SDST Mask Mandate

SDST Mask Mandate

Dear SDST Families,

This message is intended to provide information on the status of mask wearing for the purposes of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and offices.  At this time, and through the end of the first semester on January 28, 2022, our existing SDST Health and Safety Plan  remains in effect, which includes mandatory universal masking for all students, staff and visitors in all schools and offices.  

What about the court case decided on Friday, December 10th?

On Friday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the Commonwealth Court’s Decision which found the state-wide Order issued by the Acting Secretary of Health was unlawful. This determination was based solely upon the process used to issue the Order and not on the basis that mask mandates are unconstitutional or otherwise legally problematic. As result of this Supreme Court decision, each school district is now required to determine whether masks will be required in school buildings and school events and, if so, any exceptions to such a requirement. As stated above, our current SDST Health and Safety Plan includes universal masking.  

Are masks still required on school buses?

A CDC Order continues to require masks and that Order is currently set to expire on January 18, 2022. Masks continue to be required as a result of the CDC Order and our SDST Health and Safety Plan.

Are school districts permitted to impose mask requirements?

Section 510 of the PA School Code provides districts with broad authority to impose those regulations they believe to be appropriate, including mask mandates, in their school buildings and at school events.  Our current SDST Health and Safety Plan is based upon recommendations of the CDC and the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, and we will continue to consult these health agencies as we prepare the proposed SDST Health and Safety Plan for the second semester. 

Are school districts required to impose a mask mandate?

There is no legal requirement to impose a mask mandate, but until there is Board action we will follow the current version of our District’s Health and Safety Plan. 

When will the Board vote on an updated SDST Health and Safety Plan?

The administration will share a proposed plan for the second semester with all families on January 11, 2022.  This will allow one week for the community to review any changes to the recommendations.  The Board will vote on the revised plan at their regular meeting on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.  The revised plan will go into effect on Monday, January 31, 2022.

What is the current status of COVID-19 in our schools and community?

Springfield Township has seen steadily rising positivity and incidence rates, and is unfortunately sustaining a HIGH rate of transmission.  This is also the case in Montgomery County and PA.  We continue to update our dashboard daily as information is available.

 

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation on behalf of our entire school community.

Sincerely,

MaryJo Yannacone, Ed.D.

Superintendent