On November 15, the Penn Manor Board of School Directors approved a resolution regarding enforcement of the face coverings order issued by the Acting PA Secretary of Health.
You will find the signed resolution here or see the full text of the resolution below.
Prior to the vote on the resolution, which the school board approved unanimously, board president Herk Rintz read the following statement:
The Penn Manor Board of School Directors made its official position regarding face coverings clear when it adopted a mask optional policy in the summer of 2021. This School Board also respects the rule of law, which is why, in September, it directed the administration to enforce the Acting Secretary of Health’s face covering Order in spite of our concerns about the legality of the order.
Consistency is essential when dealing with children and classroom procedures. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the legal proceedings, the Board presently considers the current mask mandate to be unenforceable for our administration and faculty without severely impacting our learning environment.
The board recognizes the hardship that has been placed upon our staff and administration and how it has taken their focus off of the learning environment. We are extremely appreciative of their diligence and extra effort.
If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, you may contact Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter at (717) 872-9500 ext. 2223.
RESOLUTION ON MANDATED COVID-19 MITIGATION EFFORTS
BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PENN MANOR SCHOOL DISTRICT
NOVEMBER 15, 2021
WHEREAS, School Districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania operate under a multitude of federal and state laws, regulations and statutes related to the education of students; and
WHEREAS, the primary mission of the Penn Manor School District is to provide a quality education to its students; and
WHEREAS, Penn Manor School District continues to be recognized both statewide and nationally as a high performing school district; and
WHEREAS, all public school districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have implemented numerous health and safety protocols since March 2020 as a result of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the Penn Manor Board of School Directors recognizes that providing a safe and healthy school environment is vital; and
WHEREAS, the Penn Manor Board of School Directors adopted a new Health and Safety plan in July 2021 outlining important ongoing health protocols while also stating that the school district will be face-covering optional, absent existing, valid and binding orders from state and/or federal agencies; and
WHEREAS, the Acting Secretary of Health issued a face covering order effective September 7, 2021; and
WHEREAS, Penn Manor School District recognizes that this order issued by state officials is highly contentious with residents who are passionate about their views and beliefs; and
WHEREAS, the Board of School Directors recognizes that nearly all of its administration’s time has been spent since September 7 addressing parental concerns and complaints on all sides of the issues regarding the face covering order, as well as addressing needs of its students related to the order, at the expense of focusing their educational expertise on the core mission of education, which is to improve teaching and learning; and
WHEREAS, this order has resulted in a legal battle now before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; and
WHEREAS, this Penn Manor Board of School Directors respects the rule of law, which is part of the social and legal fabric of the United States of America.
NOW BE IT RESOLVED, that the Penn Manor Board of School Directors affirms its current Health and Safety plan including the observance of existing, valid, and binding orders; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that it directs its Superintendent of Schools to inform the administration to not remove individuals from classrooms or school property who respectfully refuse to comply with the Order so that administrators may return to the investment of their energies on their primary duties of supervising teaching and learning until the courts reach a final determination on the legality of the Order.
Adopted this 15th day of November 2021
School Board President Board Secretary (seal)
Board of School Directors Voting Agenda Posted: November 14, 2021