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Peters
Township
School District
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631 East McMurray Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Phone: 724-941-6251
Fax: 724-941-6565
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Stay Healthy FAQ

Help Us Stay Healthy - Frequently Asked Questions

Our goal is to keep our schools open and our students in school. 
 
As we enter our third school year under the challenges of a global pandemic, we remain committed to providing a quality education in a safe and healthy learning environment. 
 
We will continue to promote healthy schools by encouraging staff and students to practice good hand hygiene, appropriate physical distancing, self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID, and staying home when sick.   Please review the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below for additional information related to keeping our schools safely open during the pandemic.

Health and Wellness

Why Are Masks Being Required In Our Schools?
This year, under current PA Department of Health requirements for quarantine, the wearing of masks in our schools will prevent students from being excluded from school.  Current PA Department of Health exclusion requirements are different from last year’s guidelines. Last year, students were considered close contacts (within 6 ft and infected individual for more than 15 minutes) and excluded from school even if they were wearing masks in the school setting. The current exception to quarantine allows students to remain in school if both the infected and exposed student are wearing a mask. Please see below for more details regarding exceptions for quarantining.
 
In an effort to prioritize in-person learning and minimize exclusions from school, school closures, and disruptions to athletics/extracurricular activities under current PA Department of Health requirements for quarantines and school closures, face coverings will be required for all students, staff, and visitors in all indoor District facilities effective 8/18/2021. The necessity for this additional mitigation measure will be continuously reviewed and will be modified as conditions warrant.  We will work to ensure that students have opportunities to safely remove their masks throughout the school day, including maximizing time outdoors. At this time, face coverings will not be required in District outdoor settings.
 
What procedures will the District follow after a positive case of COVID-19 in the school setting?
The District will follow required quarantine and isolation procedures.  Any students or staff who are considered a close contact to an individual who tests positive for COVID will be required to quarantine (see exceptions below).  A close contact is defined as anyone who is within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period of time.
  • Exceptions for Quarantining:
    1. In the K-12 school setting, the close contact excludes students who are within 3-6 feet of the infected student where:
      • Both students were wearing well-fitted masks, and
      • Physical Distancing and increased ventilation are in place.
    2. The individual identified as a close contact is fully vaccinated (received last dose 2 weeks prior to exposure) and has no COVID symptoms.
      • Per CDC recommendations, fully vaccinated people should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure (even if they do not have symptoms) and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
    3. A close contact was previously diagnosed with COVID within the last three months (laboratory evidence) and has no current COVID symptoms.
    4. For those individuals who are fully vaccinated but have ongoing exposure to COVID (household contact), they should get tested 5-7 after the first exposure AND again 5-7 days after the end of isolation for the individual with COVID.
  • Quarantine Guidelines:
    1. Quarantine for 10 days (No Testing Required)
    2. Quarantine for 7 days
      • COVID test (PCR Preferred) sample is collected on or after day 5 (from exposure date).  If the test result is negative and provided to the school nurse, the close contact may return after completing the 7-day quarantine.
 
Will masks be required on the bus?
Per Order of the CDC, students are required to wear masks on District transportation. Bus stops and times will be assigned to all students as they have been in previous years. Parents who wish for their children to be car riders may do with with a note to the school. Please refer to each school's handbook for specifics. 

 What if my child cannot safely where a mask due to a disability?
 If your child cannot safely wear a mask because of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Section 504, please reach out to your school principal to begin the evaluation and/or plan revision process. Compliance with District health and safety protocols is a requirement as published in all District handbooks and the Student Code of Conduct distributed to families annually.

 If my child exhibits COVID symptoms (Symptoms of COVID-19 | CDC) at home or is sent home from school with symptoms of COVID, what steps need to occur prior to my child’s return to school?
 One of the following conditions must occur for your child to return to school:
    • Receive a Doctor’s note stating that your child was evaluated and may return to school and improvement of symptoms without fever reducing medication.
    • Receive a Negative COVID test (PCR preferred) result and improvement of symptoms without fever reducing medication.
Please review the CDC COVID FLOW CHART.
 
Will classrooms still enforce physical distancing?
Spacing in our classrooms will meet or exceed the 3ft of physical distancing recommended by the CDC.  

What cleaning procedures will be in place in our schools and on our busses?     
The District will continue to clean and disinfect our schools and facilities by following enhanced cleaning protocols and using products registered by the EPA as effective against COVID-19.
 
What do I do if my child has tested positive for COVID?
  • Please notify the school nurse so that we can identify close contacts and reduce the likelihood of in-school COVID transmission.  Additionally, the individual who tested positive must isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.  After the 10-day isolation, the individual may return as long as symptoms have improved and they remain fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication.
  • An individual who tests positive and experiences no symptoms shall isolate for 10 days from the positive test result.
What do I do if someone in my household tests positive for COVID?
Please notify the school nurse for additional guidance, as all situations are unique.  Generally, household members would be considered close contacts and must follow quarantine guidelines listed above.

As a parent, can I opt my child into Remote Learning?
Asynchronous remote learning is available as an option for parents. Please contact your child's principal for additional information.

School Schedules and Logistics

What will lunches look like?
Lunches at Bower Hill and Pleasant Valley will take place in the classroom.  McMurray Elementary students will eat in large group areas such as the Cafeteria, Auxiliary Gym, and Large Group Instruction (LGI) to allow for physical distancing.  
 
High School and Middle School students will eat lunch in the cafeterias with physical distancing maintained to the extent practicable.  Lunch spaces may be modified in response to in-school and/or community transmission rates.

Will students use lockers?
Yes, students in grades 6-12 will resume use of lockers for the new school year. Students in grades K-5 will use storage spaces/cubbies to store lunches, coats, and backpacks.  Adjustments may occur in response to in-school or community transmission rates.

Will students still use Canvas?
Yes, assignments will be posted on Canvas for all in-person and remote K-12 students.
 
Will there be recess for elementary students?
Recess will occur for elementary students.  Modifications to recess may occur in response to in-school or community transmission rates.
 
If my child is sick, can he or she keep up on coursework via Canvas and not be marked absent?
Students who are quarantined or home with an illness will be marked absent, but may keep up with coursework asynchronously.  In the event a child is too ill to complete work, please work with your child’s teacher regarding assignment deadlines.

How will attendance be handled for in-person students this year?
The District has resumed our standard attendance practices for in-person students in 2021-2022, with a limit of ten parent-excused absences each year.  However, we also wish to ensure that our families are not put in a situation where they feel the need to send their children to school ill or are punished because of required quarantines and isolation related to COVID. The District will closely monitor attendance and will review each situation on a case by case basis prior to initiating attendance improvement conferences and procedures.
 
Will remote students take their own attendance?
Attendance for remote students will be taken by the teacher.  Students must be on-camera at the scheduled class time to be considered present.
 
Will parents/volunteers be permitted back into schools?
Access to school buildings will be limited based on rates of community transmission.  During periods of Substantial or High levels of community transmission, visitor and volunteer access will be restricted.
 
 
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Peters
Township
School District
Peters Township School District
Address Info
631 East McMurray Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Phone: 724-941-6251
Fax: 724-941-6565
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