DR. JERRY SHOEMAKE
TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2020
Yesterday at 2:30 we received new guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. I have attached the e-mail we received that now requires all students to wear masks for the entire time they are in school. This represents a new state mandate that no longer allows masks to be taken off inside when students and teachers can maintain six feet of distance. This new guidance does not change our plans to open school face-to-face for all students on Monday, August 24th. However, as a public institution, we are required to follow Public Health Department and PDE guidelines, so all students and staff will be required to wear masks when they are in the building, except when they are eating breakfast and lunch and regularly scheduled mask breaks that each teacher will schedule. As of now, students will not be required to wear masks when they are outside the building for recess and gym if they maintain 6 feet of social distance.
Here is the e-mail we received from Matt Stem, Deputy Secretary of Education:
As you know, the health and safety of Pennsylvania’s school communities is top priority, and the guidance we release to support and maintain the health and safety of school communities is rooted in science, data, and research. As more data and research becomes available, the information that becomes guidance must evolve – something we’ve shared with you since we began releasing reopening guidance.
Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released an update to their guidance strongly recommending children age two and older should wear face coverings at all times to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Prior guidance we released in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) stated students in schools could remove their face coverings as long as six feet of social distancing could be maintained. Given this recent change from the AAP, and consistent with the Secretary of Health’s Face Covering Order issued on July 1, 2020, DOH is requiring students wear face coverings at all times while in school, even when six feet of social distancing can be achieved. There are limited exceptions. Visit our Answers to FAQs at
Thank you for your continued commitment to ensuring a safe learning environment for your students and staff.
Matthew Stem |Deputy Secretary Department of Education | Office of Elementary and Secondary Education 333 Market Street | Harrisburg PA 17126
We wanted to make you aware of this development and to let you know that it has not changed our opening plans other than our need to follow state guidance. If this mandate changes your plans for sending your child back to school, please contact your child’s school office so we can arrange to get your child enrolled in our online program.
Our teachers are here today preparing for the year ahead. It’s good to get back to some semblance of normal. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Monday in whatever form you are most comfortable with.
Jerry Shoemake – Superintendent