SDST Health and Safety Plan

SDST Health and Safety Plan

Dear SDST Families and Staff,

This email is being sent to all staff and families in the The School District of Springfield Township regarding the current status of masking in our schools.  The PA Department of Education has released the following statement today:

Earlier today, the Commonwealth Court issued a ruling voiding Acting Secretary Beam’s school mask order. The state is filing an appeal today, which will trigger a stay of the Court’s ruling and keep the order in effect.

Schools should continue to observe the school masking order throughout the duration of the court’s proceedings.

For additional context and background, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Office of the Governor, is providing the following statement to our schools:

The Secretary of Health's authority is clearly outlined in existing law. The Department of Health has    directed counsel to file an appeal today. Filing of the appeal will immediately stay the Commonwealth    Court’s decision. School masking is a necessary public health measure to keep children safe and      provide them with as much in-person learning in school as possible. Medical experts agree – hospitals    and healthcare professionals across the state support the masking requirement. Requiring masks in      schools is helping to keep students in classrooms and the virus out and is recommended by theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Earlier this week, Governor Tom Wolf announced that on January 17, 2022, it is anticipated that the commonwealth’s K-12 school mask requirement will return to local control. Upon the expiration of the statewide mandate, schools may continue requiring mask-wearing based on local policy and CDC guidance.

 

In addition to this statement by the PA Department of Education, SDST has an approved Health and Safety Plan (August 3, 2021) which includes universal masking of all students, staff and visitors in all schools and offices.  Regardless of the outcome of the legal proceedings of the state, we will maintain our current practice of universal masking until a revised Health and Safety Plan is presented to and approved by the Board of School Directors.  Any revisions to the Plan will be based upon continued guidance of the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, CDC recommendations for schools, and local measures, including the rates of vaccination of SDST staff and students and transmission rates in Springfield Township.  The next scheduled update to the Plan is January 2022.  

Currently, roughly 80% of our students in grades 7-12 and 93% of our staff are vaccinated.  We are very happy to have approximately 800 students (primarily ages 5-11) registered to receive the vaccine this Friday.  I will be sharing information on Montgomery County's modified quarantine program, also known as "Test to Stay" at Tuesday evening's board meeting.   These positive steps help us to see a "light at the end of the tunnel" for the pandemic.  However, we are currently in a Substantial rate of transmission in Springfield Township, with many surrounding communities in High or Substantial.  As a result, we thank all members of the community for continued compliance with our existing Health and Safety Plan.  

Sincerely,

MaryJo Yannacone, Ed.D.

Superintendent