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Update from Superintendent Alicea Regarding Masking in Schools

SCSD Superintendent Alicea mailed the following letter to families on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. 
Dear SCSD Families,

Beginning on Wednesday, March 2nd, the Syracuse City School District adopted new masking guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and the Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) for Pre-K-12 schools.

Effective Wednesday, March 2nd, universal masking will no longer be required for students, staff members, or visitors to SCSD schools. This includes on First Student buses. There will be, however, several instances in which an individual would be required to – or strongly recommended to – mask. Please see below for complete guidelines, which apply to all individuals, vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Masking is still required when:
  • Riding on public transportation, including Centro buses.
  • Returning to work or school for days 6-10 post COVID-19 infection. This includes sports and extracurricular activities.
    • If a COVID-19 infected person is unable to mask, they must be excluded from school or work for 10 days.
Masking is still strongly recommended:
  • For 10 days after a known exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual. This includes during school, work, sports, and extracurricular activities.
    • Testing is strongly encouraged at least 5 days after the last date of exposure or potential exposure, regardless of vaccination status.
  • For those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. If you are uncertain if you fall into this category, please discuss with your healthcare provider.
To ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and community, we will continue to implement mitigation strategies to help decrease the spread of COVID-19, including improved air filtration, physical distancing, frequent hand-washing, contact tracing, and weekly COVID-19 pool testing for those who have registered. Free at-home COVID test kits will continue to be provided upon request – please contact your school’s main office for details.

We will also continue to offer COVID-19 vaccination clinics. An upcoming vaccination clinic will be held at Franklin Elementary (428 S. Alvord Street) on Monday, March 7th from 4 – 6 pm. This clinic will be for first dose and booster shots, for any eligible individual aged 5 and older. No registration is required! We will continue to notify you of upcoming vaccination clinic opportunities as they arise.

As always, if your child is sick or demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms, they should be kept home from school and be tested for COVID-19. For more information, and for the latest guidance on testing and tracing, please visit

Regardless of your personal stance on masking, please remember that many people still have valid reasons to mask. The SCSD has zero tolerance for bullying, and we ask you to remind your children that it is each person’s personal choice to wear a mask and to stress the importance of being respectful of others’ choice.

Thank you for your support and cooperation as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are moving in the right direction, and we are hopeful to be able to continue easing COVID-19 restrictions!


Jaime Alicea
Superintendent of Schools
For additional information, FAQ and other updates regarding masking, testing, and more, please visit 
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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