All students, staff, and visitors to the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center must wear a mask while on premises starting on Tuesday, September 7. This policy was established by the PA Department of Health earlier this week as a requirement that everyone in a PA public school must “wear a face covering indoors, regardless of vaccination status.” This order will remain in place until rescinded.
The Lancaster County CTC was able to remain open and offer in-person instruction for much of the 20-21 school year because our students and staff followed the state’s mandates regarding masking and other infection prevention measures. We hope that the same spirit of sacrifice for the common good is still forefront with this year’s students and staff.
We also recognize that some LCCTC families do not agree with the masking requirement. Unfortunately, this is not a recommendation from the state. It is a requirement. The order says that students and staff must comply with the masking requirement or they can face disciplinary action. The Lancaster County CTC is committed to providing hands-on instruction until circumstances force a change. Individuals without a medical or other exception who do not wear a face covering put that hands-on instruction in jeopardy for everyone.
The state offers exceptions to the masking mandate for those with medical conditions and other considerations similar to the exceptions offered last year. Masking is not required when working alone and isolated, while eating/drinking, and in other situations. Parents and guardians are to follow their school district’s policy and/or procedure about applying for an exemption to the masking requirement. Parents and guardians must also submit a copy of that exemption application, or other documentation as required by the school district’s policy and procedure, to their CTC campus principal. Unless an exemption is granted, students and staff must wear a face mask or face shield.
We exited the summer looking forward to some normalcy to the start of the school year and being able to attend school without a mask was a large part of that. We are just as are disappointed as you might be that we must return to mask wearing but we also recognize the importance of it. Alongside handwashing and social distancing, the value and effectiveness of wearing a mask in public to combat the spread of Covid-19 is undisputed.
We should be our own best advocates. Children look to their parents and teachers for social cues to proper behavior. The CTC relies on those role models to demonstrate the responsibility, flexibility, and patience that the situation requires. We hope that this requirement will only be in place for a short while. Even if it is not, we will adhere to our Health and Safety Plan and conform to state requirements because they are what is best for ourselves and our community.
Thank you for your understanding and be safe.