August 28, 2021

Niagara Wheatfield Families, 

We hope you are all enjoying the summer and time with family and friends.  We can’t wait to welcome your child(ren) back to school for full-time (5 days/week) in-person learning.

I previously wrote to you regarding my expectation that NYS would put forward a mask mandate for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, and that we would hold off on sending out a plan until we received that announcement.  Thus on Friday, August 27th the New York State Health Commissioner issued the following directive:

“After careful review and consideration of CDC recommendations for face coverings/masks in school settings, I hereby adopt such recommendations, imposing them as requirements, where applicable, until this determination is modified or rescinded. Accordingly, universal masking of teachers, staff, students, and visitors to P-12 schools over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering/mask and regardless of vaccination status, is required until this determination is modified or rescinded.”

Therefore, effective immediately, the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District will follow the mask mandate as described above.  All students, staff and guests will be required to follow the mask protocols. Below is a grid developed with the Orleans/Niagara County Superintendents in consultation with the Niagara County Department of Health (NCDOH) using current CDC guidelines, which now includes the NYS Health Commissioner’s latest directive.  

Health and Safety Protocols

Instructional Model

5 days per week, full-time instruction for all students

Classrooms

Face coverings - Mandated (per NYSDOH order)

3 ft’ of distancing (to extent practicable)

Indoor congregate areas (e.g., hallways, passing between classes)

Face coverings - Mandated (per NYSDOH order)

Transportation

Face coverings - Mandated (per CDC order)

Cafeteria

3 ft’ of distancing (to extent practicable)

Face coverings - Mandated when not eating/drinking (per NYSDOH order)

Outdoors

Face coverings - Recommended (not required)

Mask breaks of 5-10 minutes every hour (K-5) or period (6-12) will be the expectation in all classrooms, as was the case last year.

We will continue to:

  • Adjust to NYS mandates

  • Review COVID-19 infection rates in our District

  • Review COVID-19 infection rates within Niagara County

It is possible that additional documents will be provided by the NYSDOH early this week.  We will keep you updated of any changes and will be sending a recorded message to describe all of the expectations for the upcoming school year.  Our staff is excited and focused on welcoming your children for the 2021-2022 school year.

Thank you,

Daniel G. Ljiljanich

Superintendent of Schools