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2-10-22 Update on Masking

2-14-22 Update on Masking
Posted on 02/14/2022
2-14-22_update_on_masking

Dear School Community,

During tonight's work session of the Garnet Valley School District Board of Directors, the administration discussed putting a motion on the agenda for the Tuesday, February 22nd regular meeting to vote on revising the masking section of the District’s current Health Plan to recommend but not require masking in District buildings. The administration made this determination due to a number of data points that included the following:

  • Delaware County Transmission Rates are now 101.81 per 100K and its positivity percentage is 8.24%. The administration expects that both indicators will be below the “high” level of transmission by February 22nd, which is the date of the regular Board meeting.
    • "High" transmission is 100 or more cases per 100,000 people or a positivity rate of 10% or higher; 
    • "Substantial" transmission is 50 to 100 cases per 100,000, or a positivity rate between 8% and 10%; 
    • "Moderate" transmission is 10 to 50 cases per 100,000 people, or a positivity rate between 5% and 8%; 
    • "Low" transmission is considered no more than 10 cases per 100,000 people, or a test positivity rate of less than 5%.
  • Last week there were a total of 17 cases in our schools, which represents 0.32% of our student and employee population. No cases were reported in our schools today.
  • The testing center administered 41 tests last week with 4 positive results. There were 4 tests today and 0 positive results.

As a result of the current data and in anticipation that these trends will continue, the Board will vote on a revision of the masking section of the Health Plan that would state: 

“Universal and correct wearing of masks:

  • CDC and the PA Department of Health guidance recommend masking for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in communities with “substantial” or “high” transmission rates. Effective Wednesday, February 23, 2022, The GVSD recommends that students, employees, and visitors wear masks within District buildings; however, they are not required. 
  • Mask wearing by staff/peers may be required in individual cases/classrooms/situations if necessary for a student to receive a Free, Appropriate, Public, Education (FAPE) or access their education due to a disability or handicap
  • The district will follow mandates and orders concerning face coverings that may be put in place by health and/or government officials.  
  • The Federal mandate states that masks are required when students are riding to and from school and/or on school based activities on district buses.”

Again, the Board will consider these changes to the existing Health Plan on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 7pm. The meeting can be attended in-person or via Zoom. The Zoom link will be available on the Board section of the District website

 

Sincerely,

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Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent






2-10-2022

Dear School Community,

The district continues to monitor its health data on a daily basis. We are optimistic about the trends that we have observed over the last several weeks and believe that we could soon have an opportunity to take another calculated turn toward normal. This next step would be to go from masks required in all district buildings to masks recommended, thus giving students and employees a choice based on their comfort and needs. It’s important to note that regardless of the District’s decision, the federal mandate of masks on buses remains in effect. 

 

I realize that many parents will want this change to happen immediately; however, there are also many parents who believe it’s too early. It is for this reason that the district actively listens to our parents’ input, maintains a steady focus on following data, considers the advice of its medical experts, and follows our Health and Safety Plan. Through this consistent process, we have now been in school for 105 days without a COVID related disruption to in-person learning. 

 

The links below provide timelines, complicating issues for the change, data, a summary of medical advice, and concluding thoughts. The first link, entitled Full Version, is written for those who prefer all of the details. Executive Version is designed for those who want summarized information. The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22nd and individuals can attend in-person or on Zoom.

 

 

Sincerely,

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Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent

Garnet Valley School District

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