Masks are optional in Watertown City School District

The NYSDOH plans to release a new guidance document this afternoon.  More updates will follow.

As of right now…
Masks will be Optional in WCSD schools starting Wednesday, March 2.
Governor Hochul is lifting our mask mandate in schools effective this Wednesday, March 2. She used the following information to determine this:

  • 98% drop in positive cases since peak in January 2022

  • 51 consecutive days of a downward trend of COVID-19 cases

  • 7-day average currently at 1.7% percent compared to 23% at January peak

  • Declining hospitalization rates for 48 consecutive days

  • High vaccination rates among adults and children

This mask-optional protocol is supported by the CDC. Supporting students through the shift to a mask-optional school environment is a priority. To that end, it is important that parents/guardians make decisions involving their child(ren). We encourage parents/guardians to share with their children what their expectations are around mask-wearing and why, as well as why others may choose differently.

Different perspectives may be grounded in health concerns or different beliefs. For some, eliminating masks from their daily lives will be an easy transition. For others, it may be a habit they shed in some situations and continue to employ in other environments, and there are still others who won’t feel comfortable eliminating masks from their daily lives at all. Common ground will be established at school and students should feel safe and respected no matter their family’s choice.  As always, please encourage your child to talk to a trusted adult at school if they experience discomfort in any setting so that support can be provided and a sense of well-being can be restored. Any type of mask/vaccine shaming online or in person will not be tolerated.

I am proud of our staff, students, and community for working together the past two years.  I know it hasn’t been easy.  Keep up the great work!

I will be sharing this information in my report to the board this evening.  Feel free to tune into the meeting.  The link will be on our ​website and posted on ParentSquare.

Thank you for your continued support as we move forward.  Stay tuned – more updates to follow!

Superintendent LaBarr