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Buffalo Public Schools will require masks for the 2021-2022 school year

If you're entering a Buffalo Public School building in September, you'll be required to wear a mask.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Public School District released an update Monday on plans for the 2021-2022 school year amid the pandemic and the recent delta variant. 

The district said it is planning for a full reopening of schools on Wednesday, September 8.

"As of today, we are expecting all students to return to school buildings, full-time, five days per week. The highly contagious and currently dominant COVID Delta variant continues to create unpredictable conditions for all school districts and, therefore, our plans may change or be amended. Please be assured, however, that we are preparing for as safe a 2021-2022 school year as possible under the circumstances."

The first item on the addendum issued by the district addresses a mask requirement.

"Masks are required for all individuals inside school buildings regardless of vaccination status. When outside, masks may be removed if activities are designed to keep students socially distanced for most of the time," the addendum said. 

Here is some of what the district's addendum is with COVID 19 safety and protection protocols:

  • The district said all students will attend school full-time, in-person, five days per week. Exemptions for specific medical reasons will follow the District’s updated requirements for Medical Leave Instruction.
  • Computer devices are currently undergoing a thorough sanitization process and being prepared to provide secure student access to grade-appropriate instructional resource tools for a phased-in redistribution for the start of school. New computer devices are being purchased and expected to arrive in the District by late fall.
  • Physical Education classes should be conducted outside in acceptable weather. When classes are conducted inside, students will be masked. Teachers should make specific efforts to establish properly distanced mask breaks for students.
  • The District will participate in our regular program of Section VI Varsity sports. All other athletics programs normally in place in the District shall re-launch on September 8. All COVID-19 safety protocols previously in place for all BPS sports programs shall continue.
  • The BPS After School Program is on hold until further notice.
  • Saturday Community School Programs in collaboration with Say Yes Buffalo is scheduled to begin phasing in throughout the District in October.
  • Until further notice, field trips will not be scheduled. High School student internships, work assignments, or other release programs shall commence on schedule on September 8.

Earlier Monday, Erie County Department of Health officials held a listening session with several school districts. It's unclear which district the department of health met with, they would not release that information to WGRZ when asked.

"Be assured that we will do our very best work as a school district to educate, support, and advance the academic and social-emotional learning of the children of Buffalo. You have the resolute dedication of thousands of staff and an unwavering Board of Education committed to those goals," Cash said in his letter to parents.