Exeter Township School District School Reopening Health and Safety Plan
The Health & Safety Plan for the Exeter Township School District was approved by the Board on August 17, 2021. This plan serves as the local guidelines for all instructional and non-instructional school activities, but does not supersede any Orders by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health.
Please download a copy of this plan by clicking HERE.
FAQs for Families & Students:
REVISED on 9/2/21 per the Order of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Directing Face Coverings in School Entities, effective September 7, 2021 (revised sections in blue)
Q: What has changed as a result of the new face covering order issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, effective September 7, 2021?
- The District will be adhering to its definition of “face covering” for students, which includes well-fitting masks and gaiters. Because the ETSD will supply any student in need with a quality disposable mask, the district is not updating its masking guidelines to allow for shirts tied around the head, bandanas, etc.
- When participating in a sports team practice activity or event, whether indoors or outdoors, masks are not required per the Order of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Directing Face Coverings in School Entities.
Q: What about Non-Exeter SD groups and organizations who utilize our facilities after hours?
- Non-Exeter SD groups and organizations will need to wear masks indoors when using our facilities per the Order of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Directing Face Coverings in School Entities. Exceptions include the same exceptions for in-school activities (i.e. when eating, indoor sporting event, high intensity activity that includes six feet of distancing between all individuals for the entire session, etc.)
Q: Will the District Health and Safety Plan be updated with these changes?
- PDE and PADOH have indicated that Districts are not required to update their Health and Safety Plans at this time as the Order supersedes any individual school entity’s Health and Safety Plan (unless the local plan is more restrictive than the Order).
Q: Will this Health and Safety Plan change?
A: The Exeter Township SD Health and Safety Plan will be updated throughout the 2021-2022 school year whenever needed to adhere to any new PA Department of Health (PADOH) or Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) mandates and/or District Board actions related to the plan. Exeter Township SD will communicate any updated mitigation strategies with all stakeholders to ensure the health and safety of its community.
Q: Will Exeter Township SD students be required to wear masks for the start of the 2021-2022 school year?
Q: What constitutes a mask for students?
A: Students may wear well-fitted masks or gaiters. Masks and gaiters should be securely fitted around the head and go over the nose and be close-fitting under the chin. Face shields, bandanas, fabric wrapped around the face, etc. are not considered masks or gaiters.
Q: Do students need to wear masks during sports and extracurricular activities?
A: Students and staff participating in indoor sports and indoor extracurricular activities must wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status.
Q: What about physical distancing?
A: The District encourages physical distancing to the greatest extent feasible given the space restraints of a full return to school.
Q: What symptoms should I be aware of?
A: We ask that all parents and students review our Symptom Monitoring Tool whenever they feel ill, regardless of vaccination status. If they have one symptom in Group A or two or more symptoms in Group B, they should immediately isolate and follow the guidance in the next section.
Q: Are there any updates regarding student isolation guidance?
A: The District will adhere to current PADOH guidelines for isolation of COVID-19 positive individuals.
- If a student has tested positive for COVID-19, the student is required to isolate for 10 days and be fever-free for 24 hours prior to returning to school.
- If a student experiences COVID-19 symptoms, the student is required to isolate immediately and may either:
- Get tested for COVID-19 and return to school with a negative test/differential diagnosis doctor’s note and 24 hours fever-free and improved respiratory symptoms OR
- Isolate for 10 days and be fever-free for 24 hours prior to return to school.
Q: Will the district need to quarantine students if they've been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person?
A: The District will adhere to current PADOH guidelines for quarantining of close contacts following exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual. Currently the guidance states the following:
- Students who are identified as a close contact and are within less than three feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for 15 consecutive minutes will need to quarantine.
- Students who are identified as a close contact and are within 3 to 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive STUDENT for 15 consecutive minutes will NOT need to quarantine if both students were wearing well-fitting masks. This is a change from last year. This exemption does NOT include STUDENT/STAFF close contact.
- If students are vaccinated, they do not need to quarantine.
Please know that the PADOH may require some individuals to quarantine in other situations, such as extreme crowding, prolonged exposure time, etc.
Q: How long is the quarantine period?
A: Students who are required to quarantine will be asked to do so for 10 days without testing, or 7 days with a test after day 5 or thereafter. If students begin experiencing symptoms during quarantine, they will need to follow the isolation guidance as mentioned above. Symptom Monitoring Tool
Q: What other mitigation measures are in place?
A: These measures are in place:
- Buildings will be cleaned on a regular basis.
- Disinfection procedures will occur within 24 hours if a case is present.
- Visitors are required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
- The District will continue to report cases to PADOH and work collaboratively with the agency regarding COVID-19 issues.
Q: Will we experience building closures this year?
A: It is possible that the District will experience building closures this year. The following framework has been provided to school districts by PDE and PADOH:
- Outbreak definition: 2 or more cases among students/staff without other epidemiological linkages, with onset within 14 days in a single classroom or core group (a core group is defined as a school group activity outside of the classroom, such as band or team sport, etc.)
- If schools experience an outbreak, PA DOH will provide guidance which could include a closure and appropriate closure length, with a maximum closure of 14 days being possible.
- A maximum 14 day suspension of in-person learning may be recommended by PADOH if the following conditions exist:
- 5% of students/staff confirmed cases in a 14 day window:
- Small school (Jacksonwald) <500 students and staff: 25 case threshold
- Medium school (Owatin Creek, Lorane, Reiffton, Junior High) 500-900 students and staff: 25-45 case threshold
- Large school (High School) with 900+ students and staff: 45+ case threshold
- Or 3 simultaneous classroom and/or core group outbreaks
- 5% of students/staff confirmed cases in a 14 day window:
Please know that school enrollments fluctuate over the school year and these definition/case numbers may change.
Q: What has Exeter Township School District done with regard to vaccinations?
A: Last year, Exeter Township School District, in cooperation with Wal-Mart, was a host vaccination site and vaccinated approximately 7,000 individuals. Additionally, the District collaborated with the Berks County Intermediate Unit to provide vaccinations for Exeter Township School District employees. If there are questions about vaccinations, we strongly encourage our families to discuss these important questions with their family physician and health care providers.