Dear BASD Parents/Guardians:
Yesterday the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued additional guidance on when face coverings should be worn in our schools. Specifically, they are now requiring students to wear face coverings all day with very limited opportunities to remove them. According to the most recent guidance, students will NOT be able to remove their face covering even when they are seated 6 feet apart, unless they are taking a designated face covering break.
PDE’s guidance now states:
Schools may allow students to remove face coverings when students are:
Eating or drinking when spaced at least 6 feet apart; or
When wearing a face covering creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task; or
At least 6 feet apart during “face-covering breaks” to last no longer than 10 minutes.
We have updated our face coverings, masks and shields document to reflect this most recent update.
Click to view BASD's Face Coverings, Mask & Shields document>
Face Covering Medical Exemption
As a reminder, documentation from a medical professional that an exemption applies is required. If your student has a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that precludes the wearing of a face covering in school and on the bus, please contact your child’s doctor to obtain proper documentation.
The documentation must clearly state that an exemption from wearing a face covering is medically necessary. However, the medical professional does not have to provide a specific diagnosis. Face shields are an acceptable form of face covering. Therefore, if a student is also unable to wear a face shield, the medical documentation must also state that.
The school district’s Special Education Department is authorized to exempt a student that already has a relevant identified disability and IEP. The Special Education Department will be working directly with families in that situation.
If your child has a medical exemption, you may then drop it off or mail it to: Butler Area School District, Attn: Mask Exemption, 110 Campus Lane, Butler, PA 16001. Once the documentation is received, it may be incorporated into your child’s (new or revised) IEP/504 Plan, per the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s requirement. Please note: The medical exemption must be received prior to your child being exempt from wearing a mask at school.
Learning Pathways Designation
If your child will be attending school in person full time (Traditional School Model), you do not need to do anything. All students are automatically enrolled in the Traditional School Model unless their parent/guardian designates another path.
If you would like to enroll your child in our Online/Cyber School Model, Hybrid School Model or Flexible Traditional School Model -- or change your child’s Learning Pathway -- please visit our website for more information. www.basdk12.org/news/660
Determining BASD’s Mode of Operation
Last week the Pennsylvania Department of Health released a chart to help school districts determine what the appropriate operating status should be during the school year. We have used the framework provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as our starting point. However, we have added additional communication with Butler County and Butler Hospital into our plan. In addition, we will be using more local data by Butler Area School District zip codes instead of Butler county wide data.
Our intent is to use this chart to determine our mode of operation. Each Friday, we will review the data, speak to the appropriate individuals at the County and/or hospital, and make a decision on our school district’s operating status for the following week.
After we review the data on Friday, we will post our operating status on our website. If our operating status needs to change, we will send an email, text message and phone call to families. If we will continue to operate in the same mode as the previous week, no additional communication (other than the website posting) will be sent.
Please note: We intend to make a decision regarding our operating status on a weekly basis. However, if positive COVID-19 cases involve our students or employees, we may need to act in a more timely manner.
Click to view the chart>
Thank you for your continued patience.
Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Butler Area School District