School board approves transition to full in-person learning in November

  The Penn Manor school board has approved a plan to extend the current Blended Learning format through November 5 while beginning to transition to a full, in-person learning format in November.

   The plan includes:

  • Keeping students in their current Group A and Group B formats through the first marking period on November 5.
  • Between now and November 5 – Providing additional live video learning opportunities for Blended Learning students when they are not physically in school.
  • September 28 – Bringing targeted students with disabilities and English Language Learners back to schools four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday).
  • November 9 – Transitioning students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 12 to full in-person instruction.
  • November 16 – Transitioning students in grades 8, 10 and 11 to full in-person instruction.
  • Operating Penn Manor Virtual School in its current format through the 2020-2021 school year, regardless of any changes in school-based instruction.

  This plan is subject to alteration based on the status of COVID-19 cases in our schools and community and will be reviewed by the school board at its November 2 meeting before full implementation.

   Parents will be notified by school principals regarding the impact of these changes on specific school procedures.

School board to meet Monday, Sept. 21

The Penn Manor Board of School Directors will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, September 21, in the board room at Manor Middle School. The agenda includes an update on the opening of school for the 2020-2021 year and a recommendation on the Blended Learning format moving forward.

There is a 25-person limit in the board room, so seating will be extremely limited. The meeting will be simulcast live on the Penn Manor YouTube channel, beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, here. The agenda for the meeting is accessible here.

Penn Manor residents can submit public comments in advance, via email, to Cindy Rhoades, school board secretary, at cindy.rhoades@pennmanor.net. Comments should be submitted by noon on Monday, September 21.

Free meals now offered for all Penn Manor students

All Penn Manor students are now eligible to receive free breakfasts and lunches through the end of the 2020 calendar year under a school meals program that was recently extended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Beginning September 17, Penn Manor students can receive the standard breakfast or lunch offered at any of our schools at no charge. This applies to students enrolled in both the Blended Learning and Penn Manor Virtual School programs. 

Families will be charged for snack items and other extras not included in the regular daily breakfast and lunch menu.

All students will be offered meals automatically when they are physically in school. On the days they are not in school, meals must be ordered in advance to be sent home with students or picked up. Penn Manor Virtual School students also are eligible for meals whenever school is in session.

Meals must be ordered in advance each week using this order form.

Group A students will receive their meals to take home at the end of the day on Tuesday for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Group B students will receive meals to take home at the end of the day on Friday for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Meals for Penn Manor Virtual School students must be picked up at one of the middle schools from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Mondays.

At this time, it is not clear if the free meals program will be extended beyond December 31, 2020. Because of that, families that may qualify for the free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch program should fill out an application if they wish to continue to receive free or reduced-price meals in 2021.

For additional information, please contact the food services department at 717-872-9500, ext. 1829.

Spectator guidelines announced for fall 2020 Penn Manor sports

Penn Manor is implementing spectator guidelines and rules for fall sports in compliance with current state restrictions limiting events to 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for the fall 2020 athletic season. Please note that this information is subject to changes as regulations are amended or updated. 

These rules will be in effect at all athletic events:

  • Everyone attending an event, including coaches, officials, athletes on the sidelines, staff, and spectators age 2 and older, must wear a face covering (mask or face shield), unless they are outdoors and can consistently maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Athletes are not required to wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts or competition but must wear face coverings when on the sidelines, in the dugout, etc., and at any time when 6 feet of social distancing is not possible.
  • Admission fees will not be charged and concession sales will not be offered at any Penn Manor fall athletic events.

Here are additional details for spectators specific to each Penn Manor fall sport:


Cross  Country

  • There will be a designated spectator area available, enabling spectators to see runners at least two times as they come through the course.
  • Spectators are not permitted within the competition/course area.


Tennis

  • There will be a designated spectator viewing area.
  • No spectators will be permitted inside the playing area.


Soccer/Field Hockey (turf field)

  • The capacity of Comet Field Stadium is 629.  With 6-foot social distancing in place, we can accommodate approximately 120 people in the stands. This will give one person an 18-foot footprint to maintain 6-foot spacing from the next fan.
  • Any overflow of spectators may utilize the hill adjacent to the turf field.
  • No spectators will be permitted on the playing area


Soccer/Field Hockey (grass fields)

  • Spectators may sit on the opposite side of the team benches
  • Designated spectator areas will be marked off
  • No spectators will be permitted on the playing area

 
Football — JV and Freshman (HS track) 

  • Spectators will be permitted in the bleachers and area behind the fence; no one will be permitted to gather on or around track.

 Football — Jr. High JV (Marticville)

  • Spectators will be permitted to sit atop the hill above the field
  • No spectators will be permitted on the playing area

Football — Varsity (Biemesderfer Stadium)

  • Because of the large number of participants (players, coaches, referees, band members, cheerleaders, and game officials), visiting team spectators will NOT be permitted to ensure that Penn Manor families can watch their children participate. The Athletic Director’s Office and/or the director of the marching band will determine which spectators may attend.
  • The Penn Manor Marching Unit will perform prior to each home game, with their family members in attendance. Band members and their families will exit the stadium following their performance to accommodate more athletes’ family members for the football game.
  • Penn Manor will not allow additional visitors or spectators above the cap of 250 on school property during varsity football events. Parking lots will be closed to anyone outside those participating in the football game. No spectators will be permitted in school parking lots, outside the gated stadium area, along the fence, on Campus Drive or in the gym lobby or outside the gym doors.
  • All games will be live-streamed. You can watch them on Facebook Live here.

Volleyball

  • Due to the number of participants, coaches, referees, game officials and linespersons, no spectators will be permitted to attend home or away matches. 
  • Parking lots will be closed to anyone outside those participating in the events, and no spectators will be permitted in the gym lobby, outside the gym doors, in school parking lots, outside the gated stadium area, along the fence, or on Campus Drive.
  • Matches will be live-streamed. You can watch them on Facebook Live here.

Golf

  • Spectators are permitted in accordance with home course spectator policies

Input sought from parents on recommendation for full, in-person instruction

Penn Manor School District is seeking input from the community to help develop a recommendation for the Board of School Directors to consider during a public meeting on Monday, September 21.

The administration is considering whether to recommend to the school board that all students (K-12) physically return to school five days a week instead of continuing with the current Blended Learning schedule.

The Penn Manor Virtual School will continue to be offered.

Penn Manor would continue to follow the health and safety precautions now in place. However, with all students physically in school, there would be limitations on social distancing in classrooms and more students on buses, in hallways and in cafeterias.

We are asking district parents to complete this survey by 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 15 to provide us with valuable feedback.

Penn Manor students will be contacted by their school principals and surveyed separately.

We appreciate your participation as we consider our options moving forward.

Penn Manor begins 2020-2021 school year with opening of new STEM wing

Penn Manor High School students and staff got their first experience inside the school’s new STEM wing as the school district kicked off the 2020-2021 school year on Aug. 31.

Students at all 10 district schools returned to classrooms under a Blended Learning schedule that provides in-school instruction for two days and online instruction for three days each week for most students.

Students in kindergarten through grade two and some special education students are attending school in person five days a week.

The blended schedule has enabled schools to implement recommended social distancing measures.

At the high school, students and teachers for the first time got to utilize classrooms, labs and gathering spaces inside the new science, technology and engineering wing.

The STEM wing includes classrooms, labs and shops for math, sciences, technology education, family and consumer science and agricultural education. The wing also includes a new auditorium, band, chorus and orchestra rooms that will be completed later in the year.

English, social studies and learning support classes have been relocated to the old math/science wing of the high school for 2020-2021, and the auxiliary gym is now located in the former temporary ag shop.

Phase two of the high school construction project will include construction of humanities classrooms with art and special education spaces, new administrative offices and a new library/media center.

Demolition to make way for this phase of construction was completed over the summer, and work has now shifted to the foundation. Classroom construction is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

Work will then shift to the third phase, which will include a new auxiliary gym and health facilities, which are expected to be completed in summer 2022. All site work on the high school project should be completed by December 2022.

We appreciate the patience of students, teachers and staff as we transition from the old high school to the new facility, which will continue to undergo interior renovations during the school year.

Many thanks to our families, students and staff for a successful start to the new year!

  • Penn Manor High School
    For the first time since March, Penn Manor welcomed students back to the high school and its nine other schools.

Schedule reminders for the start of school year on August 31

Our teachers and staff are looking forward to the return of students to our schools on August 31 for the first time since March, and we hope our families and students are as excited as we are!

We want to remind you that students will follow an altered schedule for the first two weeks of school because of the Labor Day holiday. Details are below.

Week of August 31
Students in Group A will attend school on Monday and Wednesday, August 31 and September 2. Students in Group B will attend school on Tuesday and Thursday, September 1 and 3.

Teachers will contact Group B students regarding their first-day online assignments for August 31.

  • Thursday, September 3 is an early dismissal day for all students. Grades 7-12 will dismiss at 12:20 p.m., and students in grades K-6 will dismiss at 1:30 p.m.  
  • There is no school on Friday, Sept. 4.

Week of September 7
There is no school on Labor Day, Monday, September 7.

Group A students will attend school on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 8 and 9. Group B students will attend school on Thursday and Friday, September 10 and 11.

The following week, the regular schedule will resume, with Group A students attending in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Group B students attending on Thursdays and Fridays.

We urge all parents to check our School Reopening/COVID-19  page for important information about meals for students, laptop updates, our attendance policy, face covering requirements and wifi resources.

We also urge parents to visit their school website for additional information specific to their child’s building. You can access the school websites by clicking on “Schools” at the top right of the district website.

We look forward to a safe and successful start of the 2020-2021 academic year!

Health information sessions offered on COVID-19 and schools

Free webinars on dealing with the pandemic in a school setting are being offered to school employees and parents by Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.

Here are the sessions:

“Strategies to Keep Calm in Difficult Times” for parents
Recorded session is available for viewing here.

“Coping with Uncertainty” for school employees
Recorded session is available for viewing here.

“COVID-19 101,” a primer on the coronavirus
Recorded session is available for viewing here.

“COVID-19 and Schools”
Recorded session is available for viewing here.

Many thanks to Penn Medicine LGH for providing these timely resources to the community.

Penn Manor welcomes 12 new teachers for 2020-2021

Penn Manor welcomed 12 new teachers for the 2020-2021 school year during New Teacher Orientation, held Aug. 5 and 6 at Manor Middle School.

The new hires, pending school board approval, include:

Penn Manor High School
Amanda Swords, learning support teacher; and Jennifer Elder, Spanish teacher.

Hambright Elementary
Erik Ballard, fifth-grade teacher; and Ay’Shia Gaston, fourth-grade teacher.

Central Manor Elementary
Gabrielle Shemonski, learning support teacher; Trent Soto, fourth-grade teacher; and Lacey Winder, fifth-grade teacher.

Martic Elementary School
Mara Tate, sixth-grade teacher; and Meredith Miller, fifth-grade teacher.

Pequea Elementary
Maxleen Gutierrez, special education teacher; Julia Kepple, special education teacher; and Lauren Walker, second-grade teacher.

To all our new staff members, welcome to the Penn Manor family, and best wishes for the 2020-2021 school year!

From left, Amanda Swords, Julia Kepple, Trent Soto, Lauren Walker, Meredith Miller, Ay’Shia Gaston, Erik Ballard, Mara Tate, Joshua Rosenbaum, Lacey Winder, Gabrielle Shemonski, Maxleen Gutierrez and Jennifer Elder. (Note: Joshua Rosenbaum accepted a position with another school after this photo was taken.)

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

August update on school reopening options and recommendation

The following is an update from Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter on plans to reopen schools for the 2020-2021 school year on Aug. 31:

Dear Penn Manor Families & Staff,

Since our last update on July 20, the school district has refined both our health and safety plan for reopening as well as the three potential modes of reopening for the school year. At 7 p.m. tonight, the board of school directors will meet to discuss and vote on these plans.

Tonight’s school board meeting will be broadcast live on the Penn Manor YouTube channel. You can watch the meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, here. The agenda for the meeting is accessible here.

The board will select one configuration from these options:  

Total reopening for all students and staff  — Students and staff would return with social distancing and health and safety precautions in place. Some students/families may opt to enroll in the Penn Manor Virtual School elementary, middle school, or high school program out of safety/health concerns.

Blended reopening — A balance of in-person and online learning for all students based on alternating days each week. Families may also select the Penn Manor Virtual School program out of safety/health concerns.

Total remote learning for all students — A greatly enhanced version of online learning from what students experienced at the end of the 2019-2020 school year delivered by Penn Manor teachers.


The administration will be recommending the blended reopening approach to the school board. Under this plan, students in kindergarten, first and second grade, certain special education classes, and students attending the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center (CTC) would attend school every day. The district will reconfigure classroom space to maintain appropriate social distancing for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Students in grades 3 through 12 would be divided into two groups to attend school two days a week (Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday) in small classes. All students in a household would follow the same schedule. On Wednesdays, all students would participate in live online instruction led by their teachers. On the two days they are not in school, students would work independently on assignments provided by their teachers. 

This recommendation is being made to reduce capacity in our school buildings to assure that appropriate social distancing may occur. Because children have not been in a school setting since March 13, this plan also will permit teachers to re-acclimate students to a classroom learning environment in smaller groups.

If this option is selected, the administration would re-evaluate the blended approach with the school board during its meeting on Monday, September 21. At that time, the administration would recommend either continuing with the blended reopening or making adjustments that may include bringing more students back for in-person instruction.

As we continue planning for the 2020-2021 school year, the key word is “flexibility.” All schools must be prepared to switch to any of the three modes. As we have learned, action by the Governor of Pennsylvania or state Department of Health may require us to modify our plans. 

To keep you informed on the school board’s decision, we will provide further information tomorrow, August 4. This communication will outline the board’s final decision on how to reopen schools on August 31 with additional details. You can expect to receive the update via email (also posted on the district website). We will also begin to provide updates on a weekly basis for the next four weeks.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we plan for a safe and successful reopening of our schools for 2020-2021.

Michael G. Leichliter, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Full links

School Board Meeting Live Video:
https://www.youtube.com/user/pennmanorschools

School Board Meeting Agenda
https://www.pennmanor.net/board/agenda/

School board meeting to be held live and simulcast Monday, Aug. 3

The Penn Manor Board of School Directors will meet at 7 p.m. Monday. Aug. 3, in the board room at Manor Middle School. The agenda includes a vote on the school reopening plan for 2020-2021.

The meeting will be simulcast live on the Penn Manor YouTube channel. You can watch the meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, here. The agenda for the meeting will be accessible beginning Friday, July 31, here.

Penn Manor residents can make public comments in person at the meeting or in advance, via email, by sending their comments to Cindy Rhoades, school board secretary, at cindy.rhoades@pennmanor.net.

We request that written comments be submitted by noon Monday, Aug. 3.

PM girls’ volleyball team earns fourth straight Team Academic Award

For the fourth year in a row, the Penn Manor girls’ volleyball team has earned the United States Marine Corps/American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award.

The 2019 varsity team qualified by earning a cumulative grade-point average of 3.7.

Four team members had GPAs of 4.0 or higher – Justine Fry, Jordan Schucker, Kailey Stoner and Taylor LoCurto – and two earned All-Star Awards – Jordan Schucker and Madison Henry.

The varsity team also included Alexia Barnett, Lillian Barton, Emma Grumbling, Alyssa Heagy, Sara Hollinger, Bethany Pettis, Madison Trout, Arial Smith and Lexington Sangrey.

“Our 2019 varsity team was a really fun group of girls who worked very hard to balance the demands of school, multiple sports, jobs, and philanthropy,” said head coach Tim Joyce.

“The team members really embraced a growth mindset and weren’t afraid to attack adversity and make mistakes on their way to learning and growing.”

Congratulations, ladies, on this impressive award. And thank you to all the Penn Manor coaches and teachers who helped make this possible.

Penn Manor school reopening plan available to the public

Penn Manor School District’s proposed school reopening plan has been shared with the board of school directors and can now be viewed here.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the plan at its Aug. 3 meeting. It is important to note that this plan is subject to change, based on updated information and guidance related to the health and safety of students and staff.

It is our intention to fully reopen all Penn Manor schools in a safe manner on Aug. 31.

Our “Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan” includes physical 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.

In accordance with an order from the state health department, all students and adults will be required to wear face masks and/or shields in our school buildings and buses. Exceptions are permitted for individuals with medical conditions, including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, mental health conditions or disabilities, and students who would be unable to remove a mask without assistance.

For parents who may not be comfortable with sending their child/children 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. Information on the 7-12 program is available here. Information on the elementary program will be available soon.

If you have any comments or questions about the reopening plan, please contact:

Dr. Philip Gale, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, philip.gale@pennmanor.net
or
Dr. Jerry Egan, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education, jerry.egan@pennmanor.net

Sports practices resume, with new safeguards in place

For the first time in months, Penn Manor student athletes are back on the practice fields.

Team workouts began Wednesday morning for the girls’ and boys’ soccer, cross country and football teams, with new protocols in place as required under the school district’s COVID-19 athletic health and safety plan.

All coaches and athletes are being screened for virus symptoms via temperature checks and questionnaires before each practice session, and student athletes are being placed into “workout pods” to maintain social distancing.

Practices are currently limited to strength, conditioning and individual, no-contact drills, and all athletic gear and equipment is subject to more frequent and more stringent cleaning procedures. In addition, students cannot share water bottles, towels or athletic attire.

Prior to the start of practices, all Penn Manor coaches and athletics staff members were trained on screening and sanitation procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You can find full details on the athletic health and safety plan here.

Practices for other fall sports will soon be resuming, including girls’ tennis and volleyball, field hockey and golf.

While practices may get under way, all schools across Pennsylvania are currently awaiting guidance from the PIAA on what the fall season games, meets, and matches will look like.

Go Comets!

  • Football drill
    Football players participate in a drill.