With schools opening in about a month, the Central Bucks School District said Tuesday, masks will be optional and vaccines are not required for students or staff in the approaching school year.
In a letter to families, Acting Superintendent Abram M. Lucabaugh, said the district’s intention is to “reopen with full in-person education, including regular lunch and academic bell schedules, extracurricular activities and sports, as was the case prior to COVID.”
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday released new guidance for schools that supports in-person learning and recommends universal masking in school of everyone over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status – a stricter position than that taken this month by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pennsylvania’s departments of health and education require school districts to submit a draft health and safety plan for the 2021-2022 school year by July 31. Lucabaugh said both agencies continue to advise schools to follow revised guidance for K-12 schools released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The guidance, he said, is based on local levels of community transmission, vaccination coverage and “policies and regulations” when creating plans for mitigating COVID-19.
The draft plan will be on the school board’s July 27 agenda. The feasibility of a virtual option for elementary students is also slated for discussion. There will be no virtual option for students age 12 and over, according to earlier district announcements.