Dear SDST Staff and Families,
This email is intended to inform you that Montgomery County moved into the HIGH level for Covid-19 last evening due to case rate and new hospital admissions. Masks are strongly recommended for all students and staff beginning Monday, May 23, 2022 indoors and on school buses.
Our SDST Health and Safety Plan states that we will review and consider the recommendations of both the CDC and the Montgomery Office of Public Health (MCOPH), as well as local factors when determining how best to reduce infection spread in our community. Among the local factors I have considered are trends in our district wide current case count. Case counts within the District have actually gone down over the past two weeks (76 last week, 58 this week) and we have successfully managed staff coverage and the percentage of staff and student cases at each building.
Based upon the recommendations of the CDC when communities are in HIGH that we “consider setting-specific recommendations for prevention strategies based on local factors,” effective Monday, May 23, 2022, Springfield Township schools will utilize our building-level data to determine whether masking is strongly recommended or required. I am recommending that the Board of School Directors determine a threshold for moving to a mask mandate in our schools, and I have suggested that the threshold be 5% for current case counts by building. I have chosen this threshold based upon my understanding of significant schoolwide outbreaks. The Board will discuss my recommendation below at a future board meeting:
- If a school reaches a threshold of 5% or greater in current case count while in HIGH, universal masking of all students and staff would be required indoors and on school buses.
- When in HIGH and below 5% current case count, masking by individuals indoors and on buses would be strongly recommended.
When in MEDIUM or HIGH, outbreaks of 3 or more cases within a classroom, team, or ensemble will continue to result in required masking of students and staff in that classroom/group for 14 days, while indoors or on school buses, per MCOPH guidance.
Here is our current local data and mask status for March 23-27:
|School||Current cases||Total staff & students||Infection percentage||
|Middle School||12||701||1.71%||Strongly recommended|
|High School||12||848||1.41%||Strongly recommended|
As a school community, we all share the responsibility for reducing the spread of Covid-19.
- We strongly recommend indoor use of masks for staff and students.
- We strongly recommend the use of masks for large indoor group events, such as concerts, art shows, and meetings.
- We are shifting to virtual meetings whenever feasible until we return to LOW.
- We continue to encourage personal hygiene and screening for symptoms.
- Please remain home when experiencing symptoms or if you test positive for Covid-19.
- If you have not already submitted your child’s vaccinations records to the school nurse, please consider doing so.
Within our district operations, the following measures are in place:
- We will continue to maintain effective ventilation in our schools and offices, and open windows to bring in fresh air where feasible.
- We are using bi-polar ionization units in all buildings for enhanced clean air exchange.
- We are spraying all high-touch surfaces with a disinfectant on a daily basis.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms is encouraged to take a test and anyone with a known exposure should test between 3-5 days after exposure to either confirm or rule out the presence of Covid-19 before returning to school or work. Those testing positive will be required to quarantine at home for 5 days, and then mask at school/work for 5 additional days. You can access testing at a number of regional locations. For more information, please visit our Covid-19 resources dashboard.
It is my sincere hope that the closing weeks of the 2021-2022 school year will be filled with excitement, engagement, and celebration of the accomplishments of our students, including our 5th and 8th grade promotions and culminating in our Class of 2022 Commencement ceremony on June 8th in Spartan Stadium!
Thank you, and enjoy your weekend,
MaryJo Yannacone, Ed.D.