Dear LMSD Families,
I hope you are enjoying the final weeks of summer. As we look ahead to the upcoming start of the school year, I wanted to share an update on the District's Health and Safety Plan, which was approved by the Lower Merion Board of School Directors at their meeting last night. The plan includes changes recommended by the District's Health and Safety Committee that align with recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The District continues to urge all students and staff to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. Vaccines are available to anyone six months of age and older. Vaccine information from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) is available here.
In accordance with the most recent recommendations from the CDC, the District will discontinue routine contact tracing. Masks may be recommended again if the community COVID level is high, but masks are not required. Students who are asymptomatic will not need to quarantine after exposure, regardless of their vaccination status.
The CDC recommends masking for 10 days for any students or staff who are exposed to COVID-19 and testing on Day Five after exposure. Anyone who tests positive for COVID should isolate for five days. Isolation can end after Day Five, as long as symptoms are improving and any fever is gone. Masking is recommended through Day 10.
Absences for students who are in isolation will be excused upon receipt of a note from a parent or guardian. Students who are sick will not be able to join classes via Zoom. Teachers will provide makeup opportunities for missed work, as outlined in District Policy 207.
Social distancing is no longer recommended; therefore, cafeteria seating and meal service will return to the way they were prior to the pandemic. Traditional activities such as assemblies and other group gatherings will resume; however, field trip opportunities will remain limited, due to ongoing staffing considerations impacting both Health Services and Transportation. The District will continue to use MERV-13 air filters in all buildings.
As always, if the recommendations from the CDC or MCOPH change, the Health and Safety Committee will review those changes and implement updates to the Health and Safety Plan accordingly.
As always, I thank you for your patience and perseverance as we navigate the ongoing changes brought about by COVID-19. I look forward to seeing our students and staff in school very soon!
Khalid N. Mumin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools