Latest update on Penn Manor’s plans for the 2020-2021 school year

Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter has sent an email to parents to update them on the latest plans to resume in-person schooling for the 2020-2021 school year on August 31. Here is the text of his email:

June 30, 2020

Dear Penn Manor Families,

Since the 2019-2020 school year ended, Penn Manor School District has been spending this time preparing for the start of the 2020-2021 year. Many thanks to the parents who responded to the survey regarding the reopening of school that was sent out earlier this month. We received nearly 2,900 responses, which has provided the district with valuable feedback.

The survey responses are helping guide our work with a committee of administrators, teachers, the school physician, school nurses, and parent/community representatives that has been developing a reopening plan required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The “Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan” will have three required components relating to the green, yellow and red phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in our community. Currently, Lancaster County is in the green phase, but that may change before or during the school year, and we must be prepared should that happen. The plan will be presented to the Penn Manor School Board on July 13 for approval before it can be implemented. The school board has already approved a health and safety plan for athletics, which can be found here.

It is our full intention to physically return students to school buildings in the fall in a safe manner. While the school board has not yet approved the plan, it includes social distancing practices, health screenings, reduced student movement through buildings, enhanced cleaning protocols with green products, and other measures recommended by health professionals for safely resuming in-person teaching. As part of the plan, teachers and staff would be required to wear face masks and/or shields, and students would be strongly encouraged to wear masks when social distancing is not possible, including on buses, in hallways, and in common areas.

The full details of the “Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan” will be shared with the community following the July 13 school board meeting.

For parents who may not be comfortable with sending their child(ren) to school, the Penn Manor Virtual School program will be available for grades K through 12. The program, which has been successfully operating since 2011 for grades 7 through 12, is being expanded to a full-time elementary program for 2020-2021, pending approval from the school board.

I’d also like to update you on the status of the Penn Manor High School construction project, which is progressing as planned. The first phase is on schedule for completion by the start of school on August 31, when the new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) wing will be ready for students and teachers. More information on the high school project, including access to the live construction camera, is available at https://construction.pennmanor.net/.

To keep you informed, we will continue to provide periodic updates about the 2020-2021 school year throughout the summer. You can expect to receive an update via email (also posted on the district website) on July 20 and August 3. If additional information comes to light that should be shared with families, we will provide more updates through the same methods.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns regarding this letter.

Sincerely,

Michael G. Leichliter, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools