Clearfield County Career and Technology Center Superintendent of Record Ron Matchock said the vocational technical school’s mask mandate is important to protect the school.

Currently, CCCTC requires all students and staff to wear a mask in school unless they have a medical exemption.

Matchock, who is the superintendent of the Curwensville Area School District, said mandates are needed because they have to do what’s best to minimize their legal liability.

“Our existance as school districts and as this career and technology center are not a given,” Matchock said.

And if they don’t make good legal liablity decisions, it could jeopardize their existence.

Matchock said the mask mandates are based on the legal advice of their solicitors and the state Department of Education.

As for exemptions, all of their legal advice is that they cannot take parent exemptions at this time and all exemptions must fall under medical guidelines.

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He said this isn’t about whether they agree or disagree with it, this is what they are being told by PDE and their legal representatives.

“This isn’t about trying to convince everyone that we need to wear masks or not wear masks” Matchock said. “It’s really about what’s the best thing for us and our districts.”

And he said it is important that all of the CCCTC’s five sending districts be on the same page in regard to the mask mandate because if they aren’t, it could make it unmanageable at the CCCTC. He said the sending districts have “tremendous” collaboration with each other.

Executive Director Fred Redden said all students and staff are required to wear masks unless they have a medical exemption as mandated by PDE.

Redden said even those students who have a medical exemption have been complying with the mandates so they can participate in the hands-on training and programs.

“Even if there is an exemption, they do the absolute best that they can because they want to be involved with the hands-on activities,” Redden said of the students. “They are doing what they need to do.”

Redden said all of the CCCTC’s sending school districts have essentially the same masking policy, with only minor differences.

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