Education officials react to the governor’s mask order for all schools in Pennsylvania.
Whether public or private, all students, teachers, staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask in order to walk through school.
This news comes from Governor Wolf’s announcement for a state mask mandate in schools.
For many students who started their first day of school such as students at Robinson Elementary School. At Robinson students are already required to wear a mask to school.
However, now with a state mandate being enforced soon, there are more guide lines that superintendents can follow for this school year.
Starting on September 7th, students in grades K-12th at all schools in the state of Pennsylvania are required to wear a face mask.
This also includes early learning programs and child care providers.
This news comes just more than a week after the Erie County Department of Health announces their own school mask mandate.
“It’s encouraged for school district leaders, principals, and teachers because we are in this place. While we are all prioritizing providing all the students the quality of education, we know that we are not able to do that without considering their safety and well being,” said Dr. Ian Roberts, Superintendent of Millcreek Township School District.
After receiving multiple messages from parents asking the Wolf Administration to protect children in schools, the governor stated that the Delta variant is highly transmissible and dangerous to the unvaccinated. Many of whom are children too young to receive the vaccine.
Requiring masks in schools will keep students safer in the classroom.
By keeping students in the classroom, the mandate could balance mental health concerns of the students.
One survey the mandate provided said that virtual instruction might present more risks for the mental health of children and parents than in person instruction.
“Allow students to continuously learn in our buildings with our teachers, and allow their parents to go to work to continue to contribute in the important ways that they do in the economy region and around the state,” said Matt Lane, Superintendent at General McLane School District.
The new mandate could possibly cause families to have a different opinions.
“Face shields is an option especially for students who have an exemption for a legitimate medical reason,” said Dr. Roberts.
“If they don’t feel that it is safe or appropriate for them we have some online cyber options they can explore, if they don’t feel like being in the building is the right answer,” said Lane.
For some schools such as Crawford County, there is no face mask requirement right now. However, that will all change one week from August 31st when the mandate is officially in place.
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