Guidance updated for COVID-19 closures

April 5, 2021 Cranberry Local News

Butler County has moved into the “moderate” range for positive COVID-19 cases.

Mars Area School District has received updated guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding the number of days for which a school is required to close for cleaning, based upon the building’s enrollment and the number of active COVID-19 cases.

Mars Area Centennial School, which is considered a “small school” with less than 500 students, would need to close for one to two days when two to four positive cases are reported, or for a minimum of five days with five or more positive cases.

Mars Area Primary Center, Mars Area Elementary School and Mars Area Middle School — which are considered “medium schools” with 500 to 900 students — would need to close for one to two days when four to six positive cases are reported, or for a minimum of five days with seven or more positive cases.

Mars Area High School, which is considered a “large school” with more than 900 students, would need to close for one to two days when six to 10 positive cases are reported, or for a minimum of five days with 11 or more positive cases.

School closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by the education department, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.

In addition to any building closures based on the total number of positive cases, individual school closures may be deemed necessary if and when required quarantines result in staffing shortages.

In the event that a school is closed, all affected students will participate in lessons via livestream interactive (LSI) instruction, with teachers facilitating instruction on a period-by-period basis.

Building administrators, paraprofessionals and support staff members will be temporarily relocated to other schools while custodial crews clean the building.

In addition, any scheduled athletics events or activities at that building will be canceled or relocated, when possible.

For those parents/guardians or students who do not feel comfortable attending school in person, the district continues to provide the option for students to participate via LSI instruction.

For more information, visit www.marsk12.org.