Call it curriculum confusion.
Parents are getting mixed messages on whether or not their unvaccinated children should mask up when they return to the classroom this fall. This as the nation's top health officials say the number of COVID cases in kids is on the rise, which could spell trouble if more adults don't get vaccinated before the start of the school year.
As health experts offer mixed messaging on mask safety in schools this fall, districts are making their own recommendations.
This week, Central Bucks School District officials revealed students and staff won’t be required to wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status.
"I think it's fine. I think that's what the science says. I have faith in the school district,” parent Ken Anderson said.
"I think that's up to parents rather than the school board,” grandparent Jan Kaupas said.
In a letter to parents Tuesday, the state’s third-largest district says it made the decision after consulting with the Bucks County Department of Health. The letter revealed it also won't require proof of vaccination.
However, some parents still plan to have their kids mask up.
"We are going to do that because she's yet to be vaccinated,” parent Indu Nayak said.
The district and a few others in our area, like Nazareth and East Penn, are breaking from the latest CDC guidelines, which recommend students and staff wear masks if they aren't vaccinated, while those who are can leave them at home.
The Wolf Administration's also following CDC guidelines for Pennsylvania students.
On its website last week, the Department of Education posted that schools should refer to the CDC when it comes to mask guidance, adding that it doesn't plan to release different state guidance or recommendations.
"We have seen children get quite ill both in the immediate phase, in the hospital, and in the long-term,” Dr. Lee Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said.
Yet, the Academy says all students older than two should wear face masks while at school, even if they're vaccinated.
"This is the way to help keep everyone safe to protect everyone in our community and especially right now those children under 12 who don't have access to this safe and effective vaccine," Beers added.
On Wednesday, the state Department of Human Services released guidance too, saying adults getting vaccinated is the best way to protect kids. It also strongly encourages kids between two and eleven to wear face coverings in all public settings.