During the September 2nd board meeting, a revised health and safety plan was adopted! That plan reflects the need to keep our healthy children in school! We have revised our protocols for isolation and quarantine. You will be able to find the updated health and safety plan linked below, as well as on our website. We have also provided a quick guide for the protocols as well.
On August 31st, the PA Department of Health issued a statewide mandate for masking in all K-12 schools (and buses) beginning September 7, 2021. This mandate is above and beyond our local health and safety plan and will be in effect until otherwise notified. All GASD students and staff are required to wear facial coverings while in the school buildings and on buses. Also linked below is a resource from the PA FAQ document that will help to explain exemptions and guidelines. We will be permitting mask breaks every hour/class. Students will NOT need to wear masks while at recess or in wellness class.
As public school employees, we are required to comply and enforce this mandate. We kindly ask that you help us navigate this quick shift and understand that we will have to develop processes for enforcement as well as for exemptions. We will be quick to adapt as needed and revise to make this process more manageable for all. We anticipate some families will be requesting an exemption to this mandate. The order identifies acceptable exemptions. We are linking a form below that can be used to request an exemption. GASD intends to utilize the Section 504/IDEA process to determine eligibility for a mask exemption. You can initiate that process using the form below. Please know that we will move through those with medical documentation first. We will try to work as quickly as possible.
As a district, we hope that you can understand that we did not have advance notice of this announcement and will do our best to move quickly in developing processes. We hope that we can work together to avoid placing children in difficult situations. We MUST comply with this order. Students that had a mask exemption last year will have an automatic exemption this year. Students that arrive on Tuesday without a mask will be kindly asked to wear one.
Please understand that this decision is a state mandate and not the decision of school district employees. We ask that you recognize that individual teachers and GASD staff are required to enforce the mandate, regardless of personal beliefs. Our school administrators will work with students to address masking issues so as to keep any conflict or uncomfortable situation outside of the academic classroom setting.