Full details of district’s Blended Learning reopening plan

The Penn Manor board of school directors on August 3 approved a Blended Learning approach to reopening schools. Below are the details of the plan, along with alternatives and general information on the health and safety measures that will be in place at Penn Manor schools when they reopen on August 31.

The August 3 presentation to the school board is available for viewing here.

Blended Learning plan

Students in kindergarten, first and second grade, certain special education classes, and students attending the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center (CTC) will attend school every day. The district will reconfigure classroom space to maintain appropriate social distancing for kindergarten, first grade, second grade and special education classes.

Students in grades 3 through 12 will be divided into two groups to attend school two days a week — Monday and Tuesday (Group A) or Thursday and Friday (Group B) — in small classes. All students in a household will be grouped together. Student group assignments will be posted to the Sapphire Community Portal by the end of the day August 12. In addition, a letter will be mailed home to parents/guardians.

Parents of students enrolled in select special education programs will be notified by the district regarding their students’ schedules. 

For the days that students will attend in person, they will follow the regular school schedule.

On the two days they are not in school, students will work independently online on classroom assignments provided by their teachers. On Wednesdays, all students will participate in live online instruction led by their teachers (please see schedule below).

All instruction will be developed and delivered by classroom teachers. Students should expect to work 45 minutes to an hour per subject area/class per day. Attendance for the online days will be based on the completion of assignments.

Due to the Labor Day holiday, modifications to the Blended Learning schedule will be made for the first two weeks of school. 

  • Week of August 31: students in Group A will attend school on Monday and Wednesday. Students in Group B will attend school on Tuesday and Thursday. 
  • Week of September 7: Group A students will attend school on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Group B students will attend school on Thursday and Friday. 

Wednesday schedules

Grades 3-6
8:20-9:00: Planning; teacher office hours by appointment
9:00-9:15      Check-in
9:15-10:15    ELA
10:30-11:30  Math
12:00-3:45    Collaborative planning; teacher office hours by appointment.

Grades 7-8
7:25 – 10:45: Collaborative planning; office hours by appointment.
11:15 – 11:45   Period 1
11:50 – 12:20   Period 2
12:25 – 12:55   Period 3
1:00 – 1:30   Period 4
1:35 – 2:05   Period 5
2:10 – 2:40   Period 6 

Grades 9-12
7:25 – 10:40:  Collaborative planning; office hours by appointment
11:10 – 12:00   Block 1
12:05 – 12:55   Block 2
1:00 – 1:50   Block 3
1:55 – 2:45   Block 4

The blended approach will reduce capacity in our school buildings to assure that appropriate social distancing occurs. This plan will permit teachers to re-acclimate students to a new classroom learning environment that utilizes the safety measures. In addition, the blended approach permits students and teachers to utilize all three learning modes (in-person, live teacher-led online, and student-paced online) to prepare  for any possible future changes in schedule.

The administration plans to re-evaluate the blended plan with the school board during its meeting on Monday, September 21. At that time, the administration may recommend either continuing with the blended approach or making adjustments that may include bringing more students back for in-person instruction. Action by the Governor or the state Department of Health may require us to modify this plan. 

Virtual School Alternative

For parents who are not comfortable with sending their children back to the classroom, we are offering Penn Manor Virtual School to students in kindergarten through grade 12. 

This program, which has been in operation for eight years, allows students to remain a part of the Penn Manor Community by participating in co-curricular activities and school events. Students work toward a Penn Manor diploma and can get assistance from Penn Manor teachers and utilize the district’s counseling services. 

A link to more information about Penn Manor Virtual School is here: https://blogs.pennmanor.net/pmvs/

Parents requesting to enroll their students in PMVS should complete the PMVS Interest Form by Wednesday, August 12.  

Home Education

The parent/guardian serves as the child’s teacher and establishes educational objectives and a curriculum that follows Department of Education guidelines. Parents must register their children with the district as home school students and file the appropriate paperwork. Learn more here: https://www.pennmanor.net/home-education/ 


Universal Health and Safety Measures for Penn Manor Schools

Penn Manor’s full health and safety plan is available here: https://www.pennmanor.net/covid19/

When school reopens, we will be instituting a variety of measures designed to make the school environment safe for all students, staff and parents. These measures include: 

General precautions

We will follow guidelines for social distancing in all areas of buildings. Schools will adhere to the guidelines to the maximum extent possible. This will include minimizing shared materials, increased use of student laptops and limiting/eliminating large-group activities. 

Masks

All students, staff and visitors must wear a face covering (cloth mask or face shield) that covers their nose and mouth inside the school and while outside when physical distancing is not possible.

Transportation

  • Face coverings must be worn on the bus
  • Students will be assigned seats
  • Windows will be opened for increased ventilation (weather permitting)
  • Students will load the bus from back seats to front and unload from front seats to back
  • Maximum of two students per seat

 Arrival

  • Students will be dismissed by bus upon arrival
  • Students are to report directly to their class or cafeteria for breakfast to avoid congregating in the halls or cafeteria

 Dismissal

  • Students will be dismissed to buses by staggered time intervals
  • Students are to report directly to their bus or car to avoid congregating in hallways and cafeteria

 Classroom Organization

  • Student desks and workspaces will be 3 to 6 feet apart, or to the maximum extent feasible
  • Student desks will face the same direction
  • Students will be assigned seats
  • Fabric/cloth furniture of any kind (sofas, pillows, cloth chairs, cloth-topped stools, etc.) must be removed and stored at home  

Classroom Cleaning

  • Every classroom will be issued spray bottles, microfiber rags and paper towels
  • Shared surfaces and materials will be cleaned after each use
  • Classroom desks and instructional tables will be cleaned nightly by custodians
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for each classroom
  • Teachers will encourage students to use hand sanitizer and/or wash their hands frequently 

Building Cleaning

  • High-touch areas — doorknobs, light switches, and handrails — will be cleaned daily
  • Bathrooms will be cleaned every evening and before and after lunch
  • Building offices will be cleaned each evening, and high-touch surfaces cleaned after student arrival
  • Drinking fountains will be turned off. Bottled water will be supplied, and students will be encouraged to bring their own water bottles
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available in cafeterias, main entrances, and at highly trafficked secondary entrances
  • Main entrance vestibules will be cleaned every evening and after student arrival
  • Cafeteria
  • Face coverings will be worn at all times, except when eating or drinking
  • Reduced number of lunch and snack choices (no a la carte)
  • Social distancing will be practiced to the maximum extent possible
  • Tables will be wiped down after each use
  • Additional and extended lunch periods will be added to minimize the number of students in the cafeteria at one time
  • Additional areas will be used for seating
  • Cash transactions will be discouraged; we will encourage families to set up online accounts
  • We plan to provide meals to students for all five days each week 

Visitor restrictions

  • The number of adults coming into and out of school buildings will be minimized
  • Individuals who provide a direct service to students are permitted in buildings
  • Parents/guardians should call ahead to school to pick up student(s)
  • Parent meetings will be held virtually to the maximum extent possible

How Penn Manor will respond to positive COVID-19 tests

If a student, faculty or staff member tests positive

  • Penn Manor will follow the “decision tree” (see below) developed by Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health regarding positive COVID-19 students and staff as well as exposure to positive COVID-19 students, staff, or household members. All notification of affected students, staff and family members will be handled by the PA Department of Health.
  • A child or faculty/staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 must immediately isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the start of symptoms. This person cannot be released from isolation at home until improved symptoms and no fever (without fever-reducing medication) for at least 24 hours prior to release from isolation.
  • If a child or faculty/staff member has an asymptomatic positive test, then isolation is 10 days from the date of test.

If a student, faculty or staff member had close contact with someone who tests positive

  • “Close contact” is defined as being within 6 feet for a period of 10 minutes or more of a COVID-19 positive person. It does not matter if a person was masked or not.
  • A student/faculty/staff member who has had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must stay home and immediately quarantine for a minimum of 14 days from the last contact and monitor for symptoms.
  • If during the quarantine period this person does not become symptomatic, he/she must complete the 14-day quarantine time period.
  • If during the quarantine period this person becomes symptomatic, he/she must be tested for COVID-19. If the test is positive, he/she should follow the “Tests Positive for COVID-19” requirements listed above.

If a household member tests positive

Key question: Can the COVID-positive household member be isolated in the home?

If yes, then the exposed student/faculty/staff member:

  • Must stay home and immediately quarantine for a minimum of 14 days from last contact and monitor for symptoms.
  • If the student/faculty/staff member becomes symptomatic during quarantine, he/she must be tested for COVID-19. If the test is positive, he/she should follow the “Tests Positive for COVID-19” requirements listed above.
  • If during the quarantine period this person does not become symptomatic, he/she must complete the original quarantine time period.

If no, then the exposed student/faculty/staff member

  • Must stay home and immediately quarantine for a minimum of 14 days AFTER positive household member is released from quarantine and monitor for symptoms.
  • If the student/faculty/staff member becomes symptomatic during quarantine, he/she must be tested for COVID-19. If the test is positive, he/she should follow the “Tests Positive for COVID-19” requirements listed above.
  • If during the quarantine period this person does not become symptomatic, he/she must complete the original quarantine time period.

Notification procedures

When a student or school employee has tested positive, they will be notified by appropriate public health personnel and instructed on an isolation protocol.  Close contacts of the person who tested positive will also be contacted by medical personnel and receive quarantine instructions. The only time Penn Manor will communicate a medical diagnosis with families in a school is at the direction of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

COVID-19 Decision Tree 

Questions or concerns?

Parents of elementary students, please contact Dr. Jerry Egan, assistant superintendent for elementary education, at jerry.egan@pennmanor.net

Parents of secondary students, please contact Dr. Phil Gale, assistant superintendent for secondary education, at philip.gale@pennmanor.net