As the start of the new school year on August 30 approaches, Penn Manor would like to clearly state its policy on the wearing of masks by students and staff.
Earlier this summer, the Penn Manor school board and administration adopted the following expectations for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Our schools will be open for in-person instruction five (5) days a week.
- Our staff and students will not be required to wear face masks while at school.
- Our staff and students will not be required to be vaccinated in order to work at or attend our schools.
- Our staff and students who wish to wear face masks as a mitigation measure will be permitted to do so – but that will be their personal choice.
In July, the Penn Manor school board adopted its official health and safety plan, which can be viewed on the district’s website. In reference to the wearing of face masks, the plan states that:
- Penn Manor District will adhere to any existing, valid and binding orders from the PA Department of Health or other governmental agency regarding facial coverings.
- The district will review any recommendations from the CDC and determine if/how it can implement prevention and mitigation measures, to the greatest extent practicable based on our community/district needs.
- In the absence of an existing, valid and binding order, it is acceptable for someone who wishes to wear a facial covering to do so, as defined by the PA Department of Health, regardless of vaccination status, in our schools
Currently, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has not issued any orders in relation to the wearing of face masks in school buildings. As a result, families and staff members are encouraged to review all relevant information from local, state, and federal organizations and make their own decisions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an order requiring face masks on all mass transit, including school buses. Because this is an existing, valid and binding order, the wearing of face masks while on school buses is an expectation for Penn Manor School District students and staff.
The administration will continue to monitor recommendations regarding prevention and mitigation measures, and implement them to the greatest extent practicable based on our community/district needs and school board direction.
Furthermore, the superintendent is empowered to develop appropriate procedures should additional orders be made by the Pennsylvania Department of Health or other legal jurisdictions.
Thank you to our students, staff and families for their cooperation as we prepare for the 2021-2022 school year.