2022-2023 District Health & Safety Plan
September 16, 2022
We wanted you to be aware that the District Health & Safety Plan for 2022-2023 was reviewed last evening at the school board meeting. There is no longer an expectation for contact tracing and quarantines for healthy individuals. The CDC no longer recommends quarantines for staff and students in K-12 schools who were exposed to COVID-19 if they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Therefore, we do not plan to send messages to families of children who were close contacts to a positive individual.
As always, students and staff who are feeling ill for any reason are expected to stay home from school. We also request that parents of students who test positive for COVID-19 continue to notify the school nurse of the positive test and follow instructions provided by their health care providers and school nurse.
If you have any questions, please contact your building principal or school nurse. Thank you and have a healthy school year.
Dr. Troy Price
COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan, Updated 3/17/22
COVID-19 Documents, Updated 2/25/22
Updated District Health and Safety Plan
Dear Panther Families and Staff,
At the Board meeting last evening, the Board of School Directors approved a significant change to the District Health and Safety plan. Beginning Monday, January 10, 2022, students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, deemed to be a “close contact,” who are healthy; that is asymptomatic, should remain in school and not quarantine. These students or staff should then wear a mask for 10 days following the exposure date.
An exception: Any unvaccinated individual residing in the same household with a positive case is required to quarantine.
Please see the updated EPASD COVID-19 Decision Tool (attached) for more specific information. Our goal remains to continue in-person learning as much as possible. Thank you for your understanding and support.
Dr. Donna Dunar
Dear Panther Families and Staff,
Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed a good holiday break with your families. As you may be aware, over the winter break, the CDC changed the COVID-19 guidelines. Essentially, now, the isolation time at home for people who test positive for COVID-19 has been reduced to 5 days. In summary, students and staff with COVID-19 should isolate for a minimum of 5 days, and as long as their symptoms have improved and they are without fever for at least 24 hours (without fever reducing medication), they may return to school with a mask for an additional 5 days. This applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status. Please always follow your doctor’s orders in regard to a return date.
As far as quarantine periods for those exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, this piece has also changed. The recommended quarantine periods for those exposed to a positive individual are based on the close contact’s vaccination status. Please see the EPASD COVID-19 Decision Tool (below) for more specific information.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health updated their guidance on December 30, 2021 to match the CDC’s updated guidelines. EPASD is now following this new guidance, as per the District’s Health and Safety Plan.
Please note, we will be highlighting this new guidance at our upcoming School Board meeting on Thursday, January 6th at 7:00pm in the East Pennsboro Elementary School LGI. Our goal remains to continue in-person learning as we have. Thank you for your support on the home front.
Dr. Donna Dunar
Masking Update - December 10, 2021:
Dear Panther Families,
This afternoon the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Commonwealth Court, which vacated the mask mandate for schools. At this point, East Pennsboro Area School District will follow our Safety Plan, which states that masks are optional for all students and staff in absence of a mask mandate. Starting Monday, December 13th, masks will be optional for students and staff. However, the Federal Transportation Order is currently in effect through March 18, 2022. This means that students will still need to wear a mask while riding school transportation.
Dear Panther Families,
In our last communication concerning the mask mandate on November 19th, we communicated that as per our safety plan, masks would be optional starting December 6th; however, as of yesterday, November 30th, Pennsylvania schools must maintain masking orders until the PA Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Dec. 8. This latest ruling overturns a Commonwealth Court decision that lifted masking guidelines on Dec. 4.
Thus, face coverings are still required, and we will provide an update after December 8th.
Dear EPASD Families & Staff,
We wanted to provide you with an update regarding face coverings in school. On November 16, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court stated that effective Saturday, December 4, 2021, the mask mandate will be lifted for schools. Absent any additional court rulings prior to that time, local mitigation plans will take effect for East Pennsboro Area School District beginning on Monday, December 6, 2021. Therefore, we revert back to our Health and Safety plan at that time and masks become optional at school beginning December 6.
Although masks are optional in school and on school grounds, they are required on the school buses/vans per the CDC public transportation order effective February 1, 2021. This transportation order is currently effective until January 18, 2022. We understand that this has been a challenge with all of the changing guidance for schools. We thank you for your cooperation and support as we navigate this challenging time together.
November 10, 2021 - As you may have heard on the news today, there was a Commonwealth Court ruling that voided the state mandate requiring students, teachers, and staff to wear face coverings in Pennsylvania schools. Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Health is filing an appeal. The appeal will place the abolition of the mask mandate on hold. According to the PA Department of Education, schools are still required to maintain the mask mandate. We will continue to monitor both the spread within the District as well as community spread and continue to communicate the status of cases on an ongoing basis.
One exception provided in Section 3 of the Order is if wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition, or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability.
Please consult with your healthcare provider for advice about wearing cloth face coverings. We ask that you provide your school with a physician’s note if your doctor is recommending that your child does not wear a mask (please use the Mask Exemption Request Form). Once you have completed the form, and provided this to your child's building principal, the principal and school nurse will review and request to meet with you to discuss your request and supporting documentation regarding your child's condition or disability. This is an interactive process that may require the principal's request for additional documentation. A determination will then be made concerning approval of your mask exemption request for your child. This can then be communicated by the school, once approved, to your child’s teachers so they are aware.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act requires each school district that receives funding under the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to provide the opportunity for stakeholders to provide input about how the grant funds will be utilized and to develop a Health and Safety Plan for return to school in the fall.
COVID-19 Notification Letter Archive