Will students and staff be required to wear masks?
Updated November 17, 2020
Yes. On Tuesday, November 17, Secretary Levine issued an Order related to the wearing of masks (click here).
This Order applies to all District facilities and on school buses. The updated Mask Order removed face shields from the definition of a face covering and instead, considers them an “alternative to a face covering.” Therefore, face shields will no longer be acceptable without appropriate documentation.
Staff – If a staff member believes he/she has a medical or mental health condition or disability that would permit him/her to wear an alternative to a face covering (i.e. a face shield), please reach out to Mrs. Suzanne Tabachini, Director of Human Resources, to begin the one-on-one process of determining if an accommodation is appropriate.
Students – PDE recommends any documentation provided be in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA of such medical or mental health condition or disability. If your child has a medical or mental health condition or disability that you believe would permit an alternative to a face covering (i.e. a face shield), and it has not already been documented, please reach out to your school principal to discuss your child’s need for accommodation.
For both staff and students, it is important to note that a doctor’s note alone is not sufficient documentation to exempt an individual from wearing a mask or to wear a face shield.
Parents are encouraged to provide a face covering for their child that the child is comfortable wearing. Masks will be available on buses and at buildings in case of need. Refusal to wear a mask will result in a student being sent home.
Will students be given time to wash their hands?
Students and staff will be encouraged to wash hands frequently, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Additional reinforcement and monitoring of hand washing will be provided prior to lunch and upon return from breakfast, snack, and recess. Classrooms at all levels without sinks will be provided with hand sanitizer bottles. Hand sanitizing products will be readily available in common areas and students may bring their own sanitizers to school as well.
Additionally, posters will be placed around the school
to remind students and staff to avoid touching their eyes, mouth and nose as much as possible, avoid contact with people who are sick, cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into their upper sleeve or elbow, and wash their hands after coughing and sneezing.
Will the District require social distancing?
Yes. Our goal is to maintain a minimum of 3-6 feet of distance in all areas. We will follow new procedures to promote physical social distance to the greatest extent possible on buses, in the hallways, cafeteria, and classrooms. To assist with staggering use of communal spaces, students are encouraged to use backpacks. Lockers will be assigned upon request.
How will classrooms look?
Desk and tables will be spaced to accommodate as much physical distancing as possible. The District will actively reduce the number of high touch areas and limit shared materials, objects, and supplies. Weather permitting, outdoor learning spaces will be utilized where available.
How will lunch and recess work?
Physical distancing will occur to the greatest extent possible. Buildings may create additional dining spaces, including outside spaces where appropriate. Time for hand washing will be provided prior to lunch and upon return from breakfast and recess. Hand sanitizing stations will be available, and high touch areas including tables, sanitized after each lunch.
Will transportation be provided for students?
Yes. We will have students sit with families and social distance to the extent possible. Buses will be disinfected at the conclusion of the morning, mid-day, afternoon, and extracurricular runs. This includes handrails, bus seats, and other high touch surfaces. Windows and roof hatches will be open whenever possible for increased ventilation
How will music, libraries, and assemblies look?
The music department is developing a plan for socially distanced ensemble rehearsals. They will also establish procedures to clean/sanitize equipment and spaces following each use as appropriate. Unfortunately, assemblies, grade level events, etc. will be discontinued. This will be reevaluated as the COVID-19 landscape changes.
What will these changes mean for assemblies, family nights, extra-curricular activities, and other events?
Currently these events will not occur. This will be reevaluated as the COVID-19 landscape changes. The District has approved an Athletic Health and Safety Plan
for resuming sports during COVID-19.
Can parents and others still volunteer at school?
Unfortunately, no. The District will work to significantly reduce outside visitors unless it is critical for a student’s needs.