Superintendent Harper shares highlights of reopening plan

Dear Mayfield School Community Members,

I hope you are all enjoying these last weeks of summer and are looking forward to the upcoming school year. We have been keeping a close eye on the latest developments regarding COVID-19 in our region as we work on the details of our plans to safely reopen schools on September 7. Our priority is to be open for in-person learning five days a week for all students, while maintaining a healthy environment for our students and staff. 

It is anticipated that when Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul assumes the office of Governor on August 24 that she will likely require masks to be worn in schools to help control the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. While we had hoped the start of this school year would look different and we could eliminate a mask requirement, it appears that will have to wait. Please know that this, along with all of the protocols we have put in place during the pandemic, will continue to be reviewed and changes will be made as the situation evolves.

Our full reopening plan is expected to be posted to the district website in the coming days, but here are the key points of what we are planning on for the start of the school year:

  • In-person learning: Mayfield Central School District will be open for full in-person learning so long as it is allowed by public health officials.
  • Masks: As recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED), facemasks will be required in indoor settings in all Mayfield school buildings. Masks will not be required during outdoor activities unless they are deemed necessary in certain circumstances, such as high-risk sports. Teachers will provide mask breaks for students throughout the day.
  • Transportation: As per the federal order that requires masks on mass transportation, all students and staff will be required to wear masks on school buses. Bus runs will return to their regular schedule (as they were in 2019). Parents/caregivers are encouraged to transport their students when possible to decrease the number of students on the buses.
  • Quarantining: According to the CDC, people who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they do not have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. 
  • Physical distance: As recommended by the CDC and NYSED, individuals will need to maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between them while in school buildings. We will work to maximize physical distance between students during meals in cafeterias.
  • Remote learning: Because we are focused on bringing all of our students back for in-person daily learning, a remote instruction model generally will not be offered. In cases in which students are under quarantine, they will have the opportunity to engage in an alternate learning environment. Parents and guardians of students with a medical condition that precludes them from attending school in person should contact their building principal to discuss learning options. Limited participation in a virtual school being offered by Capital Region BOCES is being considered. 
  • Sports and extracurricular activities: Both school buildings will be conducting extra-curricular activities during the 2021-22 school year. Those activities will follow the same protocols as activities held during the school day. However, the district will follow guidance from NYSPHSAA and the Western Athletic Conference regarding protocols for interscholastic sports. Masking may be required based on the nature of the club’s activities or the sport. Screening testing for COVID-19 may be required for student athletes who are not vaccinated.
  • Temperature and questionnaire screenings: Per CDC guidance, temperature and questionnaire screenings will not be required for entry into Mayfield school buildings. However, students and employees should stay home when they are showing signs of infectious illness, including COVID-19, and get tested before returning to school.

As I mentioned, the full reopening plan will be published and shared widely in the coming days, but I wanted to provide you with an outline of some of the key items. As a district, we are committed to sharing information with our families, especially as we continue to navigate the difficulties of the pandemic. 

Thank you, as always, for your support and commitment to the education of our students. I am excited to begin the school year alongside our dedicated staff in just a few short weeks!

Christopher Harper
Superintendent of Schools