September 3, 2021
Staff, Students, and Stakeholders,
As of late, I am aware of the confusion and apprehensiveness that has accompanied the opening of school due to COVID-19. Additionally, some perceive the authority and rhetoric embedded within the current masking Order as questionable and ambiguous. These divisions have not helped our school community come together. In light of the current COVID-19 circumstances, as a public school district, we are required to follow local, state, and federal mandates. We do not want to interfere with anyone’s opinions, rights, or privacy. Our goal is to keep our schools open to continue receiving the best education possible. On that note, we have been mandated by the Commonwealth to mask all students, staff, and visitors while in our buildings regardless of vaccination status, effective September 7, 2021; therefore, the Laurel Highlands School District will be implementing the Commonwealth’s current masking Order as written. In short, universal face coverings will be required for all K-12 schools, transportation, and administrative buildings. Face coverings will NOT be required outdoors.
Our mission as a school district has and always will be to educate our students to their fullest potential in the safest environment possible. We encourage everyone to participate in this safety protocol. In fact, one positive outcome of the Order may allow your child to receive more time in class.
For example, in the K-12 setting, the close contact definition EXCLUDES students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student IF BOTH the infected student and the exposed student (close contact) were wearing a mask correctly. If the COVID positive and the close contact were both wearing a mask, THEN the close contact does NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19 unless they develop symptoms.
I know this might not appeal to everyone; however, the more time we have to educate your student as opposed to quarantining the better. Finally, the attached masking protocol sheet will be cited daily (9/7-10/21) in all buildings. To that end, the Laurel Highlands School District continues to be vigilant in the sanitation and decontamination of germs within all school district buildings. We take pride and are determined in providing and maintaining a germ-free learning environment for all. As more information becomes available we will forward it to you, please visit our website (www.lhsd.org) to learn the latest information.
We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Dr. Jesse T. Wallace, III