Advocacy

The Carmel Central School District is joining forces with other school districts in asking for your support to petition our New York State leaders for reasonable, understandable and achievable metrics for changes to mask requirements in schools, and increased funding for mental health support for students. The last two years have been a turbulent time for students, staff and families and our district believes we have reached the time where the state needs to transition away from the pandemic learning environment.

We are asking our leaders to consider the following recommendations and ask that you make your voice heard along with us:

  • Link mask requirements to viral transmission levels and test positivity rates in schools/districts.  Only require masks if “transmission levels are deemed high” by the local Department of Health.  Note this pertains to the positivity rate in schools/districts since in-school transmission rates have been well below county and community averages. The New York State Department of Health should change the mask requirements in schools by February 21, 2022, the date the current mandate expires.
  • Increase funding for mental health support for students. Districts require ongoing, sustained resources to address the wide range of mental health needs of children and staff that have emerged or been exacerbated by the pandemic. 
  • Continue to provide adequate COVID-19 testing resources to schools so they can offer weekly COVID-19 tests to faculty, staff, and students whose parents provide consent.

Sample Letter

 

Please make your voice heard. Send the letter below to your elected officials or submit a letter electronically. Take action now!

Dear Elected Officials,

I would like to thank Governor Hochul, State Legislators, the New York State Departments of Health and Education, and County Executive Odell for your sustained efforts to contain COVID-19, for providing science-based guidance, and for your partnership with our school districts.

As a parent, I appreciate the commitment to keeping children in school by adapting COVID-19 protocols to ever-changing conditions. The availability of vaccines for all school-age children, COVID-19 surveillance testing, availability of tests, and changes to isolation and quarantine protocols have helped schools stay open for in-person learning.

Based on new resources and research, I am requesting a plan for a path forward to a more normalized school experience based on these important changes to COVID-19 health/safety protocols in school. I request the following changes be implemented by February 21, 2022, the date the current mandate expires.

Link mask requirements to viral transmission levels and test positivity rates in schools/districts. Only require masks if "transmission levels are deemed high" by the local Department of Health. Note this pertains to the positivity rate in schools/districts since in-school transmission rates have been well below county and community averages.

Continue to provide adequate COVID-19 testing resources to schools so that they can offer weekly COVID-19 tests to faculty, staff, and students whose parents provide consent.

Increase funding for mental health support for students. Districts require ongoing, sustained resources to address the wide range of mental health needs of children and staff that have emerged or been exacerbated by the pandemic.

I urge you to make these changes, which will improve the learning environment for our children and create a more normalized school experience while keeping health and safety a primary goal.

Your continued partnership with school districts to implement science-based policies in children's best interests is invaluable. I urge your swift action in implementing these significant changes to advance the path toward normalcy for our children.

Sincerely,

Contact Your New York State Leaders

The Honorable Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Phone: (518) 474-8390
Send a Message to the Governor

Dr. Betty A Rosa, Commissioner of Education
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 474-3852
Email: commissioner@nysed.gov

Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Commissioner of New York State Department of Health
Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12237

Peter Harckham, New Yok State Senator
188 State Street
Legislative Office Building, Room 812
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2340
Email: harckham@nysenate.gov

Sue Serino, New York State Senator
188 State Street
Legislative Office Building, Room 613
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2945
Email: serino@nysenate.gov

Sandy Galef, Member of Assembly, District 95
LOB 641
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5348
Email: GalefS@nyassembly.gov

Kevin M. Byrne, Member of Assembly, District 94
LOB 318
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5543
Email: ByrneK@nyassembly.gov

Kieran Michael Lalor, Member of Assembly, District 105
LOB 531
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5725
Email: LalorK@nyassembly.gov