Face Coverings Procedure for Staff and Students
The Colonial School District will follow the Montgomery County Health Department guidelines and the Pennsylvania Department of Health Guidance on Universal Face Coverings. "Face Covering" means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. All staff must wear masks all of the time except when eating lunch or working in isolation at a work station. Vent masks will not be permitted. Individuals who cannot wear a mask or face shield due to a medical condition, including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, mental health condition, or disability must present medical documentation.
Will staff wear masks all day?
Staff will follow state guidelines for using face coverings, similar to students. In some cases, staff members may wear face shields in addition to masks. This may include staff who work with students with special needs, nurses, etc.
Will all students have to wear masks all day?
Students will be expected to follow state guidelines for using face coverings. Face coverings may be removed to eat when social distancing can be maintained, for exercise outdoors and during outdoor “mask breaks” when social distancing can be maintained. State guidelines allow exceptions for health conditions where wearing a mask is not advised. Under those circumstances, students may wear face shields that extend below the chin instead of a mask, if preferred, over or in addition to a mask. Students who do not have an appropriate mask will be provided one.
What will happen to students who refuse to wear masks?
It is possible that students who refuse to wear face coverings and are not exempted from doing so may be excluded from attending school in person.
What accommodations will be made for students who have difficulty wearing masks and/or for students who have trouble understanding or communicating with staff in masks?
We encourage parents/guardians to practice mask wearing with their children so they become comfortable with them. We understand that wearing masks may hamper communication between students and staff. Therefore, the District has ordered a number of clear masks for staff to wear as needed.
What provisions will be made for eating lunch?
Current guidelines allow masks to be removed for eating if six-foot social distancing can be maintained. Socially distanced cafeteria seats have been marked for student use. Other lunch locations will vary from building to building, but can include classrooms with forward-facing desks, auditoriums, gymnasiums and more.