A message from the Superintendent

Superintendent’s Update #34

February 27, 2022

Dear Chappaqua Central School District Families and Staff,

I hope this email finds you well and that the break allowed for time to relax. I write today to share two important updates as we prepare to reopen schools Monday morning.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine - Instructional Approach & Student Support

Over the past few days, we have watched the disturbing and upsetting media coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We anticipate that our older students will want to understand and talk about this with our faculty and each other when they return to school.

To prepare for these conversations, our professional development team shared differentiated resources with our staff over the weekend. In many of our classrooms, based on the age of our students and the subject being taught, these events will likely not be addressed. At the secondary level, we will discuss the invasion in our Social Studies classes.

Children will react differently as this situation continues to evolve and they are exposed to more information through the media. Please reach out to your child’s principal or guidance counselor if you feel your child needs support during this unsettling time.

Resources for your consideration to support conversations at home:

UPDATE: Indoor and School Transportation Masking Requirement

This afternoon, Governor Hochul announced at a 2pm press conference that the NYS indoor masking requirement for schools would be lifted this Wednesday (3/2) and that written guidance will be released shortly. She also indicated in this press conference that local health departments may impose mask requirements for public school districts under their purview.

Please be aware that masks are required in our schools and on district transportation this Monday (2/28) and Tuesday (3/1).

As outlined in Superintendent’s Update #30, when the mask mandate is lifted on Wednesday, masks will no longer be mandated for individuals inside of our buildings by CCSD unless required in writing by the Westchester County Department of Health (WCDOH). The CDC has adjusted their masking order, and as such, masks will no longer be required on school transportation unless otherwise indicated in the new written guidance to be released by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) or required by the WCDOH.

Please understand that given the mask mandate is being lifted largely in part based on CDC COVID-19 community level metrics, masks could be reinstated at some point in the future by the public health department.

Provided the NYSDOH shares written guidance with CCSD adjusting the mask requirement for public schools, as indicated in today’s press conference by the Governor’s office, please be advised of the following adjustments to our COVID-19 protocols starting Wednesday (3/2):

  • Masks will be voluntary. The decision of an individual to wear a mask (or not) while inside our buildings, will be respected by all students, staff, and guests.
  • In our classrooms, seating arrangements, partnerships and groupings will not be adjusted based on an individual’s mask choice.
  • Class assignments and bus routes for students will not be adjusted based on the staff member’s mask choice.
  • At this time, individuals recovering from COVID on days 6-10 are required to wear a mask inside and while riding district transportation based on the current NYSDOH guidance. This is the only scenario inside our buildings and on District transportation where our staff will monitor masking.**

**Please be aware adjustments may be made to the above procedures once CCSD receives and reviews the forthcoming written guidance from the NYSDOH or if the WCDOH issues an indoor mask requirement for all public schools in Westchester.

All outside groups using our indoor facilities will follow the same procedures as the school district and will be able to adjust their COVID plans accordingly starting this Wednesday. Also, at this time, all other COVID procedures will remain in place until further guidance is released from the NYSDOH that allows for an adjustment (ex. lunch protocols, social distancing in classrooms, exposure notification). Finally, please note that we are well supplied with COVID test kits for families to test their children as they see fit. Parents can continue to pick up test kits from the reception desk of their child’s school.

As soon as the NYSDOH guidance is shared with us that outlines the procedures associated with the announced mask adjustment by the Governor, I will share that information with you.

Thank you for your understanding and support. We look forward to welcoming our students back to school tomorrow.


Christine Ackerman, PhD
Superintendent of Schools