Reminder Message and Update Regarding Health and Safety Plan Revisions
Dear CSD Faculty/Staff and Parents/Guardians:
The School Board approved the 2021-22 Health and Safety Plan at the August 17, 2021 school board meeting as a result of the current COVID-19 conditions and based upon recommendations made by the Bucks County Health Department (BCHD), American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Health, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
On August 23rd, all Bucks County Superintendents received updated guidance from the Bucks County Health Department stating in part the following (full communication of BCHD letter attached):
The Bucks County Health Department (BCHD) wants our schools to be safe, healthy, open,
and able to provide a quality in-person education. Per the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), we know students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning
to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority. Effective immediately, the BCHD will
issue COVID-19 mitigation recommendations consistent with CDC and the Pennsylvania
Department of Health (PADOH).
As we prepare to welcome our students and staff for in-person teaching and learning, CSD will immediately adjust the school reopening process to ensure that all students, faculty/staff, and community are safe. This updated guidance from the Bucks County Health Department results in aligned federal, state, and local guidance and provides the same recommendations for a safe school reopening. CSD will also be making adjustments to the current Health and Safety Plan.
We will have the following health and safety protocols within our buildings as we begin the school year. Please note, what follows is only a summary of key points. The complete set of CDC and PADOH guidance can be found at these links CDC and PADOH, respectively. The following also replaces previously issued BCHD school guidance. The revised Health and Safety Plan will be presented for school board approval at the next scheduled meeting.
Masks/Face Coverings (CDC Guide to Masks):
- Per the CDC, PA Department of Health, PA Department of Education guidance, all individuals (students, teachers, staff, visitors) will be required to wear masks in schools K-12 to begin the school year regardless of vaccination status due to the current level of community transmission. We will provide time for physically distanced “mask breaks” at various times during the day. Masks generally will not be required when engaged in outdoor activities.
- Masks will not be required while eating lunch but recommended, and students will be expected to remain physically distanced. We have identified additional space in each school so that students can practice physical distancing.
- CDC’s operational strategy advises using the thresholds determined by metrics as a first step in planning to implement prevention strategies in elementary, middle, and high school level learning. Therefore, when possible, CSD will implement the CDC’s operational strategy using thresholds determined by metrics.
- Per federal requirements, anyone riding a Centennial school bus or public transportation will need to wear a mask at all times. Therefore, students must put on their masks before boarding.
- Whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days as both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals can transmit the virus during that time.
- Parents should report positive COVID-19 cases to schools. In addition, CSD is required to report cases to the BCHD.
- CSD will continue to work closely with BCHD to complete contact tracing for individuals diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19. As part of the contact tracing process, the PADOH and BCHD will continue to work with schools to gather information about potential close contacts.
- The CDC, PA Department of Health, and PA Department of Education recommend maintaining at least 3 feet of physical distance between students in classrooms, with additional layered mitigation efforts employed if distance recommendations prevent a school from fully reopening.
- CSD will continue to space out desks in classrooms to keep students physically distanced to the greatest extent possible.
- Federal, State, and local health officials state that all eligible individuals 12 years of age and older should get vaccinated.
- Any individuals who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should be referred for COVID-19 testing.
Recess and Physical Education:
- IN GENERAL, per CDC guidance, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors (e.g., participating in outdoor play, recess, and physical education activities). However, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmission levels, at minimum, people who are not fully vaccinated will be encouraged (or required) to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated.
Sports and Extracurricular Activities:
- CSD school administration will follow the recommended specific sport-related risks outlined in the CDC guidance when determining the use of mask and physical distancing guidelines.
Other Mitigation Strategies:
- All students and staff will be asked to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If they are feeling sick, they should stay home from school. If they are experiencing symptoms of the virus, they should consult a healthcare professional right away and notify the school office.
- Students and staff will be frequently reminded about the importance of proper handwashing.
- We will continue to place no-touch hand sanitizer units throughout our buildings.
- Custodians will continue to clean all buildings after each school day thoroughly.
- Family members should not leave their vehicles when picking up or dropping off students unless necessary.
As we have said throughout this pandemic, conditions and recommendations change almost daily. Therefore, we must continue to remain flexible. Schools play an essential role in protecting the health of our entire community, and our layered mitigation strategy will likely continue to evolve throughout the upcoming school year.
Our School Board and administration are committed to reviewing our Health and Safety Plan regularly to determine when and if it may need to be updated. As in the past, any public meetings to discuss such a change will be advertised in advance to allow public comment unless emergency action is required.
As always, thank you for your support. We look forward to starting a new school year and working together with you so that the education of our students can take place in an environment that is safe and healthy for all.
Supply Chain Challenges Impacting Food Delivery
Dear CSD Families:
Ongoing supply-chain challenges and labor shortages due to the impacts of COVID have had an industry-wide effect and have created some service challenges in select markets that have impacted CSD's Food and Nutrition Program. CSD providers have been aggressive in taking steps to minimize these challenges, including new hiring initiatives, delivery route optimizations, shifting resources between distribution centers, and enhanced supplier management to prioritize the products our customers need most.
Despite those many actions to mitigate ongoing challenges, our providers are experiencing service disruptions that are impacting the Tri-State Food Service Group. As a result, there has been a temporary pause in service.
The CSD Food and Nutrition Staff are committed to serving our students and families. Please see the attached document for information regarding our efforts internally to address this issue.