Horseheads Central School District
Mask Wearing Procedure
(In Place until Further Notice)
This mask-wearing procedure complies with NYS Department of Health (DOH) Guidance for In-Person Instruction during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and the NYS Department of Education Reopening Guidance.
Horseheads Schools requires facial coverings in all district buildings and facilities by students, staff, and visitors.
Specifically, mask wearing is required:
- On all school transportation*
- In the hallways*
- During any transitions from class to class/offices/lunchrooms*
- During bathroom trips*
- At school functions in Horseheads schools or off site*
- During recess and on playgrounds^
- During class time#
* Subject to any documented medical exemption
^ Unless you are able to socially distance
# In order to meet the DOH requirements, students will be permitted mask breaks and have the ability to remove masks during instructional time when everyone in a classroom is socially distant and stationary. If instruction requires something other than a stationary, socially distant situation, teachers will give students cues that they need to put on their masks. Mask use will be strictly enforced and any violations of the mask protocol or failure to comply with the reasonable directions of a teacher will be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct.
What constitutes a mask?
A mask is a facial covering which covers both the nose and mouth. It may be cloth or disposable.
What about face shields?
Face shields do not qualify as a required facial covering but may be worn in addition to masks.
What about lunch time?
Students may remove their masks once they are seated and socially distanced to eat their lunch.
What do I do if I do not have a mask or I lose my mask?
We will provide face coverings for those students and staff who are unable to provide their own or who lose their mask during the day.
All schools and buses will have a supply of masks for individuals to immediately use.
What if a child cannot wear a mask for health or other reasons?
If a child has a medical or other need and cannot wear a mask, we must require written notice from the child’s medical provider with final determination being made by the district’s physician. Your building principal is a resource for discussing medical accommodations required by your student. The written notice must be received and accepted by the school before the student will be permitted to not wear a mask on the bus or in the school building. [Please note: Our bus drivers cannot accept this written notice when a child gets on the bus. For this reason, we ask that parents work through this situation directly with the school principal.]
What if someone refuses to wear a mask?
The district is required to deny entry to any person who refuses to wear a mask. Please see the following Superintendent’s Directive:
All people who enter school property, which also includes school vehicles, or attend school sponsored events are directed and required to follow the District’s Re-Opening Plan and written protocols. This includes, but is not limited to, any requirements to wear face masks, wash hands, maintain social distancing, permit temperature checks, and answer screening questionnaires. Failure to follow the Plan or protocols, as well as failure to follow the directive of an appropriate school official relating to following the Plan or protocols, may result in a person being refused entrance, or an administrator directing the person to leave the school property or event. It may also result in further consequences as follows:
- for all people, the District may contact law enforcement for trespass where the person refuses to leave school property as directed, as well as for any other violations committed;
- for students, discipline pursuant to the District’s Code of Conduct for insubordination, endangering the health, safety, or welfare of others, as well as other applicable violations of the Code of Conduct;
- for parents and other visitors, ban on attending school events as well as consequences pursuant to the Visitors’ Code of Conduct;
- for school personnel formal discipline, up to and including termination.