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PA DOH Order Directing Face Coverings in Schools - Parent Exception Request Form
September 7, 2021
Once again, the Shanksville-Stonycreek School District, along with all K-12 public and private schools, are challenged with addressing what is best for our small community. On August 5, 2021, based on the results of a community survey about facial coverings for the 2021-22 school year, the Board of Directors voted to allow masking to be a parent’s choice and optional for students and staff.
At that time, school boards were being granted local control over decision making for mitigation of COVID-19. On Tuesday, August 31, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) imposed a universal facial covering order requiring all students, staff, and visitors to wear facial coverings, while indoors, beginning Tuesday, September 7, until further notice.
As promised in the August 5 Board meeting, the Board reconvened and held a special meeting on September 7 to discuss the latest facial covering order and the SSSD Health and Safety Plan. This evening, the Board agreed to follow the current facial covering order set forth by DOH and to allow parents to submit a request form for students to qualify for a facial covering exception.
Existing safety measures, like social distancing, will be in place as well as planned mask breaks for those wearing masks. Also, remember that the School Board of Directors hired three additional elementary teachers through ESSER grant funding (at no expense to the district) for class size reduction to address learning loss and to provide a safer learning environment for our students.
If you feel your child will meet the exceptions to facial coverings outlined in the DOH universal facial covering order, please complete and submit a form to your child’s respective building office as soon as possible. The facial covering exception form can be found here. Please remember to complete one form per student.
Nothing is more important than the safety of our students and staff and we will continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic in an effort to keep everyone safe while moving past this unfortunate event.
Dr. Samuel J. Romesberg, III