August 25, 2021
Dear Catasauqua Area School District Parents and Staff:
We look forward to welcoming your children back to school for the 2021-2022 School Year! Our faculty and staff have been working tirelessly to prepare for a productive, engaging, and safe educational experience. As you may be aware, the Catasauqua Area School District Health and Safety Plan requires monitoring of regional and local COVID related information. In response to the most current data, I would like to inform you of a necessary modification to a practice in the CASD Health and Safety Plan.
Effective Monday August 30, 2021, the Catasauqua Area School District will require face coverings inside our school buildings and maintain the face covering requirement on transportation vehicles. This requirement will apply to Sheckler Elementary School, Catasauqua Middle School and Catasauqua High School through October 1, 2021.
In order to maintain in-person instruction and minimize quarantine related absences, required face coverings is an additional strategy to help accomplish these goals. Student and staff well-being and safety are of paramount importance. School leaders understand that, at times, decisions may be divisive. I hope and pray that you will understand the difficulty of these decisions, but ultimately recognize we must prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff.
Local health and medical professionals have provided guidance and issued recommendations for the safe opening of schools aligned with the American Academy of Pediatrics. These recommendations emphasize the importance of face coverings as a mitigation strategy.
Additionally, the Lehigh County COVID-19 Level of Community Transmission is currently classified as “High” and the most recent data reflects:
- An increase in regional daily new cases
- An increase in 7 day average new cases
- An increase in new case rate
- An increase in 7 day average new case rate
- An increase in CASD current student and staff cases/quarantines
Source: COVID-19 Aggregate Cases Current Daily County Health Dashboard, August 25, 2021
While face coverings are required indoors through October 1st, outdoor activities and instruction will be encouraged, and when socially distanced, students are not required to wear face coverings during these outdoor activities.
District leadership will continue to monitor local/regional health data and communicate information and updates throughout September. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in promoting a healthy and safe environment for our students, staff and community.
Robert J. Spengler