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Safety Protocols, COVID Dashboard, and Important Updates

Announcement 5/22/2022:

Dear EASTERN Families,

I recently emailed you informing you that masks would be required at EASTERN starting Monday.  This decision was made based on recommendations from MCOPH and the CDC and to be aligned to our eight participating districts.  The Montgomery County’s Office of Public Health has clarified language in their guidance for schools to state that masks should be “strongly recommended.”  Most of our eight participating districts are now operating under the guidance of “Masks Strongly Recommended.”  Starting Monday, May 23rd, wearing masks will be strongly recommended but not required.  Masks are available to any staff or student who wishes to wear one.  This excludes those students who have been exposed or return after 5 days of testing positive, who are required to mask for everyone’s safety.

I want to thank our families for your continued support as we work with our districts and public health experts to protect the safety of our school community. 


Cathleen Plesnarski, Ed.D.

Executive Director

EASTERN Masking Policy - March 2, 2022

Starting March 2nd, EASTERN will lift the universal masking policy.  Masks are now optional for all staff, students, and visitors.  This is in response to changes to CDC guidelines which altered the metrics and criteria for when communities and schools should mask.  Per advice from Montgomery County Office of Public Health, the following mitigation measures are still in effect:

  • Recommendation of 3 feet of social distancing between students and 6 feet of social distancing between staff and students.
  • Continuing Symptomatic Testing, Assurance Testing for Cosmetology students to participate in live services, and Mask to Stay/Test to Stay for staff and students who are close contacts and who are not symptomatic. 
  • Monitoring school positive cases through reporting email.
  • Communication of Weekly Positive Case counts to the Office of Public Health and to the community through our website.

Please note that students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 and return after day five will be required to wear a mask through day 10.  Students and staff who are close contacts are required to wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.  A close contact is someone who is within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more or a household contact.  The exception for K-12 that allowed 3 feet is no longer in effect when masks are not worn. 

Staff and students should be prepared to move back to operating under a universal masking policy if conditions change.  Parents and staff should continue to report positive cases to

EASTERN Masking Policy - 2/28/2022

The centers for disease control released new guidelines this weekend which altered the metrics and criteria for when communities and schools should mask.  As an extension of eight participating districts, we are working collaboratively with our eight Superintendents to ensure that EASTERN is responsive to the change in guidelines and aligned with our districts.  We anticipate that we will move to masks optional later this week or early next week, but we are waiting for our districts to work with their boards to make changes to their health and safety plans and waiting to hear from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health to better understand how the CDC guidelines will impact other mitigation measures, such as distancing and contact tracing.   

Until formal changes are announced, all staff and students are expected to adhere to our universal masking protocols.  We really appreciate everyone's patience and cooperation as we safely navigate out of the pandemic.



The numbers of positive cases reported weekly in the table below are based on when the positive case is reported to us, not when the test is performed.  *Numbers for January 3-9 may be skewed higher due to cases that occurred the week before during the holiday that were reported January 3rd

Positive Cases (EASTERN Staff and Students)
Week Number of Cases
January 3rd – 9th 37
January 10th – 16th 20
January 17th - 23rd 12
January 24th - 30th 7
January 31st - Feb 6th 2
February 7th - 13th 0
February 14th - 20th 1
February 21st - 27th 1
February 28th - March 6th 1
March 7th - 13th 0
March 14th - 20th 0
March 21st - 27th 2
March 28th - April 3rd 0
April 4th - April 10th 1
April 11th - April 17th 0
April 18th - April 24th 3
April 25th - May 1st 4
May 2nd - May 8th 10

We would like to remind everyone of the safety protocols we have in place and provide some important updates.

Safety Protocols

EASTERN's COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan 2021-22Navigating through teaching and learning safely during a pandemic.

EASTERN's COVID 19 Safety Policies and ProceduresSafety strategies for our students and staff.

Communication to Staff and Families:

Updated School Exclusion Guidelines sent 1/9/2022

EASTERN Access to Assignments sent 1/5/2022

In-person Instruction sent 12/31/2021

EASTERN's Universal Mask Policy sent 12/11/2021

EASTERN COVID-19 Attestation Form

Staff and students are required to wear a mask while in the building. Social distancing of 3 feet between students, and 6 feet between staff and students
Stay home if you are experiencing COVID symptoms
Students who are close contact to a person who tested positive for COVID must quarantine unless vaccinated.  Vaccinated students who are not symptomatic do not have to quarantine but should be tested within 3-5 days of exposure. Pending approval from our Joint Operating Committee, we will be able to assist with this testing with parent permission.

Reporting Absences

All absences should be reported to

Any positive cases or requirements to quarantine should be reported to


Follow your district calendar.  If your district is scheduled to be closed, then students are not expected to report to EASTERN unless the district is providing transportation to EASTERN.


Bus transportation is provided by the high schools.  EASTERN does not receive or maintain transportation information.  Please contact your high school or district transportation department for questions about bus transportation.

Summer Renovations

Our summer renovations included renovating Automotive Technology, our main office, nursing suite, and a Practical Nursing classroom.  Our instructional areas are almost complete, and we can’t wait for our Automotive students to see their improved space!  Our main office is still under renovation, so much of the staff has moved to our Seminar Room and other locations throughout the building.  Our nursing suite is located between Protective Services and Automotive Technology which is the same location it was temporarily placed last year.

New Students

New to EASTERN and unsure where to go?  Our staff will be placed at the entrances of our building to assist new students in finding their program areas.

Student Drivers

Only students who have received temporary parking permits via email may park at EASTERN.
Drivers should be prepared to provide a copy of their temporary parking permit email and ID upon arrival.

Student Drop Off

Follow sign to entrance/exit ramp
Students should not be dropped off until the school doors open
Doors open:Morning Session 7:30
Afternoon Session 11:45

Student Pick Up

Follow signs to ramp
We will begin the year with a staggered dismissal, so students will be dismissed by district
Scheduled dismissal times:Morning Session 10:15 – 10:30
Afternoon Session 2:30 – 2:45
Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. 

Administrative Contacts:

Mr. Gerry Rooney, Career and Technical Education Supervisor,

  • Registration
  • Class changes
  • Attendance
  • Parking
  • Special Education

Mr. Joe Greb, Assistant Director,

  • Uniform and supplies
  • Industry Certifications
  • Program Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. Cathleen Plesnarski, Executive Director,

  • General feedback or suggestions
  • Pandemic-related Safety

Check out my Director’s Update so you can read about the great things happening at EASTERN!