COVID-19 Reminder Guide
Health & Safety Mitigation Efforts
As you are aware the Pine-Richland School Board approved a Health & Safety Plan for the start of the 2021-2022 school year on Monday, August 16th. To review the plan in detail, please visit our website. We will start the 2021 - 2022 school year with full in-person instruction and a series of mitigation strategies that include required masking indoors for all students, staff, and visitors. This plan prioritizes in-person learning as the most important shared goal of our community.
Our health services team is busy preparing for the healthiest school year possible and wanted to share a few reminders to keep us in school, in-person, 5-days a week. Together, we can preserve our learning opportunities and ensure time for connections, relationships, and socialization.
- Face Coverings
- Vaccination Status
- Contact Tracing & Quarantine
- At Home Check & Signs of Illness & Travel
To start the school year, students, staff, and visitors are required to wear a properly fitting, cloth, face-covering consistent with CDC guidance. Masks are required on the school bus and indoor settings.
Individuals requesting a medical exemption to the masking mandate, shall provide signed documentation from a medical practitioner indicating one of the following conditions as outlined below:
- Individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, mental health condition, or disability;
- Individuals who would be unable to remove a mask without assistance;
- Individuals who are communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
We are also excited to offer the opportunity for students to eat outdoors as weather and logistics permit, and to allow students the option of masks while outdoors during recess and other mask breaks.
Parents willing to share the vaccination status of their children against COVID-19 should reach out to their school nurse and provide the immunization documentation. This documentation can be scanned and emailed to the school nurse as a PDF, sent via a copy in the US mail, or dropped off at the school building to the school nurse’s attention. Similar to other vaccination records, this confidential information will be entered into the student information system to help us run reports regarding the percent of vaccinated students within each school and district and will help us in contact tracing scenarios. Understanding the status of vaccinations within our community may assist us in decisions related to mitigation efforts.
Contact Tracing & Quarantine
In addition to the health protections, the PRSD Health and Safety Plan sets a foundation for continuity of in-person learning while significantly reducing risk of quarantine-based disruptions.
The definition of a close contact has been updated to reflect the learning throughout the pandemic. To help this information be more accessible, we have included a flow chart shared by the Allegheny County Health Department, with whom we work to identify close contacts. Please click on the image for specific student and staff scenarios. This flowchart is a critical tool for school nurses, students, parents, and staff. It will be used to guide discussions with the Allegheny County Health Department officials.
Students who are sick should not attend school. Families will not be asked to complete a weekly survey indicating that the home health symptom checks are occurring. We are asking families to continue to monitor the health of their household daily and to keep students home if they are experiencing symptoms consistent with coronavirus or other communicable diseases.
If a student is asked to quarantine, yet is healthy and able to complete their work, the submission of all of their work asynchronously will count them as “present”. Students in quarantine will be counted as “present” and not marked “absent” as long as this work is completed asynchronously and expectations are met. The use of Google Classroom & Blackboard to make assignments available to students makes accessibility of assignments much easier.
At Home Check/Signs of Illness
- If your child has a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher, they should not go to school.
- Make sure your child does not have any signs of illness such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new onset of lack of smell or taste (without congestion), chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion or runny nose. Students having signs of illness should not go to school.
- If your child has had close contact with a COVID-19 case, they should not go to school until you have spoken with the school nurse to determine next steps (e.g. quarantine; masking & testing for vaccinated individuals).
Students who are exhibiting symptoms at school will be sent to the health office. We will be following current guidelines released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Students with the following type and quantity of symptoms will be sent home.
At present, other than the requirement for individuals traveling internationally to comply with the United States’ testing regulations and/or attestation form, there are no additional quarantine requirements after travel experiences. We will continue to monitor the guidelines from the relevant agencies (i.e., CDC, PDH, PDE, and ACHD) regarding any changes to that current policy. Families can follow the traditional travel request process in place prior to the pandemic.
Should you have any health-related questions, we are available to consult with families and ensure that each child’s medical needs are cared for during their school day. Please reach out to your school nurse for assistance.