicly posted reopening plans for the 2021-2022 school year.

The governor also extended the statewide mask mandate for businesses and public places until February 10, 2022.

At the board meeting on Wednesday (Feb. 2), the Board will be discussing the Levels of Response in our Tiered Mitigation Plan that was put in place at the beginning of the school year (approved by the Board on 9/9/21).  Although that plan received quite a bit of attention across the community back in August/September, it was largely overshadowed by the state’s mandates. We feel it is wise to take another look at that plan, perhaps update it a bit, and consider if it could serve as a helpful tool in our efforts to move out of the pandemic and return to more normalcy. Watch the website early next week for details on the location and time of the meeting. The meeting will be streamed live on YouTube as well.

One last reminder: We have plenty of COVID-19 home test kits- you can pick one up at any school or the district office or call a school office and have one sent home with your child anytime.