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Superintendent of Schools

August 26, 2021

Dear East Meadow School Community:

I hope this letter finds you and your family well and enjoying the final days of summer.

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, the district’s reopening plan was approved. Our back- to-school plans are as follows:

  • First day of school for students is Thursday, September 2.
  • School will open with pre-pandemic schedules, procedures, and fully in-person.
  • All-school-related activities are in-person.
  • No daily screening and no temperature checks in schools or on buses, however, temperature checks should be done at home.
  • Clear barriers/shields will be removed from student desks in classrooms.
  • Students will be able to use hallway lockers and locker rooms.
  • The district will not have a full-year remote learning program.
  • Masks are required indoors and on buses for everyone regardless of vaccination status.
  • Masks are not required outdoors.
  • Weekly testing will be required for high-risk sports and activities.
  • Cleaning/disinfection measures implemented last year will continue.


The decision to require masks indoors and on buses for everyone is based on expert medical recommendations endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as well as our district physician. Both organizations strongly recommend universal mask wearing in schools regardless of vaccination status.

As a reminder, information is likely to continue evolving. Our new governor has indicated that there is a universal mask mandate for all K-12 schools in New York State. She also indicated that these mandates may be modified when data indicates it is safe to do so.

I wish you the very best during the 2021-2022 school year!

Sincerely,
Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools

card pic
  Contact:
Dr. Kenneth A. Card 
Superintendent of Schools
(516) 478-5776

August 10, 2021

Dear East Meadow School Community,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well. It is hard to believe that the start of the 2021-2022 school year is just a few weeks away! We look forward to welcoming back our students and staff for what I hope will be a great school year in a safe learning environment. The purpose of this letter is to provide you with a brief update on our September reopening.

Last week, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) indicated that that there will be no further guidance provided to schools regarding reopening protocols. The NYSDOH Commissioner stated that “school districts should develop plans to open in-person following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC - Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools) and local health departments.” In response, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Commissioner Betty Rosa sent a letter urging the NYSDOH to reconsider and share guidance with school districts. As of today, NYSED has indicated, by letter, that in the absence of the NYSDOH recommendations, they will provide reopening guidance to districts shortly.

In an effort to obtain further guidance from health experts, the East Meadow School District is sending a letter to the Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) requesting they provide school districts with detailed plans regarding how to safely reopen our schools for the 2021-2022 school year. While we await a response to our letter and guidance from NYSED, the district continues to plan for school reopening using guidance from the CDC until further notice.

At this time, we can report the following regarding reopening:

* Schools will open fully for all students on Thursday, September 2, 2021.
* Students will follow normal school starting times and schedules.
* Transportation will follow normal schedules.
* Clear barriers/shields will be removed from student desks.
* Students will be able to use hallway lockers and locker rooms.
* The District will not have a full-year remote learning program.
* Following existing CDC guidance, masks will be required for school bus transportation, regardless of vaccination status.
* Cleaning/disinfection measures implemented last year will continue in the 2021-2022 school year.

All of us are concerned about whether the schools will reopen with universal masking. This decision, coupled with many other decisions, will be guided by the local infection rate, CDC guidance, recommendations from our district physician, as well as through any new mandates from NYSED. We are closely following these developments so that sound decisions are made for a successful and safe return to school in September. As always, we will keep our entire school community informed.

Our number one priority for school reopening in September is the overall well-being of our students and staff. We want to ensure that everyone is in the safest learning and work environment and that school closures are minimized. I will continue to update our community as more information and/or guidance becomes available.

For now, please continue to enjoy the remainder of your summer.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr.

Superintendent of Schools

card pic
  Contact:
Dr. Kenneth A. Card 
Superintendent of Schools
(516) 478-5776

July 28, 2021

Dear East Meadow School Community,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well and that you are enjoying the summer so far! As we reach the halfway point of summer break, our administration is actively preparing for the start of the 2021-22 school year. I know there are many questions from students, parents, and staff regarding what the year will hold in regard to social distancing, mask wearing, quarantining, in- person vs. virtual learning, etc.

At this point, all districts throughout New York State are still awaiting guidance from the State Education Department on these matters. Until we receive specific direction from the state, we simply do not know what will be required of districts. I understand this is frustrating, as we all want to prepare as best, we can for the start of the year. I share in your frustration and eagerly await this guidance so we can effectively plan for September.

Just yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated mask guidelines, recommending that masks be worn indoors for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of a person’s vaccination status. I share this with you for your information only, as our state and local health departments have yet to weigh in on this matter. Once they issue their guidance, it will provide us with a clear direction for the start of the year.

I will continue to keep you updated as we learn more information. Please enjoy the remainder of your summer and stay safe!

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr

Superintendent of Schools

 

card pic
  Contact:
Dr. Kenneth A. Card 
Superintendent of Schools
(516) 478-5776