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Masking Update

Dear Clarence School Family,

I try to avoid filling up your email inboxes before my Friday communications, but I wanted to reach out in response to a masking issue that has emerged in Erie County. As you may have seen reported in the news, the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) sent a letter to the Williamsville Central School District indicating that mask breaks were prohibited for students and school personnel during the school day while in school buildings. To the best of our knowledge, this position runs counter to those taken by Health Departments across New York State. Additionally, the ECDOH interpretation of mask breaks is different than the safe and thoughtful masking practices schools like Clarence have implemented since the start of the pandemic.

Because schools continue to be among the safest places for children as well as adults, the Clarence Central School District will continue to utilize purposeful mask breaks as it has since September of 2020. If there are changes or if additional information is released by public health officials later this week, I will provide an update in my regular Friday message.

While on the topic of masks, I wanted to include a reminder related to the types of masks that are acceptable in schools. If you click this link, you will find a resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that addresses “do’s and don’ts” for selecting appropriate face coverings. However, I did want to clarify that mesh masks do not meet the guidelines established by experts when it comes to school environments. We clarified this point with public health professionals earlier today, and we thank you in advance for making sure your child comes to school with a cloth-based or surgical mask that includes two layers of material.

Thanks for doing all you can to help keep our community safe and healthy right now.

Matt Frahm, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools