Dear Lancaster Central School District Families and Staff,
As you know, a Long Island State Supreme Court Judge issued a ruling yesterday stating that the current New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) mask mandate is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of the State of New York includes 62 courts—one supreme court for each county. These courts are trial courts in New York State (not appellate) and are of general jurisdiction. The New York Supreme Courts are not New York's highest or the state’s courts of last resort.
This morning, the NYSDOH appealed the Nassau ruling to the Appellate Division (the next highest court in the state) and a hearing was held in which the state argued that the lower supreme court ruling should be set aside pending a ruling by the Appellate Division.
This afternoon, the Appellate Division ordered a stay of the lower supreme court ruling. This means that the current NYSDOH mask mandate for schools remains in effect at least until another ruling on the matter is made by the Appellate Division, which could happen later this week. Once a final decision has been reached, I will communicate those findings to you as well as any potential implications for masking here at Lancaster schools.
Thank you for your continued patience while we wait for this matter to be resolved. We greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation during these unprecedented times.
Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D. Superintendent of Lancaster Schools