Health & Safety Information

Dear UASD Parents and Families:  

As many of you know, the Department of Health has issued a mask mandate for all school districts in the state which also includes private and parochial schools. Upon review of the information provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DoH), the district had lengthy discussions among the Superintendents of Fayette County to discuss options with the mandate issued by the Secretary of Health. The solicitors of each district are adamant that the mandate is legal and can be enforced. The district also met with the superintendents of Intermediate Unit 1, and they have received the same legal advice. We are required to follow this mandate. To not follow the mandate opens the district up, as well as individuals, to potential personal liability. It also jeopardizes the district’s insurance policies on liability insurance. Persons not following this mandate are also subject to penalty provisions of the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955.  

The Uniontown Area School District has a mission to educate our students and continues to believe that in-person instruction is the best means to accomplish this mission. It is also evident that students are pleased to be in school and in a classroom setting. While it is understandable that many parents have objections while other parents support this mandate, we ask that the students are not placed in the middle of this divisive issue. This issue needs to be addressed at the state level and/or within the judicial system. The administration, teachers and staff are required to follow the mandate.  

With that being said, the Uniontown Area School District will follow the mandate requiring masks to be worn. A link to the Department of Health’s Mask Mandate can be found on the district’s main webpage under the “Health & Safety” information. Please read it carefully.  

If your child meets the exemption criteria listed under Section 3B of the Mask Mandate, please click the link included at the end of this letter to complete a “request for exception”.  

Under Section 4 (School Entity Obligations) it states:  

A school entity must provide reasonable accommodations for individuals who state they have a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the person to maintain a face covering.  

Once the district receives the request, your child’s guidance counselor will be in direct contact with you and will provide you with further documentation that will need to be completed as a part of the section 504 process. This process also requires medical documentation to be provided and reviewed for further consideration. The process for a section 504 plan is mandated under other requests by students for accommodations based on medical issues and/or disability and is in accordance with Federal Law and Regulations. Note: under the mandate, philosophical objections or disagreement with wearing a mask are not considered valid excuses. 

All required documentation must be submitted to your child’s guidance counselor no later than October 11, 2021 for compliance to the mandate.  

Please remember, there must be a separate request made for each of your children who meet the criteria for exemptions.  

Any event or activity that is outdoors is exempted from the mask mandate requirements, including outdoor sporting events. However, visitors attending indoor school activities, including Open Houses and indoor sporting events must wear a mask unless they fall under one of the exceptions mentioned previously. No masks are required for any event taking place outdoors. The mask mandate applies to school settings; it does not apply to the Federal Order requiring students to wear masks on school district transportation. Face coverings are still required while riding district transportation.  

The District wants to work with parents and guardians through this situation. We feel at this time, it is the best way to accommodate parent concerns and still follow the mandate. We have been receiving ever-changing messaging from the Department of Health and the Department of Education regarding the masking mandate. We expect that we will be revisiting this issue again. Until that time, this is what we will be administering.  

Respectfully, 
Charles D. Machesky Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools  

Please remember, there must be a separate request made for each of your children who meet the criteria for exemptions.  

Request for Exception Form: https://forms.office.com/r/9cJyzFDD 

Religious Exemption Request Form (Click link to download the form)

 

Universal Mask Mandate

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Mask Mandate

Click here for a downloadable version of the form

Click here for a downloadable version of the form

How to Safely Wear and Take Off a Mask

COVID-19 Symptomatic K-12 Student or Staff Process Flow Chart