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September 3, 2021: Face Covering Order Update

Dear Rocket Families, 

Yesterday, September 2, 2021, we communicated to you the information regarding the order from the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health directing face coverings in all school entities that begins Tuesday, September 7, 2021. As I mentioned yesterday, we are working with many state organizations, our colleagues, and our district solicitor to better understand the specifics of the order, the exceptions, and the enforcement.  

At this time, it is our intention to continue to implement our existing Health and Safety Plan while we consider the order’s full impact to the continuity of students’ educational programs without interference. There are still several questions left unanswered. As we continue consultation with district counsel, and until we can fully understand the Department of Health’s requirements of school entities to implement (i.e., provide for medical exceptions, and enforce the mandate equitably, uniformly, and without major disruption to student learning), we are allowing for a grace period through Friday, September 10, 2021. In the interim of full implementation, we will continue to highly encourage the use of face coverings as outlined in the District’s Health and Safety Plan. During the grace period, any student who is not wearing a face covering while indoors in our school facilities will be provided with one and asked to wear it for the duration of their time inside the school building without fear of being sent home or disciplined. 

For those who intend to submit a medical exception, you may download the medical exception form that will be made available on Tuesday, September 7th, from our district website on the COVID-19 webpage or obtain a paper copy from your child’s school building.  

As stated in my earlier communication, while we must abide by the order as it imposes a legal obligation on the Spring Grove Area School District, we must also perform our due diligence in implementing the mandate as it has a direct impact on our students’ continuity of education. We hope to have clarity and further direction by the close of the day Friday, September 10, and will share updates with you.  

 

Sincerely, 

Dr. George W. Ioannidis 
Superintendent