Below is an extensive and comprehensive guide to what each school (listed by county) is requiring or mandating when it comes to masks, along with any information and links to further reading material.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As students prepare to head back to the classrooms for the upcoming school year, some school districts, colleges, and universities may be implementing different guidelines when it comes to masks, face coverings, vaccines, and COVID-19.

The CDC has recommended that masks be worn by all students and staff in all K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, but local districts are approaching the guidance in different ways.

Governor Tom Wolf said in early August that the state will not be issuing a mandate for masks to be worn in schools. He says the Department of Education will provide a strong set of recommendations, but it’s not their place to make it a requirement.

The federal government’s mandate still requires that masks or facial coverings be worn while riding buses or public transportation.

All of this may have you asking one or more of the following questions:

“Will my child’s school require masks?”

“What if my child is vaccinated?”

“My child is not vaccinated. What will they need to do?”

These are all questions that may arise as your student prepares to go back to school.

Below is an extensive and comprehensive guide to what each school district and local university (school districts listed by county) is requiring or mandating when it comes to masks, along with any information and links to further reading material.

Allegheny County

Allegheny Valley

Allegheny Valley School District announced it will be mandating students to wear masks during the 2021-2022 school year. A full letter from Superintendent Dr. Patrick Graczyck can be found here.

Avonworth

Masks will be required for students in grades K-6. Masks will be optional for students in grades 7-12. The district recommends that masks be worn by unvaccinated students in grades 7-12 and unvaccinated staff. Read more.

Baldwin-Whitehall

The wearing of masks will be optional unless mandated by the Pa. Secretary of Health, Governor, or other governing authority. Read more. 

Bethel Park

Masks are required in all district-owned buildings, structures and transportation for the duration of the first semester. Read more.

Brentwood

Masks are recommended for anyone who is not vaccinated. This is a recommendation only, not a requirement. Read more.

Carlynton

Students and staff at the secondary level who are not fully vaccinated are recommended to wear a mask inside school buildings. Students at the elementary level will be required to wear to mask while in school buildings. Staff members at the elementary level who cannot stay six feet away from students are strongly recommended to wear a mask. Read more. 

Catholic Diocese Of Pittsburgh

The Diocese is mandating masks indoors for students, faculty and staff regardless of vaccination status, “unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit their use.” Read more here and here.

Chartiers Valley

Masks will not be required on school property. Read more.

Clairton

All students and staff will be required to wear masks.

Cornell

The district says they have have notified parents that it will either be parental choice, or mandated, and are are waiting to see what the August COVID-19 numbers do. The district approved its health & safety plan in June, but will be revisiting the plan. Read more.

Deer Lakes

Face coverings will be optional for everyone in school buildings. Read more.

Duquesne

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

East Allegheny

Masks will be required for unvaccinated students in grades 7-12. The wearing of masks in school buildings will be required for all unvaccinated students, staff and visitors. The district says it will follow CDC guidance for students in grades K-6. Read more.

Elizabeth Forward

The wearing of masks for staff and students will be optional. Read more.

Fort Cherry

The district says that all federal and state mandates will be followed when it comes to mask-wearing. Read more.

Fox Chapel Area

Masks will be required for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten-6. Masks will be required for all teachers and staff for grades Pre-Kindergarten-12. Masks will be strongly recommended and expected for all students in grades 7-12. Parents/guardians of students in grades 7-12 who opt out of wearing a mask will have to inform the district in writing. Read more.

Gateway

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Hampton

The wearing of masks for staff and students will be on a voluntary basis. Read more.

Highlands

The wearing of masks will be voluntary by all students and staff unless there is a Universal Face Coverings Order that requires it by the Department of Health, CDC, or the state. Read more.

Keystone Oaks

Effective Friday, August 6, 2021, masks will be required for anyone in all Keystone Oaks school buildings. Read more.

McKeesport Area 

The wearing of masks for staff and students will be optional. District leadership says this could be re-visited if circumstances change.

Montour

The Montour School District announced on Monday, August 16 that masks will be mandatory for this upcoming school year.

More information on Montour’s plans can be found here.

Moon Area

The district will require that unvaccinated and non-medically exempt students and staff wear masks while indoors. Read more.

Mt. Lebanon

Masks will be required for all individuals in school buildings regardless of vaccination status. Read more.

North Allegheny

North Allegheny School District updated its mask guidance – saying that masks and face-coverings will be required for all staff and students in grades K-12.

Their full back to school safety plan can be found here.

Northgate

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

North Hills

The district will follow CDC guidelines, requiring masks for everyone in school buildings during school hours when Allegheny County has a “high” or “substantial” community transmission of COVID-19. When the county is in a “moderate” transmission level, unvaccinated people will be required to mask up. When the county is in a “low” transmission level, masks won’t be required. Read more.

Penn Hills

The Board of School Directors will be asked to vote on a final Health and Safety Plan on Wednesday, August 18.

Penn-Trafford

Masks are optional for all staff, visitors, and students of all ages. Read more.

Pine-Richland

Barring a broader mandate, the district will recommend masking of unvaccinated individuals but will not require/mandate masking. Read more.

Pittsburgh City Schools

All students and staff over the age of 2 will be required to wear masks while indoors and on school transportation. Students and staff may remove masks while eating or drinking and during outdoor activities. Read more.

Plum Borough

The district has determined that the use of masks is highly encouraged, but will be a voluntary decision
that each family should make for their children. Read more.

Quaker Valley

The District recommends that all individuals wear a face covering while indoors. Read more.

Riverview

All staff and students must wear masks in accordance with CDC and State and County Health Department mandates and guidance. Read more.

Shaler

Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a mask. Read more.

South Allegheny

The district says it will follow mask guidelines as issued by the Allegheny County Health Department and Pa. Department of Health. Read more.

South Fayette

All individuals must wear a mask when inside school buildings regardless of vaccination status. Read more.

South Park

The district strongly recommends, but does not require, the use of face coverings by unvaccinated individuals while in district buildings, unless mask-wearing is mandated by local, state, or federal government. Read more. 

Steel Valley

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Sto-Rox

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Upper St. Clair

On Wednesday night, the school board voted to require face masks.

West Allegheny

Masks are encouraged for unvaccinated staff and students when six feet of social distancing is not possible, but all decisions for students will be made on a voluntary basis, at parents’ discretion. Read more.

West Jefferson Hills

The district will not require that masks be worn in the building unless mandated by the appropriate authorities, but encourages the entire community to follow the CDC’s and Allegheny County Health Department’s guidelines. Read more.

West Mifflin

During a school board meeting on August 12, the school board voted to require masks for everyone in district buildings so long as Allegheny County is in the “substantial” level of transmission.

Should Allegheny County go below that level, masks will not be required but they will be recommended.

Wilkinsburg

All students must wear masks during the school day. Read more.

Woodland Hills

Masks will be required for anyone inside school buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Read more.

Armstrong County

Allegheny-Clarion Valley

Face coverings are optional for all individuals (staff, students, parents, and visitors), but the district encourages individuals to wear a face covering. Read more.

Apollo-Ridge

The wearing of masks, aside from on school transportation, will be optional and voluntary for all students and staff. Read more.

Armstrong

Students, staff and visitors are not required to wear face coverings in school. Anyone who prefers to wear a face covering in school is permitted to do so. Read more.

Freeport

The district recommends all unvaccinated members of the school community wear masks while in school buildings. Read more. 

Karns City

During the school year, masks will be optional.  If, at any time during the school year, the state requires masks, the District will be obligated to abide by this requirement. Read more.

Kiski Area

Masks will be optional for all students, staff, and visitors. Read more.

Leechburg

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Redbank Valley

Unless mandated by state or federal government, the wearing of masks will remain optional for students and staff. Read more.

Beaver County

Aliquippa

Face coverings will be optional unless mandated by the Pa. Department.of Education or the Pa. Department of Health. Read more. 

Ambridge

The district says all face covering requirements will follow state and federal mandates. Read more.

Beaver

Masks will be optional unless mandated by local, state, or federal government agencies. Read more.

Big Beaver Falls

Masks will be optional unless a mandate is reinstated. Read more. 

Blackhawk

Mask decisions will be a parental choice. Read more.

Central Valley

Masks will be a family decision, and the district will follow any mandated guidance if the state later releases it.

Ellwood City

The wearing of masks in school buildings will be optional for staff and students. Read more.

Freedom

Masks will not be required. Read more.

Hopewell

The district will comply if the Pa. Department of Health were to mandate mask-wearing. Otherwise, masks will be optional for students. Unvaccinated staff will be required to wear masks. Read more.

Midland

Masks will be optional unless mandated by local, state, or federal government agencies. Read more. 

New Brighton

Masks will be optional unless mandated by the Pa. Department of Education, Pa. Department of Health, or by the Governor’s Office. Read more. 

Riverside

Masks and facial coverings will be optional unless mandated at the state level. Read more. 

Rochester

Masks will be optional unless mandated by government and regulatory agencies. Read more. 

South Side Area

The wearing of masks and facial coverings will be optional. Read more. 

Western Beaver

Masking decisions are a parental and family choice. Read more.

Butler County

Butler

Masks are not required by the Butler Area School District. Any individual who wishes to wear a mask is welcome to wear one at school and school district functions. Read more. 

Mars

The wearing of masks for staff and students will be optional. Read more.

Moniteau

Masks will be optional unless mandated by the Secretary of Health, the Governor, or other government agency. Read more. 

Seneca Valley

The wearing of masks for staff and students will be optional. Read more.

Slippery Rock

The district will not require the wearing of face masks unless directed to do so by local, state, of federal government. Read more. Read more. 

South Butler County

The district will not be requiring masks to be worn by staff or students. Read more. 

Fayette County

Albert Gallatin

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Brownsville

The district says it will develop mitigation plans in line with the most recent guidance from the Pa. Department of Education, Pa. Department of Health, and CDC. Read more. 

Connellsville

The district says it will develop mitigation plans in line with the most recent guidance from the Pa. Department of Education, Pa. Department of Health, and CDC. Read more. 

Frazier

The wearing of masks will be optional for all students and staff. Read more. 

Laurel Highlands

The district says it will follow all mandates for mask-wearing in accordance with the Pa. Department of Health and the state. Read more. 

Southmoreland

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Uniontown

Masks will be optional for all students and staff inside school buildings. Read more. 

Greene County

Carmichaels

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Central Greene

Masks will be optional for all students and staff unless mandated by the Secretary of Health, the Governor, or other agency. Read more. 

Jefferson-Morgan

Students and staff will not be required to wear a mask. Read more.

West Greene

All vaccinated staff members and students will not be required to wear a mask. Masks will be optional for all other staff and students. Read more. 

Indiana County

Homer Center

The district will not require the wearing of masks, yet will promote the wearing of masks by students and employees, particularly those who have not been vaccinated. Read more.

Indiana

The wearing of masks will be optional. Read more.

River Valley

The district is strongly encouraging mask-wearing by unvaccinated individuals. Mask-wearing will be an optional decision at the discretion of students and parents. Read more. 

Lawrence County

Laurel

Masks will be optional for all staff and students. Read more.

Mohawk

Masks for staff and students will be worn on a voluntary basis. Read more.

Neshannock

The district has provided an anticipated plan that is pending board approval on August 16. In the anticipated plan, the district will strongly recommend the wearing of masks, but their use will be voluntary,

New Castle Area

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Shenango

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Union

Masks will be optional for students and staff while in school, but change may be necessary depending on safety recommendations. Read more. 

Wilmington

Mask use will be optional for all students K-12. Read more. 

Washington County

Avella

The wearing of masks for staff and students will be recommended, but not required.

Bentworth

Masks will be optional for students and staff. Read more.

Bethlehem-Center

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Burgettstown

The district will recommend, but will not require masks to be worn. Read more.

California

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Canon-McMillan

Vaccinated students and staff will not be required to wear masks. Masks will be optional for all other students and staff. Read more.

Charleroi

The wearing of masks for staff and students will be optional. Read more.

Chartiers-Houston

The wearing of masks for staff and students will be optional. Read more.

McGuffey

The district will not require students or staff to wear masks, except where mandated by government. Read more.

Peters Township

The district will recommend masks be worn based on CDC guidance. If mask-wearing becomes mandated by government, the district says it will follow those mandates.

Ringgold

The district does not plan to require masks for students or staff. Read more.

Trinity

The wearing of masks or face coverings will be optional for all Trinity Area students and staff unless mandated by the PA Secretary of Health, Governor, or other governing authority. Read more. 

Washington

Mask-wearing will be mandated for the first few weeks of school. The board will re-examine this mandate at its next voting meeting on Sept. 20. Read more.

Westmoreland County

Belle Vernon Area

The wearing of masks for staff and students will be optional. Read more.

Burrell

The district will vote on its Health and Safety Plan on August 17.

Derry Area

The district is accepting public comment and in the process of revising its Health and Safety Plan.

Franklin Regional

K-12 students will have the option of wearing a mask when they return to school facilities this fall. Read more.

Greensburg-Salem

The district’s Health & Safety Plan was not readily available. We have reached out to the district and will update this as we get more information.

Hempfield Area

Parents have the decision of whether or not to have their child(ren) wear a face mask while attending school. Read more.

Jeannette

Currently, the district is strongly recommending the use of masks, however they are not mandatory.  The district will comply with any mandates from the Pa. Department of Education, the Pa. Department of Health, or the Governor’s Office, if mask-wearing is made mandatory.

Ligonier Valley

Masks will be optional in school facilities. Read more.

Monessen

Masks will be required for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status.

Mt. Pleasant

The wearing of masks will be a decision for students and parents to make. Read more.

New Kensington-Arnold

The district will recommend vaccination and/or the wearing of masks indoors. Read more.

Norwin

Face coverings or masks will not be required. Read more.

Yough

The district will not be requiring masks to be worn inside school buildings or at school-sponsored activities. Read more.

Local Colleges and Universities

Carnegie Mellon

CMU is reinstating mask-wearing requirements on campus, effective Sunday, August 15.

Penn State 

Penn State is requiring masks while indoors on all of its campuses.

University of Pittsburgh

Masks will be required indoors on Pitt’s campus buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

Slippery Rock

Everyone is required to wear masks at indoor facilities except when eating or drinking.

IUP

IUP is requiring everyone to wear masks indoors in public spaces regardless of vaccination status.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University is requiring masks in classrooms and labs. Masks are strongly encouraged for everyone in all other indoor areas of campus.