As we approach the first day of school, I would like to provide you with an update regarding our return to school planning for all students and staff. East Penn is committed as a district to open for in-person instruction five days a week. As an administrative team, we have worked throughout the summer to make decisions for our school community regarding COVID-19 protocol with the health and safety of our entire school community being our top priority.
At this time, we have made the decision to amend our current COVID masking policy. In order to maintain consistent, in-person learning as much as possible, East Penn will now require all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks indoors at all of our school buildings and on school buses regardless of vaccination status. This requirement goes into effect August 18, 2021. The decision to require masks in schools is based on current conditions, including “high” level of COVID transmission in Lehigh County and the opportunity for students to be vaccinated. We will continue to work closely with local and state health officials and monitor this local health data to determine when the masking requirement will change.
We know this decision will not please everyone and also understand that this is a very emotional time for all of our families. We have heard community feedback on our Health & Safety Plan at our school board meetings and have read each and every one of your emails. We want to assure you that stakeholder input from the community and health officials has been considered throughout this decision making process. In addition, we recognize that you may have additional questions regarding mitigation measures, and we will communicate an FAQ later this week.
Our goal is to keep students in school consistently and keep our students and staff safe. We are asking our school community to come together to support us in achieving this goal. Together, we can return all students to safe, in-person instruction that reflects the positive learning atmosphere of pre-pandemic classrooms.Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We look forward to seeing all of our students in school on August 30th!