2021-2022 Start of School Information

Union Area School District

2021-2022 Covid-19 Information for Parents and Students

(All Call sent 8/2/2021 at 3 pm)


Union Community:  

As we make final preparations for the 2021-2022 school year, we wanted to share information regarding our Covid-19 protocols.  At the July 28, 2021 meeting of the School Board, the Board approved the Health and Safety Plan for the district.  This plan can be viewed by clicking on the following link:   2021-2022 Health and Safety Plan 

Some additional information regarding our Covid-19 procedures and start of school are listed below. Please note that this plan may change throughout the school year as new guidance is issued and the district evaluates the community Covid-19 situation.  


Important Dates

Elementary Meet and Greet – Additional information will be sent to parents at a later date

6th Grade Orientation – Tuesday, August 24 at 5 pm

7th Grade – 12th Grade Meet and Greet – Tuesday, August 24 from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

First Day of School – Wednesday, August 25


Breakfast and Lunch Costs

All students qualify for free breakfasts and lunches for the 2021-2022 school year.  



Currently, there is no mask mandate in Pennsylvania.  However, masks are encouraged.  

As of July 28, 2021, masks will be optional for all students and staff in the school building regardless of vaccination status.   (Please see below for masking on school transportation).  Students and staff may choose to wear a mask if they wish, but it will not be required at this time.  While not required, it is strongly encouraged that students and staff wear a mask while indoors.  

Masks are required on transportation, including school transportation for everyone.  Therefore all students and adults, regardless of vaccination status must wear a mask on school transportation.  (See https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/masks/mask-travel-guidance.html).  


Physical Distancing

Current recommendations are for at least 3 feet of distance in school settings.  The district will space students as much as possible in classrooms and other locations.  Last year, most classrooms were able to be spaced at least 5 – 6 feet apart.  


Synchronous Learning Option 

Synchronous learning will not be an option for students to select during the 2021-2022 school year as our goal is to return to in-person learning for all students. If parents do not wish students to return to in-person learning, please contact your student’s building to discuss our Cyber U program which will allow students to participate in our in-house cyber program.  

Please note that if it is necessary to quarantine students in Grades 6-12, they will be permitted to attend classes synchronously only during their quarantine period.  More information is included below. 


Synchronous Learning Due to Quarantine

If it is necessary for a student to quarantine in Grades 6 – 12, those students will attend classes synchronously through Google Classroom for the duration of their quarantine period.  This option is only available to students who are quarantined by a medical provider or our school nurses and will only last for the duration of the quarantine period.  Students who are absent from school for any other reason will receive their make up work to complete as had been done in the past.  

If students in PK-5 are required to quarantine, the student’s teacher will send work home for the student to complete.  Elementary students, however, will not attend classes virtually during the quarantine period.  Instead, teachers will be available to assist through email or their classroom communication system.


Quarantining and Isolating 

The district will follow all DOH and CDC directions regarding quarantining and isolating students or staff members who contract Covid-19, are considered as a probable positive case, or who are considered close contacts. 

Close contacts are defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (either a positive Covid-19 diagnosis or a probable Covid-19 diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.  

Per the CDC Guidance found here (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact-tracing/contact-tracing-plan/appendix.html#contact), students may not need to quarantine if they were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected individual and both individuals were correctly wearing a mask.  However, if either student was unmasked, then students may need to quarantine.  

Individuals who are fully vaccinated and are close contacts will likely not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms related to Covid-19.  Please see the following interim CDC guidance regarding exposure for vaccinated individuals:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html


Temperature Taking

Students and staff will still have their temperatures taken upon arrival to school.  Individuals with temperatures greater than 100.4 degrees will be sent to the school nurse for further evaluation.  



MS/HS:  Students will eat in the cafeteria and the common area in front of the cafeteria.  Seats will be blocked off to allow for social distancing.  

Elementary:  grades will alternate to allow for social distancing.  One week a grade will eat in their classroom.  The next week that grade will eat in the cafeteria.  (For example — Week 1, Grade 2 will eat in the cafeteria and Grade 3 eats in their classroom.  Week 2, Grade 2 eats in their classroom, and Grade 3 will eat in the cafeteria).


Restrooms, Common Areas, High Touch Surfaces

Restrooms, common areas, and high touch surfaces (handles, counters, etc.) will be cleaned frequently throughout the day.  All students are encouraged to bring a clear water bottle and water with them to school.  Water fountains will not be in service, except for specially designated fountains.  These fountains will be cleaned frequently and should only be used to refill a water bottle, not to get a drink from.  Signs will be posted near the water fountain to remind students NOT to use it to get a drink, only to refill their water bottle.   



MS/HS:  students are not required to change into gym clothes this year to avoid the use of the locker rooms.  Activities will be available to students that can be completed in whatever they wore to school that day.  Students will wash/sanitize hands before and after gym and equipment will be sanitized between classes. 

Elementary:  will focus, as much as possible, on individual skills.  Students will wash/sanitize hands before and after gym and equipment will be sanitized between classes.


Elementary Recess

One grade level at a time will be scheduled for recess with students alternating location (equipment side of the playground, field side of the playground, or track) to allow for social distancing. 

Playground equipment will be sprayed with disinfectant between classes.  Students will wash hands before and after recess. 


Additional Cleaning and Sanitizing Procedures

Hand sanitizing dispensers will be in all instructional spaces.  Additional disinfecting supplies (wipes, spray, etc.) will be available in all instructional spaces.  

Frequent cleaning of all restrooms and high touch surfaces, including playground equipment. 

As much as possible, we will try not to share supplies or equipment between students.  However, there may be times when this is necessary.  If this is the case, these supplies or equipment will be sanitized between uses.


Monitoring for Symptoms

Families will be asked to self-monitor for symptoms or signs of exposure and keep their student home if the student has a symptom, has a temperature, or has been exposed to the virus.  Please see the Symptom Screening Tool on the following page that all parents will be asked to use daily before sending their students to school.   

Staff and students will have temperatures taken upon arrival to school. Staff will self-monitor and remain home if they show symptoms, have a temperature, or are directed to quarantine due to exposure.

School Symptom Screening Tool

Complete Daily Prior to School/Work (does not need to be submitted to school – for parent/employee use)

Temperature – If above 100.4, staff and students should stay home.  

Are you/is the student taking any medication to treat or reduce a fever such as Ibuprofen (i.e. Advil, Motrin) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol)?  If yes, staff and students should stay home until fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication.  

Are you/is the student experiencing any of the following?


Group A

If you/the student has 1 or more symptoms, please stay home

Group B

If you/the student has 2 or more symptoms, please stay home

Fever (100.4 or higher)


Shortness of breath

Difficulty breathing

New lack of smell or taste

Sore throat

Runny nose/congestion


Muscle pain

Nausea or Vomiting



Stay home if, you or the student:

  • Have one or more symptoms in Group A; or 
  • Have two or more symptoms in Group B; or
  • Are taking fever reducing medication; or 
  • Are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test

What if students/staff present symptoms during the day? 

Procedures will be introduced to the staff regarding sending students to the health office to ensure that social distancing can occur safely and that the nurse is in the office. 

If a student/staff/visitor exhibits signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they will: 

– Staff notify the school nurse prior to sending the student to the health office or before arriving 


– Individual will be masked immediately if not wearing one

– Individual will be assessed after PPE applied by school nurse 

– Student’s parent/guardian will be called to arrange for pick up from school

– Student will be escorted to the car when parent arrives 

– Siblings may be dismissed as well after consultation with the school nurse

– Staff will be dismissed after assessment by school nurse 


Will students be quarantined/not permitted to attend school if a classmate or teacher tests positive for Covid-19? 

The district will make determinations with consultation of the school nursing staff and the PA DOH.  Quarantine recommendations are based on proximity to the individual testing positive and duration of time.  If it becomes necessary to quarantine due to possible exposure, parents will be informed of the need to quarantine their students and the length of time required.   

Students in PK-5 will have work made available to them for the duration of the quarantine period.  Students in 6-12 will attend classes synchronously through Google Classroom for the duration of their quarantine period.  

Parents should make a plan for childcare in the event this becomes necessary during the school year.  While the district will try to give as much advanced notice as possible, we will follow PA DOH guidance which may result in an immediate quarantine of specific classes or students based on their recommendation.