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Message from the Superintendent: Masks Required Indoors Beginning 8/16

August 15, 2021

Masks Required Indoors for All Beginning August 16; Requirement Does Not Extend to Outdoor Areas

Dear Radnor Staff and Families,

Last year, we came together as a community to safely open our schools for in-person learning. This year, we are committed to keeping our schools open for safe in-person learning, while operating as close to normal as possible. To achieve this goal together, we will begin this school year by requiring masks for all students, staff, and visitors indoors, effective August 16, 2021. This requirement does not extend to outdoor areas.
 
We continue to consult weekly with a variety of health professionals. We are required by federal mandate to mask all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, while they are on a school bus. We are also required to report cases of Covid-19 to the state and quarantine any close contacts.  
 
However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are not required to quarantine close contacts if all students are masked. Thus, masking all students at the start of the school year assists in our mission to keep everyone in school and gives us an opportunity to further assess the transmission level in our community and the possible impact on our schools.
 
The CDC publishes transmission levels each week for every county in the country (click here), and identifies transmission levels as low, moderate, substantial, or high. Currently, the transmission level in Delaware County is identified as “substantial,” supporting the need to begin the year requiring all students, staff, and vistors to wear masks.  
 
Once school is open, we may or may not change our masking requirement based on the following criteria:
  • Transmission levels in our community
  • Vaccination status
  • Cases and spread within each building once we are open
  • Federal, State and Local guidance
  • Our ability to implement effective mitigation strategies
We will discuss our mitigation protocols, including masking, at future School Board and Committee meetings and continue to provide our community with updates. This Tuesday, August 17, we will begin these discussions at our 5 p.m. Board Curriculum Committee meeting, to be held in-person in the Radnor Middle School auditorium. As always, the meeting will be broadcast live on our YouTube channel. These conversations will continue throughout the weeks ahead as we closely monitor our experience once school opens.
 
In addition to our indoor masking requirement, as part of our mitigation protocols, we will begin the year by doing the following:
  • Continuing to emphasize hygiene
  • Asking parents, staff, and students to independently monitor their health each day and stay home when not feeling well (we are not currently planning to resume the daily screening survey in place last year)
  • Ensuring 3-feet of distancing in our classrooms as recommended by the CDC
  • Providing 6-feet of distancing during lunch
  • Inquiring about vaccination status of all eligible students through our online back-to-school information portal, scheduled to open August 16
  • Continuing to provide voluntary rapid testing at each of our buildings
As always, the safety of our students, staff, and community members is paramount. Our mission is to provide the best uninterrupted educational experience for our students, and we will pursue this mission with dedication and diligence.  
 
Our entire staff is ready and excited to see all our students return for a great year filled with academics, activities, and athletics! Please take care and enjoy the remainder of your summer.
 
Ken
 
Kenneth E. Batchelor
Superintendent of Schools