On July 31, 2021 the Board of Directors of South Hills Catholic Academy issued the Academy’s Mask, Vaccination and COVID-19 Policy found here. The policy promises: “SHCA leadership will continually monitor legal guidance and governmental mandates…to ensure compliance with the law while promoting a holistic education and health and safety for our school community.”
The statement concludes by stating that: “To the extent we are required by law to change our policies, SHCA will return to the within policies as soon as legally permitted to do so.”
On Tuesday, September 7, 2021, the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an Order mandating that a school entity must once again require “each teacher, child/student, staff, or visitor working, attending, or visiting a School Entity to wear a face covering indoors, regardless of vaccination status.”
In light of this legal mandate, the Board of Directors of SHCA has met and determined that we are required to amend our existing mask optional policy to require that all students, staff and visitors wear masks while indoors at the school, effective September 7, 2021.
The Order of the Acting Secretary provides exceptions from being required to wear a mask:
“If wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition, or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability that makes it unreasonable for the person to maintain a face covering.”
If you believe that an exception is appropriate for your child/children, please request an exemption from the mask requirement by filling out this form and submit it to the Academy’s Office no later than Tuesday morning, September 7.
Finally, we ask you to continue to strictly adhere to our most important COVID-prevention measure: keeping your children home if they are sick, especially if they are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms (which may include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea).
We regret that this change in our mask policy has become necessary and remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure our students can continue to receive in-person instruction at school, which is a main priority. The mask requirement will be removed as soon as we are permitted under the law, and we will revert to our original policy of July 31, 2021.