Dear Dutch Families,
I apologize for the lateness of this message. There have been many changes over the past few hours that need to be addressed.
In July, our health and safety plan was approved. At that time, masking was optional except when otherwise ordered by the CDC or Department of Health. That remained until early September when the PA DOH issued a masking order for all schools, at which time masking became mandatory.
Around noon today, I received word that the PA Department of Health's masking order had been overturned in the courts. I spent the next couple of hours digging into the facts of that case and determining the best path forward that aligned with our board-approved health and safety plan. Given the information I had at that time, it was determined to make masking optional given that the PA DOH order was no longer in effect.
Later this afternoon, an appeal was filed which means the masking mandate is back into effect pending a decision from the Supreme Court.
Given that information, the St. Marys Area School District will follow the masking mandate that is back into effect starting tomorrow, November 11, 2021.
I apologize for any confusion this has caused. I will continue to monitor this situation closely and communicate updates as appropriate.
Harley D. Ramsey, Ed.D.
Saint Marys Area School District