Frequently Asked Questions

  • School Demographics and Shutdown Procedures 

    Are masks required by students, staff, or visitors?

    On February 22, 2022, masks will be strongly encouraged, but not required, inside of all Derry Township School District buildings. 

    Can a student or staff member still wear a face mask if they prefer?

    Yes. Masks are a voluntary mitigation effort. The decision to wear a mask will be left to the individual and/or the student's family. 

    In what situation would face masks be required again?

    It is possible that DTSD could return to a mask-required learning environment should building/district transmission rates exceed 3.5% or if the legal requirements regarding masking change.

    What does 3.5% look like in each building?

    Early Childhood Center - greater than 15
    Hershey Elementary School - greater than 33
    Hershey Middle School - greater than 28
    Hershey High School - greater than 41

    How will I be notified if the mask requirements change?

    An email and text message will be sent from the District to notify the school community of any changes in the masking requirement for the school building.

    Is the district requiring masks for students and staff on district transportation?

    Staff and students will be required to wear a face mask while riding school transportation in alignment with the CDC Order regarding public transportation. If the mask mandate requirement placed on transportation is lifted, we will modify expectations accordingly.


    Is there guidance from the state regarding school-wide shutdowns for this year?

    A maximum 14-day suspension of in-person learning may be recommended by the Department of Health if the following criteria are met:

    • 5% of students/staff confirmed cases in the 14-day window:
      • Small School (<500 staff & students): 25 cases threshold
      • Medium School (500 - 900 staff & students): 25 - 45 case threshold
      • Large School (900+ staff & students): 45+ case threshold

    OR

    • 3 simultaneous classroom and/or core group outbreaks

    What size categories does each of our schools fall into?

    ECC - Small
    Elementary & High School - Large
    Middle School - Medium

    What timeframe does the COVID count on your website represent?

    Since the inception of the table and graph last school year, noting the totals, we have included the totals on a 14-day rotation. This was done since, as per the CDC and PA DOH, trends need to be sustained for seven to 14 days before any conclusions can be made regarding the progress of the pandemic in an institution such as schools. This school year we have begun representing daily totals for both positive and quarantine cases in a graph to help parents better understand the curve and data over the 14-day period. 


    Quarantine Information

    What is considered an outbreak?

    2 or more cases among students/staff without other identified epidemiological linkage, with onset within 14 days in a single classroom or core group.

    When will my child need to be quarantined? For how long?

    Please see the attached flow chart and read carefully the Vaccinated and Unvaccinated procedures. LINK

    Who does the quarantine/symptoms group represent?

    The Quarantine/Symptoms category includes all COVID related scenarios other than a positive case such as symptomatic, awaiting test result, close contact, probable case (as deemed by a physician), etc

    Will my child be able to Zoom into their classes if they are at home for quarantine?

    Yes, a student that is quarantined for a positive COVID test and feels well enough to join classes is able to join their classes via Zoom.

    Once quarantine has been confirmed, please allow 1 business day for teachers to prepare for Zoom classes. 


    In-School Information

    How will lunches be handled?

    ECC students will eat lunch with half of the grade level with their assigned classes.  Students will be spread out as feasible and will be assigned seats so that contact tracing can occur if necessary.

    Elementary students eat by grade level, with approximately half of each grade in one of two cafeterias. Students will spread out by 6 feet and will be assigned seats so that contact tracing can occur, if necessary. 

    Middle School students will spread out by 6 feet and will be assigned seats so that contact tracing can occur, if necessary. 

    High School students will use a QR code system to identify where they have sat each day for lunch to allow for contact tracing if necessary. High School outdoor seating has been increased to over 160 seats with the addition of picnic tables. 


    Rapid Antigen Testing

    Can I get a copy of the testing consent form prior to symptoms or close contact?

    No. Consents forms are only sent to the parents/guardians of students or staff members that are showing symptoms of COVID-19 at home or school or may have been exposed to COVID-19 at home or school but are not showing symptoms.