September 3, 2021 - Message from the District
Dear KCASD Families:
The first two weeks of school have been full of positive energy and smiles. It has truly been a welcome sight to see so many happy students, families, and employees. It is the District's hope that this enthusiasm will produce the culture we all seek to attain.
We started this school year with some level of normalcy, but yet again, COVID-19 has caused us to adapt. It is the District's hope that this communication will provide you with the information you are seeking, particularly with regard to the recent masking order.
Governor Wolf announced that masks will be required at school beginning on Tuesday, September 7, pursuant to an Order issued by the Secretary of Health. This is a mandate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and therefore, we must follow it. Our Solicitor has reviewed the order and has advised us that the school district is required to follow the mandate until it is rescinded or an injunction is issued by a Court.
This order impacts indoor activities (not outdoor activities).
Administration has been asked what will happen if a student is not wearing a mask. Based on the Order, that depends. There are exclusions in the Order that allow individuals who meet certain criteria to attend school without wearing a mask. If a student meets the exclusion criteria and provides the appropriate documentation, they will be permitted to attend school without wearing a mask. The PA Department of Education recently clarified that in order for an individual to be considered exempt from wearing a mask, they must provide medical documentation from a licensed medical provider that is familiar with the individual.
If a student does not meet the mask exclusion criteria, the following will occur if they are in school without a mask:
The student will be asked to wear a mask. If they have forgotten their mask, we will provide one.
If the student refuses to wear a mask, they will be sent to the principal's office.
The principal will call the student’s parent/guardian.
If the parent/guardian directs the student to wear a mask and the student refuses, the principal and parent/guardian will discuss what will be the appropriate next step.
If the parent/guardian indicates that they are directing the student not to comply with the masking order, the student will be sent to class and the school district will notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health of the non compliance.
Please know that wearing a mask reduces the chances of close contacts having to quarantine. For instance, if a properly masked student is in close contact with a properly masked positive case, and the student does not experience symptoms, they do not have to quarantine (depending on physical distance). Click on the flowchart link below to see specific information regarding masks and quarantine.
The District recognizes that masking is a very divisive issue in our community, our schools, and our nation. It is the District's job to educate all of our students, regardless of individual beliefs. We are committed to building positive relationships with our students to help each of them reach their full potentials. The District encourages everyone to be respectful of each other.
The District has tried to find the middle ground in respecting individuals' rights to choose what is best for their children while also trying to provide resources to those who would like additional protection. That said, masks are still available to students, faculty, staff, and visitors who need them.
If you would like to advocate your position regarding the mask mandate, please reach out to your local legislator, the Pennsylvania Department of Health or the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Please be reminded that anyone who rides/drives a school vehicle (e.g., bus or van), must wear a mask, unless they have a qualifying medical exemption.
We have already had to quarantine students this year, mainly due to household close contacts. However, we have had to quarantine students as a result of school contact. Please remember to keep your child at home if they are sick. When students are absent due to quarantine or an illness, they will have plenty of time to make up missed work when they return. Additionally, students should communicate with their teachers regarding how to access educational content via Google Classroom. This communication can be done through email.