New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school district to make masks optional in absence of mandates

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New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school district to make masks optional in absence of mandates
The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Union Free School District amended their reopening plan to make masks optional when there is no legally binding mandate in effect. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution Monday night to make masks optional when no mandates are in effect. 

According to the meeting’s agenda, the amendment changes the district’s COVID-19 reopening plan to say, “Masks will be required indoors for all students and staff when there is in effect a legally binding mandate to wear masks; Masks will otherwise be optional.”

On Feb. 21, the state’s indoor mask mandate for schools is set to expire.

In August, the board announced a mask mandate for students, visitors and staff regardless of vaccination status. The move was made one day before Gov. Kathy Hochul instituted a mask mandate for all school districts in the state for the coming school year. 

The initial mandate was met with many questions and comments from district residents who did not support masking. 

At the August meeting, district Superintendent Jennifer Morrison cited a family saying. “Something my father always told me when I was growing up,” she said. “It’s for right now, not forever.”

Additional updates to the protocols previously set include reducing isolation and quarantining from 10 days to five and distributing COVID-19 home test kits courtesy of New York state. Two KN95 masks were distributed to each district employee after the county executive’s office made them available. 

The next Board of Education meeting for the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school district will take place Monday, March 14, at 8 p.m. at New Hyde Park Road School. There will be a budget input session at 7:30 p.m.

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