New York Families,
Since the start of the pandemic, safety has been our top priority. Our collective hard work of consistently following CDC guidelines resulted in successfully minimizing the spread of COVID-19 within our schools. Today, I am writing an important update about Achievement First’s approach to masking in our schools.
The CDC recently shifted it’s COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schools, no longer recommending mask requirements for schools in communities with low to medium risk of COVID-19 spread and severity at the community level. New York State’s Governor Kathy Hochul lifted the state-wide school mask mandate earlier this week, and the New York City Department of Education announced earlier today that beginning on Monday, March 7th, the school mask mandate will be lifted.
Given the CDC guidance and the DOE’s announcement, our AF high schools will shift from “masks required” to “masks highly recommended” beginning on Monday, March 7th. We will support staff and families in the choice they make for themselves and their families, and continue to provide high quality masks for staff and students who choose to wear them.
Our AF elementary and middle schools will implement the district policy one week later, on March 14. We will ask all elementary and middle school families to send their scholars to school with a mask until March 14, and we will have additional masks available for those who may not bring them. We will continue to provide high-quality masks for all those who wish to use them through the end of the school year.
If you would like your scholar to continue wearing a mask, we ask that you ensure your scholar is clear on your expectations for them keeping their mask on all day. While masks will be highly recommended, our staff will not be tracking or managing family preference on student masking as we focus on implementing our other safety measures.
Please note that once the mask mandate is lifted, masks will still be required in the following situations:
- If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, is asymptomatic and returns on Day 6 of infection, they must wear a high-quality mask for days 6-10.
- If a staff member has a vaccine exemption, they must continue to wear a high-quality mask to school daily.
It is also our expectation that students/staff members who have been exposed to COVID-19 wear a mask while at school for 10 days after the date of exposure.
Masks may also be required in the following situations:
- When COVID-19 Activity Level is elevated in our communities, we may reinstate universal masking.
- During an outbreak or general increase in cases, universal masking in affected classrooms may be required.
All of our other safety mitigation strategies, including ventilation, social distancing, hand hygiene, and staying home while sick, will continue to be in place. Our website includes information on all of our updated policies.
If you are interested in opting your child into the weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing program please fill out THIS FORM