Penfield to require masks, physical distancing as part of school reopening guidelines

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WHEC) —We’re getting our first glimpse at a local school reopening plan as the Penfield Central School District Tuesday released its strategy for bringing students back to school full-time in the fall.

The district says it will implement safety measures ranging from the following:

  • Universal masking when indoors for all students and staff regardless of vaccination status. Mask breaks will be incorporated throughout the day. Masking will be optional when outdoors.
  • Physical distancing of three feet in classrooms.
  • Physical distancing of six eet when eating and any other time masks must be removed (i.e. music)
  • Handwashing reminders to students and explicit handwashing instruction for our youngest learners.
  • Hand sanitizing throughout the day.
  • Sanitizing rooms, buses, and high traffic areas regularly.
  • Mandatory masks on buses with windows open to increase airflow.
  • In lieu of daily health checks, parents and staff will be asked to sign a one-time attestation for the school year.
  • Limited visitors to schools for the month of September.

While the measures are in place, the district will allow parent volunteers in K-5 classrooms where possible. Additionally, field trips, clubs, and open houses are still either on, or will be possibly held. Distancing and masking will still apply.

As we’ve reported, the NYS Department of Health will not be issuing guidelines for districts to reopen with, instead, both the NYS DOH, and Monroe County’s DOH suggest district follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) did say Tuesday it will provide guidance to districts, but, it comes as plans are evidently being released.

As for Penfield, the district says it will continue to review and adjust its protocols as the school year progresses.