Dear BEA Community:
I wanted to update you on the State and our Safety and Instructional plan >If you recall, my last correspondence in early July stated masks for students would be optional. That came from a July 1 guidance from Dr. Levine that stated “parents/guardians could opt out of wearing masks or face coverings by signing a waiver stating it was medically necessary or their child had a mental health condition prohibiting them from wearing a mask or face covering. As part of the July 1 correspondence, parents/guardians could opt out without any proof from a physician or other health expert and the school district could not require the parents/guardians to provide proof of a specific medical or mental health condition.
However, the July 16 guidance now states “children two years and older are required to wear a mask or face covering unless they have a medical or mental health condition or disability, documented with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA, that precludes the wearing of a face covering in school. Accommodations for such students should be made in partnership with the student’s health care provider, school nurse, and IEP/504 team.”
In other words, there must be documented proof of a disability by a health care provider and a plan developed to accommodate the student’s medical or mental health condition or disability.
>span class="s2">As a result of the numerous new guidelines (mask wearing is just one example), the district is currently revising its Safety and Instructional Plans. There likely will be at least one additional option for parents/guardians included in the Instructional Plan besides attending school in person full-time or the district’s Cyber School program as a result of the new guidelines.
Our goal is to still have our Safety Plan approved by the Board at a Special Meeting on Thursday, July 30, 2020. Due to the new guidelines that limits social gatherings to 25 people, the meeting will be held virtually. Additionally, the Instructional options will also be available on or before July 30, 2020 so parents/guardians can decide what option best fits the needs of their child(ren), including any new choices.
I would like to mention that the district’s Cyber School program will be using multiple vendors to deliver instruction to those students that enroll, in order to meet the individual needs of each student.
I know many of you are frustrated and concerned about the upcoming year. We feel your pain. The constantly changing guidelines have been frustrating to deal with. However, please let me emphasize this to everyone, the district is committed to working with parents, students, faculty, and staff to insure that this school year is successful for our students, that safety of everyone is our top priority, and that although many of the guidelines are beyond our control, we intend to meet this challenge head on!
Below is the website address for the guidelines I am referring to that were issued on July 16:
Scott V. Graham, Superintendent
BALD EAGLE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT