Good morning. I wanted to take a moment to address recent media reports about potential changes to masking policies in schools based on Harrisburg updates announced yesterday. We have been advised by our Solicitor that PA schools are under no obligation to adjust local Health and Safety Plans at this time.
Admittedly, none of us likes wearing masks while onsite, but we do believe the masks have allowed us to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, along with other COVID-mitigation practices being implemented. With two major holidays coming up in the next few weeks, we ask all families and staff to continue supporting this very important component of our PHSD Health and Safety Plan that was approved by our local Board of School Directors and subsequently filed with the PA Department of Education.
Our District will be releasing a survey prior to the start of Winter Break to help us gauge family and staff sentiment regarding masks in schools as we approach the start of our second semester mid-January. Our District's Pandemic Review Committee will be helping us to review stakeholder thoughts on masks as expressed via our survey, along with current COVID-19 case numbers within our community after we return from Winter Break. We expect to present to our Board of School Directors a recommendation about masks (whether to keep the mask mandate in place or to convert to a volunteer-only position on masks) during our Wednesday, January 12, 2022 Safety/Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting scheduled for 6:00 pm in the Linton cafeteria. This meeting is open to the public. Our Board is expected to take formal action on the committee's recommendation at its subsequent voting session scheduled for Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 6:00 pm in the Linton cafeteria. This meeting is also open to the public.
In the interim, please consider vaccinating yourself and encouraging vaccination for those among your family and friends who are eligible. PHSD will be hosting its latest vaccination clinics in conjunction with UPMC as follows:
- Wed, Nov 24 (11:00 am-2:00 pm)
- Wed, Dec 15 (4:00 pm-6:00 pm)
Both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available onsite, and UPMC clinicians will be vaccinating eligible individuals for the first time, along with those who are seeking a booster. The clinics will operate out of the Linton cafeteria. Walk-ins are welcome!