Read by School Board President Richard Gehman at the School Board Committee of the Whole meeting on June 8, 2021:
The Ephrata Area School District School Board very much appreciates the cooperation of staff, students, and their families this past school in our efforts to provide a healthy, safe, and engaging school experience to the greatest extent possible. Your efforts allowed the District to keep its schools open and continue offering a variety of instructional modes, including in-person instruction.
On May 27, the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that the state face mask order will expire either on June 28 or when 70% of Pennsylvania adults are fully vaccinated, whichever occurs sooner. That is welcome news, and that announcement strongly suggests the COVID mitigation measures imposed upon public schools in Pennsylvania are drawing to a close.
As a result, the School Board can confidently say that the 2021-2022 school year will be different than this past school year. Based on current information, the Superintendent and School Board are aiming toward a new set of expectations regarding face coverings and vaccinations for next school year.
Those expectations are as follows:
- Staff and students will not be required to wear face masks while at school;
- Staff and students will not be required to be vaccinated in order to work or attend school; and
- Staff and students who wish to wear face masks will be welcome and free to do so.
In summary, the District is currently planning toward having as “normal” a school year as possible and hope that we can continue to work together with students, parents, and staff to that end.