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MONTGOMERY – Students in the Montgomery school district will return to face-to-face lessons five days a week this fall, headmistress Daphne Bowers announced at a recent school committee meeting.

“We will follow all mandates issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education”, She said.

“If we are given a mandate, we will obey it. Until we are given a mandate, we will allow our students not to wear face coverings. “ She added.

Bowers pointed out that there is still a mandate requiring students to wear face covers on school buses. The pupils are allowed to take off masks when they arrive at the school.

Montgomery’s 2021-22 Health and Safety Plan provides that students, staff, and visitors may wear face-covering as recommended by the CDC, DOH, or PDE, but “You will not be obliged to do so” unless there is a direct instruction from these departments.

Regarding vaccinations, the plan called for the district to be a designated distribution point and “will participate in any activation of this website by the PA Department of Health for mass vaccination purposes.”

The district is committed to continuing to work with local health officials to provide vaccination opportunities and will help promote these opportunities in the community.

Throughout the plan presented to the board, the district agreed to follow guidelines and recommendations related to the requirements of the PDE for schools, the American Recovery Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds ) receive.

For physical distancing, the district has agreed to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC, DOH, and PDE “As far as possible in relation to the student movement in the buildings.”

This includes social distancing of the student to the “Largely possible” Plan all group activities according to guidelines as much as possible, restrict visitors and hold meetings virtually if the infection rate increases.

The only public question about the plan was that parents would be allowed to volunteer in the classrooms and on field trips.

“At the beginning of the school year, we will follow the same guidelines for screening. You will be able to contact the office and check, but we will not allow volunteers. “ said Bowers.

“That will also be the case at the open house. We start with a virtual open day “, She added.

Contact tracking will also be part of the screening. Records of people entering school buildings, with the exception of students and staff, are documented, as well as the reason for their stay, the location they visit the building, and the names and close contacts they visit in the building.

The district will refer to CDC and DOH guidelines when a student, staff, or educator is diagnosed with COVID-19, and parents and families will be prepared for distance learning if a class or school is temporarily dismissed according to the plan.

According to the plan, those who are not fully vaccinated will be quarantined if they come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, and any close contacts who test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms will become independent isolated from vaccination status.

The final school year guidelines for diagnostic and screening tests remain in effect as the new health and safety plan requires students and parents or guardians to perform symptom screening each day before arriving at the school or bus stop. All district employees conduct symptom screening before coming to work.

As part of the plan, the district will continue to teach and reinforce good hygiene practices and follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting schools and frequently touched surfaces and items.

“When it comes to social distancing, hand washing, building cleaning – everything will continue like last year.” said Bowers. “We will do everything in our power to protect our children.”

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