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Masking required January 11

January 10, 2022

Dear Staff, Students, and Parents/Guardians,

Last evening, the Penn-Delco School Board of School Directors met to review revised health and safety recommendations by the administration including a move to universal masking of all persons in our schools, in response to the extraordinary and elevated increase in COVID-19 cases throughout Delaware County, PA. The School Board approved updates to our school district’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan that includes a change from recommended masking, to required masking, beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, January 11th, 2022. The return to a mask requirement will be in effect until further notice, and will be revisited once the excessive case counts return to much lower levels. In practical terms, this means that all persons in our schools (students, staff, and visitors) will be required to wear a mask when in Penn-Delco Schools and Offices starting tomorrow, 1/11/22.  

Taking a more conservative and tighter approach to masking gives our district far better odds at keeping schools open for critical in-person learning while adding another layer of mitigation to slow the spread of the virus. Further, it helps to stem the growing number of masked students who are required to quarantine due to exposure to an unmasked, positive close contact within the schools.

To be sure, doing the right thing for students and staff sometimes requires doing what may be an unpopular thing, and I am aware that the opinions on masking remain varied and even emotional for some. Nevertheless, to best weather the remainder of this current regional virus spike, universal masking improves our odds of maintaining a regular schedule of in-person learning which benefits the entire district.

As a reminder, if your child is ill, please do not send them to school. Additionally, the district has adjusted the guidelines that impact isolation and quarantines based on the most up-to-date recommendations by the PA Department of Health, the CDC, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Policy Lab. Universal Masking, improvements in quarantine requirements, and a commitment to effective practices to limit the spread of the virus gives our district the best odds to successfully navigate this latest period of renewed COVID activity throughout the region.

As always, thank you for your cooperation and understanding in our community efforts to assist one another and maintain a productive school experience for our students. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. George Steinhoff

Superintendent, Penn-Delco School District