Dear Parents and Students
Covid-19 cases have increased significantly in Armstrong County and here in Armstrong School District. The high numbers of Covid positive cases are negatively impacting our ability to have in-person instruction with a high number of students and some staff in quarantine.
As you are now likely aware, on Tuesday, August 31st, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued a mandatory face covering Order for all persons in public and private schools. This mandate takes effect on Tuesday, September 7th. Despite information you may have received from various media platforms, ignoring or choosing not to follow this mandate is currently not an option for schools in our School District or any other district. We will return to wearing masks in our school on September 7th.
Per the mandate, students will not need to wear masks during lunch, outside activities, during physical education class, when performing in band or chorus, or sports participation. The mask mandate will reduce the need for quarantining students from contact tracing.
Local school districts have also been charged with enforcing the Order. Until the District receives further direction from the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education, the medical exemption referenced in the Order will be honored with valid authorization from a student’s health care provider.
Some posts on social media are encouraging students to protest this state imposed mandate by walking out of school on Tuesday. We share in and recognize that everyone in our school community desires a return to normalcy for our schools. While we encourage our students to be passionate and active citizens, disrupting a day of school in this manner will result in more lost instructional time for our students. It will create potential safety issues in our buildings, and result in negative consequences while we attempt to work through the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Order.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support as we continue our efforts to educate our students at the highest level possible.
Chris M. DeVivo
Superintendent of Schools
Armstrong School District