BULLETIN: WP SCHOOL DISTRICT ISSUES NEW GUIDELINES FOR HIGHLANDS AND HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION EVENTS JUNE 22 AND 23–REFLECTS NEW HEALTH DEPT GUIDELINES ISSUED TODAY

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the White Plains Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph Ricca, June 16, 2021 :


As you know, Governor Cuomo announced additional changes to the New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Guidelines for large scale events (this is the guidance that covers Highlands Move-Up Day and WPHS Commencement).

The text of the guidance is included below this message. We recognize and respect that everyone feels differently with regard to NYSDOH health/safety standards and the WPCSD will continue to do our very best to serve all members within our community and make everyone as comfortable as possible.

Accordingly, there are some important adjustments to the requirements for both Highlands Move-Up and WPHS Commencement.

Please review the following:

1. Masks are strongly encouraged, but not required, for vaccinated individuals.

2. Unvaccinated individuals (adults and children) must wear a mask throughout the event(s).

3. Proof of vaccination/negative test result are no longer required upon entry to the event(s).

4. Physical distancing (seating) will be observed at both Highlands Move-Up and WPHS Commencement.

5. Contact tracing cards are no longer required.

Please note that official updates/reminders/communications from both Highlands and WPHS will be forthcoming via the district’s K12 Alerts System.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s school (Highlands and/or WPHS). Please be reminded that the New York State Department of Health guidelines for PreK-12 school operations has not been modified at this time.

The new guidelines (from the New York State Department of Health) issued today to the White Plains School District:

·     The June 7, 2021 update to the Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency does not apply to end of academic year celebration events, such as graduations and moving-up ceremonies, which are large, public events that occur outside the scope of in-person academic instruction, scholastic, and extracurricular activities.

·     As announced by Governor Cuomo on June 15, 2021, MOST COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted as 70 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series. As New York surpassed that threshold, the State’s health guidelines—including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing—will become optional for most industries, including pre-K-12 education end of year events, provided however there are two exceptions that continue to apply to end of academic year celebrations:

o   Masks are still required for unvaccinated individuals, pursuant to federal CDC guidelines.

o   Large-scale indoor event venues — defined as venues that have an indoor capacity of greater than 5,000 —will still follow the State’s existing health guidance for large events. Specifically, consistent with the State’s implementation of the CDC guidelines, proof of vaccination can be used to eliminate social distancing and remove masks for fully vaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated or unknown vaccination status individuals who are over the age of four must continue to present proof of a recent negative diagnostic COVID-19 test result and wear masks within the venue. However, social distancing can be reduced or eliminated between tested attendees, allowing venues to reach 100 percent capacity in all sections. (See below and linked materials for additional guidance.)

·     Please again note that, notwithstanding that 70 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series, the Department of Health’s Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency remains in effect.

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