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April 5, 2021

This message was shared for the 2020-21 school year.

Dear Colleague,

As we remain committed to doing everything we can to create the conditions for a return to in-person instruction as soon as safely possible, we joined the Pennsylvania Department of Health in recently announcing updates to our recommendations for K-12 schools on social distancing in classrooms and handling COVID-19 cases in school buildings.

In line with that announcement, we are announcing additional updates to our instructional model recommendations that are consistent with updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit PDE's website for more information on this update, which goes into effect on Monday, April 12. You will note that modifications were made to the recommended instructional models when counties are in the moderate and substantial levels of community transmission.

It is important to note that when transitioning between any instructional models, it is critical to continue to stay vigilant around mitigation strategies, including face coverings and social distancing.

We believe the announcements made over the past week create additional flexibilities for school leaders, like yourself, to make decisions at the local level consistent with best practices and with public health and safety at the forefront. As always, we will continue to monitor evolving research and guidance and modify our operational strategies accordingly.

I know that many school communities are returning from breaks this week - I hope you found time to rest and recharge as we enter the last few months of the school year.

Thank you for your continued leadership as we navigate this pandemic together.

- Matt Stem