Lack of Instruction from Up Top Makes Decision to Reopen Much Harder for Local School Districts

Kimberly McGuane
Image via the West Chester Area School District.

The West Chester Area School District is among the many school districts in Pennsylvania struggling with making a decision on reopening schools this fall amidst conflicting coronavirus guidelines, write Maddie Hanna and Kristen Graham for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

In a letter to families sent out last week, West Chester Superintendent Jim Scanlon explained that while the Pennsylvania Department of Health had set rules on capacity at restaurants, it has made no such requirements for schools.

“As an educator who doesn’t have a medical background and is being asked to make significant public health decisions,” he wrote, “this is extremely frustrating.”

However, among the few issues clarified recently is the universal mask-wearing order. It has been confirmed by the Health Department that this applies to children in school buildings.

West Chester has been considering starting the year by bringing all students back to the school building but ensuring they stay at least three feet apart. Even before the masking order was clarified, Scanlon wrote to parents that children would be required to wear a mask “in case three feet separation can’t be maintained.”

Read more about the West Chester Area School District in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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