A growing list of Hudson Valley schools issued their own guidance this week, mandating students wear masks in the classroom.

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On Thursday, New York State Department of Heal Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said school districts should follow guidance from the CDC as they develop plans for in-person school this fall.

"With the end of the state disaster emergency on June 25, 2021, school districts are reestablished as the controlling entity for schools. Schools and school districts should develop plans to open in-person in the fall as safely as possible, and I recommend following guidance from the CDC and local health departments," Zucker stated.

The CDC recommended all school children wear masks in the classroom this fall.

On Friday, Saugerties School District Superintendent of Schools Kirk Reinhardt released guidance for the upcoming school year and confirmed students and staff will be wearing masks.

"All staff and students will be required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. District schools will allow for mask breaks, while maintaining physical distancing. We will continue to maintain a minimum of 3 feet of social distance between students, and 6 feet between students and staff, to the best of our ability," Reinhardt stated.

Reinhardt added the goal is to have students in the classroom five days a week but notes things could change.

"Our goal is to hold 100% in-person instruction five days a week for our students. We will continue to monitor the guidance from the DOH or the State Education Department and adjust these requirements as conditions change," Reinhard said. "We will pivot to remote instruction whenever necessary as a result of a positive individual who may have impacted others."

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The Kingston City School District released its reopening plan for the upcoming school year and also announced students will be wearing masks this fall.

"Students, staff and visitors to our schools will be expected to wear face coverings indoors, including on the school bus. Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals and for short breaks so long as they maintain appropriate social distance. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering will not be required to wear one," the reopening plan states.

Kingston students will continue to learn during a "hybrid/blended learning model."

"Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, our district has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as is in a fully remote environment," the reopening plan states. "As noted previously, student schedules (time of day and letter days) will remain the same whether instruction is in-person or remote so that students do not encounter conflicts wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously."

On Friday, SUNY New Paltz updated its fall 2021 guidance and announced everyone must wear masks indoors.

"On Aug. 6, in light of new CDC recommendations and the spread of the Delta variant, the College revised fall 2021 guidance to restore the on-campus, indoor mask requirement for everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated. This post has been updated to reflect that change," the college states.

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