The Hampton Township School District has reverted to its old hiding policy in light of the Dec. 10 decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The court upheld a lower court ruling that the acting Secretary of State for Health did not have the authority to issue a mandatory mask warrant for schools in August. The decision terminated the mandate with immediate effect. In the future, school districts can implement their own development policies as they see fit.
In a December 10 letter to parents and guardians in the district, Superintendent Dr. Michael R. Loughead said, “This means that the Hampton Township Health and Safety Plan that was adopted by the school board on August 24 is immediately effective for our school community. Our health and safety plan has been in effect since its approval in August, but has been superseded by the state’s masking order until today. As a result, the Hampton Township School District will now follow our health and safety plan which was approved by council on August 24, 2021. ”
Masks are required indoors for all students, staff, and visitors at the K-12 level when Allegheny County is at the high or substantial level of community transmission. Currently, Allegheny County is at the high community transmission level (according to CDC community transmission levels). In middle and high school, if it is determined that the county is in moderate or low community transmission status, the district will consult with the Allegheny County Department of Health and reassess this policy. At the elementary level, the district will reassess the policy when the county has low community transmission.
The letter continues: “In addition, the mask is compulsory for all students, staff and visitors inside the school, unless a formal exemption has been granted to the individual in writing by the district. Finally, the federal requirement for universal masking in public transportation, including school transportation, remains in effect. … Our goal has been to continue in-person instruction and minimize quarantine throughout this school year, and we firmly believe that adhering to our health and safety plan will allow us to do just that.