Superintendent's Message

Superintendent of Schools
Mr. John McNamara
516-679-6300

Mr. John McNamara, Superintendent

Dear Wantagh Community,  

I hope you are having a rewarding summer. I look forward to welcoming our students back to school next week for a successful start to the 2021-22 school year. As we continue to work our way through this pandemic, an updated copy of our school reopening plan has been posted to our district website and can be found here. Here is some important information about how school will open:

  • All students will return for in-person instruction for the 2021-22 school year. The first day of school for students is Wednesday, September 1, 2021.
  • After Governor Hochul’s recent announcement this week that masks will be mandated in all schools, the district will open the school year with the requirement for universal masking indoors and on buses for students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. Masks will remain optional outside on school grounds.
  • The district will continue to prioritize in-person instruction and will not be offering a remote program this year. If your child has a medical concern that may prohibit them from attending school in-person, please contact your building principal to start the process for home instruction.
  • Desk barriers were removed from classrooms at the end of last year and will not be used to start this school year. Barriers will be used in some cafeteria settings.
  • Staff and students will no longer be temperature screened upon entry into the building.
  • A resumption of all extra-curricular activities will take place as traditionally scheduled.
  • The Nassau County Department of Health has also provided the district with additional direction regarding contact tracing and quarantining for the upcoming school year. In a K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within three to six feet of an infected student if both the infected student and the exposed student correctly and consistently wore masks the entire time. This change should result in the need for less quarantining while masking is in place.
  • Governor Hochul also indicated that the New York State Department of Health will be providing schools with additional guidance and our reopening procedures will be updated as necessary, when that guidance is received.   
  • COVID cases in the district will be reported to Nassau County and NYS Department of Health as required. A weekly update on COVID cases in the district will be sent out to the school community.

Unfortunately, rising COVID cases and the arrival of the new COVID variant in recent weeks has slowed our progress slightly as we start this year. We had hoped to be further along after showing such great signs of progress through May, June, and the beginning of July. A metric is included in the reopening plan to continue to evaluate conditions in Nassau County and mitigation efforts will be adjusted as conditions improve.

 

I look forward to a healthy, safe, and productive 2021-22 school year for all students. I will continue to keep the community updated as we navigate through this challenging situation.

 

Sincerely,

 

John C. McNamara

Superintendent of Schools