In our correspondence this past Friday (5/14/2021), it was noted that we were seeking clarifying information from the PA Department of Education (PDE) regarding the requirement for mask wearing – given the recent statement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allowing fully vaccinated people to “resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
The PDE, in collaboration with the PA Department of Health (PA DOH), provided school districts with their recommendation Friday evening:
“Because most K-12 students in Pennsylvania are not vaccinated and only a few weeks remain in the 2020-21 school year, PDE recommends school entities continue to follow their current mitigation strategies. Remaining consistent in approach will help to ensure the safety and well-being of school communities while minimizing disruptions that may result from significant revisions to existing plans and systems. As a reminder, school entities may implement stricter mitigation strategies than otherwise required by law, rule, and regulations.”
This past weekend, the CDC also provided further guidance about mask wearing, stating that “schools [should] continue to use the COVID-19 prevention strategies outlined in the current version of CDC’s Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools for at least the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic school year.”
Therefore, based on the recommendations from the PDE/DOH, CDC, district solicitor, and the district physician, we will continue to implement our current mitigation efforts through the remainder of the school year (June 4).
Thank you for your support as we work through the remaining days of the school year. We remain optimistic that the next school year will bring more “normalcy” to the educational process.