Back to School

What you need to know about masks, vaccines before school starts across Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — As kids head back to the classroom in the next few weeks, Pittsburgh-area school districts and universities all have differing COVID-19 policies when it comes to mask-wearing.

Children ages 12 and up are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but some are requiring masking regardless of vaccination status for both faculty and students after the Centers for Disease Control recommended that everyone wear one inside K-12 school buildings.

Below are the schools that have submitted their information to Channel 11 or made it easily accessible to the public. If you have official documentation from yours, please send an email to

Allegheny College

Vaccinated students and employees are welcome to participate in indoor and outdoor activities without masks, including in classrooms, extracurricular activities, dining halls and athletics. Unvaccinated employees and students must wear masks indoors at all times when on campus.

Carnegie Mellon University

CMU is requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for students to attend in-person classes. But that mandate is presenting a concerning problem for a lot of colleges and universities: fake vaccine cards.

>> RELATED STORY: College officials in Pittsburgh concerned by fake COVID-19 vaccination cards

Duquesne University

Duquesne University is enacting a temporary mask requirement for everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status, due to an upsurge in delta variant COVID-19 cases in the county.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Face coverings/masks are required to be worn indoors in public spaces at all campuses and centers, regardless of vaccination status.

Point Park University

Point Park will reinstitute masking requirements for everyone while inside University buildings. This includes all students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

University of Pittsburgh

Pitt leaders recently announced additional COVID-19 policies and students had mixed reactions. You can watch the full story in the video below.

Allegheny County

Allegheny Valley: Students will be required to wear masks during the school year when inside school buildings, they will not be required while outside for recess.

Avonworth: Universal masking will be required for all students, staff and visitors when indoors and for students on school buses when the school year begins.

>> RELATED STORY: Parents, school districts divided over new CDC mask guidelines

Baldwin-Whitehall: Face coverings were optional, but the school board reversed course and has now made them mandatory.

Bethel Park: Masks will not be required, regardless of age or vaccination status, according to our news partners at The district has announced another school board meeting to discuss the issue further.

Brentwood Borough: Face coverings will be optional for students, employees and visitors.

Chartiers Valley: Masks will not be required on school property, but that is subject to change.

Deer Lakes: Students and staff can wear a mask if they choose regardless of vaccination status, but it is not required. However, there is a federal mandate that all individuals that ride a school bus, must wear a mask.

Duquesne: Masks are strongly encouraged in the classroom and mandatory on school transportation, when entering the building and during transitions throughout the day.

East Allegheny: Masking requirements will continue to follow current Pennsylvania and CDC guidelines for students in grades K-6. Unvaccinated students in grades 7-12 are required to wear one.

Elizabeth Forward: Students and staff are given the option to wear a mask.

Fox Chapel Area: All students, staff and teachers are required to wear a mask while in school buildings.

Gateway: All K-12 students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear face coverings while indoors. In addition, face coverings must be worn while on district transportation.

Hampton: At the District’s elementary schools, students, staff, and visitors will be required to participate in mask-wearing when indoors. However, should Allegheny County be determined to be in low transmission status, the District will consult with the Allegheny County Health Department and reevaluate this policy. At Hampton High School, and at the 7th and 8th grade levels at Hampton Middle School, the District strongly recommends that all unvaccinated students, staff, and visitors participate in mask-wearing when indoors.

Keystone Oaks: Masks are required for anyone inside a district building.

Mt. Lebanon: All people in district buildings are required to wear masks, according to our news partners at

Montour: All students are required to wear a mask while indoors unless eating or drinking.

Moon: Face coverings are mandatory for staff and students while in school facilities and using school transportation.

North Allegheny: An online petition was started weeks ago asking North Allegheny district leaders to require masks in schools. The district had changed its policy so that face coverings were no longer voluntary, then changed back to making masks optional. A judge ruled that the district needed to go back to mandating face coverings.

North Hills: Masks are required for all students and staff in district buildings during school hours when Allegheny County has high or substantial level of community transmission for COVID-19.

Penn Hills: All students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear masks while indoors for instruction and/or during indoor school-sponsored events.

Penn Trafford: Masks will be optional for all students, staff and visitors.

Pine Richland: Masks are now required for all students, staff and visitors.

Pittsburgh Public Schools: PPS currently requires all students and employees to wear a mask while inside a school district building with few exceptions.

>> RELATED STORY: Pittsburgh Public School officials explain the need to push back start date

Plum: Masks will be mandatory for students in grades K through 6.

Quaker Valley: Faculty, staff, students, and visitors to all school campuses must wear masks indoors.

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

Shaler: Universal masking is required for all K-12 students and staff when in an indoor setting, regardless of vaccination status.

South Fayette: Parents are urging district administration not to mandate masks for the upcoming school year. The district is requiring mandatory wearing of masks when kids return to school.

South Park: The South Park School District strongly recommends, but does not require, the use of face coverings by all individuals while in district buildings, unless the district is directed to require the use of face coverings by local, state, or federal governing/health authorities.

Upper St. Clair: The school board has voted for mandatory masking.

West Allegheny: The district is recommending students and staff wear masks while inside any school building.

West Mifflin: The district was surveying parents to see if they would prefer to follow recommendations or not. Now that Allegheny County is listed in the substantial case transmission category, masks will be required for all students and staff.

Woodland Hills

Armstrong County

Armstrong: Students, staff and visitors are not required to wear face coverings in school.

Kiski: Masks will be optional for all students, staff and visitors.

Leechburg: Masks and face coverings are not required, but are encouraged for students 12 years and younger,

Beaver County

Ambridge: Masks for students and staff are considered optional, unless otherwise mandated by the Department of Education or Department of Health.

Hopewell: While the district is requiring students wear masks or face coverings, more than 100 parents have signed a petition against the policy.

Western Beaver: Masks will be optional for students and staff.

Butler County

Butler: Masks are recommended for all faculty, staff and visitors. They are not required at school or school related events.

Mars: Masks will not be required by the district, unless the Pennsylvania Department of Health mandates it.

Seneca Valley: Masks are recommended but will not be required of students and staff while in schools. However, those who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, live with immunocompromised family member(s), and anyone who feels most comfortable wearing a mask are encouraged to do so.

Catholic Schools in Pittsburgh Diocese

Schools of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will begin the 2021-2022 school year with mandatory masking indoors for students, faculty, and staff -- regardless of vaccination status -- unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit their use. Read more HERE.

Clarion County

Clarion City Schools: Masks will be used on a voluntary basis, unless state or local mandates change.

Fayette County

Belle Vernon: Unvaccinated students and staff are encouraged to wear masks.

Indiana County

Punxsutawney: At this current time, masks for both students and staff are voluntary based on Jefferson County’s current rating of moderate. The district will continue to monitor the current cases in the local area as the school year begins and modify the Plan as needed or if the district receives a mandate from either a state or federal agency.

Washington County

Avella: Masks are recommended, but not required for students and staff.

Canon MacMillan: Vaccinated students and staff are not required to wear a mask. Masks are optional for all other students and staff.

Chartiers-Houston: Unless the county is in the substantial mode and masks are mandated, students and staff will not be required to wear them.

Peters Township: Face coverings will be optional, unless mandated by the state.

Ringgold: Students and staff will not be required to wear masks at the onset of the year, though both may opt to do so.

Westmoreland County

Franklin Regional: Based upon current guidance, K-12 students will have the OPTION of wearing a mask/face covering.

Greater Latrobe: Masks will remain optional after a mandate for elementary students failed, according to our news partners at

Hempfield Area: Students will not be required to wear masks, according to our news partners at

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