Mask rule to remain in effect while court proceedings continue

Update 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 25

Dear Members of the GJSD Family, 

Today was, for many schools, a test of community strength, leadership, and our ability to see the mission through to educate our students in a safe and orderly environment. As such, our Johnstown students, their families, and our educators need to be thanked for rising to the occasion during a difficult time. 

Covid-19 protocols, such as masking, distancing, quarantine, testing and vaccination have been something we’ve lived with and have endured for nearly two years. It would be safe to say that everyone in our community is quite tired and eagerly wants change – a simple return to normal. Change is coming, and we are a little nearer to normal. Over the past few days, however, we have been reminded that certain safety protocols – like masking – are changing more slowly than we might like. 

As you may be aware, on Monday, Jan. 24, a Nassau County Supreme Court judge ruled that the way the state created its mask mandate was unconstitutional and a violation of state law. However, following a court hearing today, a “stay” was issued on this decision. This means that the mask mandate will continue to be in effect statewide while court proceedings continue. 

Therefore, public school districts in New York State, including the GJSD, remain subject to the Department of Health masking mandate, at least for the time being. The District will continue to update our community on any changes in that decision. 

Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our school community. We also remain committed to providing the most up-to-date information to our staff and families. As this most recent situation evolves, we will continue to update you. 

Please accept our sincere thanks for your continued support and partnership. Our community pride continues to show when we strive to understand everyone’s position during tough times, even as we did today. We hope you reach out whenever you feel we can offer clarity or support for your questions and concerns. 

Dr. Crankshaw, 

Superintendent of School