Keystone Oaks School District News Article

August 18: Health & Safety Plan Updates

Please find below a few important updates from the District’s Health & Safety Plan, which was approved by the Board of School Directors in June and continues to be in place as we start the 2021-2022 school year. 


The Keystone Oaks School District will continue to update its Health & Safety Plan to follow the recommendations and/or mandates from the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, PA Governor’s Office, PA Department of Health, and/or the Allegheny County Health Department, and the tracking of local COVID-19 data in the three boroughs and schools. 


Following the CDC order, universal masking will be required while on District transportation to and from school, sports, and activities. This includes all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. 


In accordance with guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Allegheny County Health Department, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the  District will implement the Health & Safety Plan based on the current level of COVID-19 transmission, as defined by the CDC. 


Please note that modifications to these levels may occur at any time based upon active cases, transmission, or other factors that suggest masking might reduce the spread in a classroom or school building, during periods of higher transmission, or after consultation with the Allegheny County Health Department or other health officials. 


Level 1: 


When Allegheny County is in “Low Transmission,” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control AND the District is experiencing a low number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst students, staff, and in the community, which will be determined in consultation with the Allegheny County Health Department. 


  • It is strongly encouraged that masks be worn in accordance with the recommendations of those agencies listed above. 


Level 2


When Allegheny County is in “Moderate Transmission,” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control AND the District is experiencing a low or moderate number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst students, staff, and in the community, which will be determined in consultation with the Allegheny County Health Department. 

  • The District requires that all students in Kindergarten through sixth grade wear a mask at all times while indoors. 

  • Masks are strongly recommended for students in grades 7-12, especially students who are not vaccinated. 

  • Masks are strongly recommended for all employees and guests, especially those who are not vaccinated. 

  • Parents/guardians of students in Kindergarten through sixth grade who “opt out” of wearing a mask will have to inform the District in writing and provide documentation from a licensed medical provider. 

  • Students may remove their masks while eating or drinking inside when socially distanced to the extent feasible, and during mask breaks, when outdoors, or participating in indoor sports and physical education classes. 


Level 3


When Allegheny County is in “Substantial or High Transmission,” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control AND/OR the District is experiencing a substantial or high number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst students, staff, and in the community, which will be determined in consultation with the Allegheny County Health Department. 


  • The District requires that all students in Kindergarten through grade twelve and all employees wear a mask at all times while indoors. 

  • Parents/guardians of students in Kindergarten through grade twelve who “opt out” of wearing a mask will have to inform the District in writing and provide medical documentation from a licensed medical provider. 

  • Students may remove their masks while eating or drinking inside when socially distanced to the extent feasible, and during mask breaks, when outdoors, or participating in indoor sports and physical education classes. 


As of today, Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Allegheny County is in the High Level of COVID-19 transmission and, therefore, Keystone Oaks is currently operating under Level 3 of the District’s Health & Safety Plan.  The CDC updates its levels of community transmission on a weekly basis. 


Educational Options

The District will offer five days of in-person instruction for all K-12 students. Keystone Oaks also offers the Keystone Oaks Cyber Academy, which provides students with an online, asynchronous option. To enroll in the Cyber Academy, please reach out to the appropriate individual below by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 24, 2021



As approved in the Health & Safety Plan, Keystone Oaks will only offer synchronous online classes in limited circumstances, such as when a student has to quarantine due to COVID-19. Other incidents may qualify for synchronous learning and will be handled on an individual basis.  


Contact Tracing

Please refer to this flow chart for more details on contact tracing: https://www.kosd.org/Downloads/COVID-19%20Quarantine%20Flowchart.pdf


Following CDC guidelines, Keystone Oaks will utilize the following process for contract tracing when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school setting: 

  • In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student are not considered to be a close contact if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time.

  • For adults in the school setting, close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period. Contract tracing begins two days before the infected person began exhibiting symptoms or, for asymptomatic individuals, two days prior to the individual testing positive for COVID-19. 

  • Fully vaccinated close contacts will be referred for COVID-19 testing. If asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine at home following an exposure (they can continue to attend school in-person and participate in other activities). In addition to correctly wearing masks in school, they should wear a mask in other indoor public settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.

  • Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated will be referred for COVID-19 testing. Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine at home for 10 days if the individual has not developed symptoms. Quarantine can end after 7 days if the individual is tested on day 5 or later after exposure and receives a negative test result. 


Physical Distancing

Students will be spaced three feet apart, to the maximum extent feasible. In instances where three feet of distancing cannot be maintained, clear dividers will be placed on desks or tables to provide an extra layer of protection. 


Daily Health Screenings

Families should continue to monitor their child’s health daily and are asked to keep students home if they are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea


Students or staff members who develop any of the above symptoms while in school will be referred to a medical provider and should not return to school or work until they are symptom free (without the use of medication) for 24 hours and/or have been cleared by a medical provider to return to school. 

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