On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an order that requires the wearing of face coverings at schools starting on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
The order is issued pursuant to authority granted to the Department of Health under the Disease Prevention and Control Law, 35 P.S. Section 521.5, and requires that all teachers, students, staff and visitors wear a face covering indoors at school. Furthermore, the order states that it does not impact the obligation of schools to comply with CDC requirements concerning masking on school buses.
As a public school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Penn Manor School District is required by law to comply with this order.
Penn Manor will use the same procedure followed during the 2020-2021 school year in considering face covering medical exception requests from parents/guardians. Parents/guardians will need to provide documentation from a medical provider by completing a Face Covering Order Exception Request Form from their child’s school and submitting it to the building principal.
The Penn Manor Board of School Directors will meet on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of Penn Manor High School. At the beginning of all school board meetings, there is a public comment period. If you are interested in speaking during that time, the school board respectfully requests that you pre-register here so that an appropriate amount of time can be allocated for public comments. The school board will be accepting comments regarding the face coverings order during the meeting; however, the school board is not scheduled to take a vote on the order.
The school district is obligated to comply with the provisions of the face coverings order, including during school board meetings, unless or until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an injunction against the Acting Secretary of Health regarding the implementation and enforcement of the order.
The school board agenda will be posted to the school district website by the end of the day on Friday, September 3, and will be available here.
The timing of the face coverings order is unfortunate and disappointing, coming as it does with the 2021-2022 school year already under way. It creates a new challenge for Penn Manor community members, students and our school employees. That being said, it will not deter Penn Manor from making this school year the best that it can be, and we will continue to adjust as needed in order to provide an outstanding educational program for our students.
For more details about the face coverings order and Penn Manor’s Health and Safety Plan, please click on these links: