Bay Ridge

Poly Prep students will keep their masks on

February 15, 2022 Jaime DeJesus
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The Dept. of Health has put the kibosh on Poly Prep Country Day School’s plan to be the first city school to make masks optional.

On Feb. 9, the school’s online publication, the Polygon, said the mask requirement would be lifted Feb. 14.

Sarah Zuercher, Poly Prep’s health and well-being director, emailed parents Feb. 11 to tell them students can’t come to school without a mask.

“We received clarity today from the NY State Department of Health and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that such a measure is not permissible under current state- and city-wide restrictions,” Zuercher wrote.

The ruling affects Poly Prep’s lower school in Park Slope and its middle and upper school campus in Dyker Heights.

Zuercher acknowledged that students would be disappointed by the change of plan.

“When speaking with your children, we recommend discussing the need to be flexible in life,” she wrote.

Other schools also want the mandate lifted. Last month, Msgr. David Cassato, vicar for Catholic schools, and Thomas Chadzutko, superintendent of Catholic school support services, wrote a letter to parents and faculty in the diocese to say masks should be optional.

“We are doing a fine job,” Cassato said. “We tell the kids if you don’t feel well to stay home. 

When you come in, get a temperature check. There are a whole lot of precautions that we’re taking every single day. Sanitizing the schools every night. I think it’s time. And if you feel that you need a mask, wear one.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul said the mandate will be reviewed in March.


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