Update: Mask mandate remains in effect while court proceedings continue

Dear neighbors and colleagues,

As you may be aware, on Monday, Jan. 24, a Nassau County Supreme Court judge ruled that the way the state created its mask mandate was unconstitutional and a violation of state law. However, following a court hearing today, a “stay” was issued on this decision. This means that the mask mandate will continue to be in effect statewide at least through this Friday, Jan. 28 while court proceedings continue.

We understand you might have questions about this news and what it means for schools. At this time, all public school employees, students, and school visitors are required to wear a mask or face covering while in our schools and on our school buses. There is no change to the health and safety protocols we have been following in recent months as it relates to masks. 

A federal regulation remains in place that prohibits any individual from boarding a bus without a mask. Furthermore, any individual — child or adult — who attempts to enter our school buildings without a mask will be turned away at the door.

Needless to say, this has been a rather challenging 24 hours for students, parents, and our staff alike, and we are grateful for everyone’s patience and civility. While there are certainly disagreements with this mandate and the various restrictions currently in place, we are hopeful that with the declining number of positive cases in the district, across the county, and in New York state in general, we will begin to see the state project when such restrictions can be lifted. 

As has been the case throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our priority continues to be the health and safety of our school community. I will continue to keep you updated as this situation evolves. 

Thank you for your continued partnership and patience.

Stephen M. Tomlinson in cursive
Stephen M. Tomlinson
Superintendent of Schools