COVID-19 Resources for the 2021-2022 School Year
TESD has been closely monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we have been in ongoing consultation with the Chester County Health Department (CCHD). During the 2021-2022 school year, we will continue working with the CCHD to respond to COVID-19 cases in our schools, including contact tracing and quarantining as needed.
On July 30, TESD posted the latest version of the District’s Health and Safety Plan on the TESD website. This plan provides a framework for establishing specific COVID-19 mitigation strategies in our schools and may change depending on local pandemic conditions and new guidance. The District’s updated COVID-19 mitigation strategies went effect on Monday, August 16 and will remain in effect until further notice. Families are encouraged to review the COVID-19 mitigation strategies in detail prior to the start of the school year. A summary of the COVID-19 mitigation strategies is listed below.
On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced an order directing face coverings to be worn by all individuals aged two and over while in school. TESD’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan currently includes such a requirement. The District will comply with all masking orders and will continue to monitor guidance and recommendations from our local, state, and federal public health officials. Click here for the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s order directing face coverings in schools.
COVID-19 Mitigation Protocol effective August 16, 2021:
- Masking. Individuals aged two and over are required to wear a face covering while indoors in any District building and on school buses regardless of vaccination status. Click here for CDC information on proper mask-wearing. Masking is optional but welcome during outdoor activities such as recess, activity or PE. Although quarantines may still be required, universal indoor masking will greatly reduce the necessity for educational interruption for all students and staff.
- Physical Distancing. TESD will work to maintain at least 3 feet of physical distancing between students whenever possible. Physical distancing of less than 3 feet may occur in classroom activities, building transitions, transportation, lunch, or other times during the day. The CDC has indicated that the inability to maintain 3 feet of physical distancing should not be a barrier to full, in-person instruction, provided the District implements other prevention strategies such as mask wearing.
- Symptom Screening. By sending their child to school, families are affirming that their child does not have any COVID-19 symptoms (see full COVID-19 mitigation strategies), has not been directed to quarantine, and is not otherwise sick or ill. A daily symptom screener submission in PowerSchool will no longer be required.
- COVID-19 Testing - Pending the provision of testing supplies from the CCHD and CHOP, the District anticipates being able to conduct rapid antigen testing, both in response to COVID-19 cases and as a screening measure. Weekly screening antigen testing will be available to all unvaccinated individuals (students and staff). A survey will be provided prior to the start of the school year to identify those who wish to participate.
In addition to the measures described above, TESD will continue to support proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette, as well as enhanced cleaning and appropriate ventilation. TESD will also maintain our ongoing promotion of vaccines for those who are eligible. We remain willing to serve as a host site for vaccinations as those opportunities arise.
TESD Develops Health & Safety Plan and Meets Requirements for ESSER Grant
The T/E School District has been awarded a grant through the federal American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP/ESSER) Fund. This grant of $1.5 million, spread out over the 2021-2022, 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years, will support the District as it responds to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on instruction. As part of the grant approval process, the District is required to develop and submit a Health & Safety Plan to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) by July 30, 2021. This Health & Safety Plan will also be on the agenda of the August 23, 2021 Regular School Board Meeting. The District may alter the Health & Safety Plan as needed throughout the school year based on guidance from health authorities and local pandemic conditions.
The Health & Safety Plan submitted to PDE on July 30, 2021 is a framework for the District’s COVID-19 response and fulfills a requirement for the ARP/ESSER grant. The current plan does not include details on any COVID-19 mitigation efforts that may be in place this fall. TESD is continuing to review available guidance from national, state and local health authorities and we will provide additional details on COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-2022 school year in mid-August.
The T/E School District looks forward to welcoming students back to school for full time, in-person instruction on August 30, 2021. If you have feedback related to COVID-19 mitigation strategies in our schools for the 2021-2022 school year, please email us at TECovidFeedback@tesd.net.