Dear MTSD Families,
As you know, the Manheim Township School District (MTSD) has been actively planning and preparing for the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year. The goal of this comprehensive planning process is to develop a Health and Safety Plan for the upcoming school year that adheres to the requirements and considerations provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH), and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). The plan contains detailed safety-related information that is centered around various educational options for reopening schools. Many school stakeholders were involved in this incredibly complex work: a large Steering Committee and six (6) different Task Forces structured around the essential areas of health services, instructional programs, student support services, special education/gifted education/English Learners program, operations, and human resources. The primary focus of the Steering Committee was to ensure coherence and equity in the proposed safety measures and educational programming. This committee, comprised of students, parents, teachers, counselors, principals, district office administrators, and School Board members, met in June and July to hear about the planning information from our Task Forces and provide feedback. Additional feedback and recommendations were provided during special meetings with local health officials and our school district’s physician.
Throughout the development of the plan, the district continually revised some of the planning measures based on new recommendations from the CDC, PA DOH, and the Governor. Last evening, the Board of School Directors for the MTSD approved the following two Health and Safety Plans for the 2020-2021 school year:
As shared during a previous communication with families, we are committed to the provision of educational options to our families – options that allow some students to return to school, and others to remain at home. While we know that it is impossible to create a plan that satisfies the expectations of every family in the district, even within these parameters, we recognize that one common priority among all of us is the health, safety, and the wellbeing of our students and staff in all programming options.
Since the PDE required a description of these options using the three-phase color matrix (Green/Yellow/Red), an infographic at the link below (titled: What are my options?) shows the three options along with their application in each of the state’s color-coded pandemic phases. There are also two additional documents and a video which offer a description of each option for students this fall. In addition, we have included a “how will the reopening work” document for all four of our grade span levels (elementary, intermediate, middle school, high school).
Please note that our instructional options may change, even if the Governor does not switch colors for Lancaster County. Our district may need to move to a more restrictive educational option due to a PA DOH directive to shut down a school(s) or the district based on health-related data. Also, our educational options may need to change prior to the start of school if we receive data warranting the need for a more restrictive option (our educational options for Yellow or Red). Consequently, our safety plan remains fluid and robust; the district is strategically positioned to pivot if/when needed based onstate, local, and district-related health data.
- What are my options?
- Explain each option to me
- Compare my options
- Video Link
- How will the K-4 reopening work?
- How will the LRIS reopening work?
- How will the MTMS reopening work?
- How will the MTHS reopening work?
We ask that you take some time to carefully review all of the information presented in this communication. A survey form has been placed in the Sapphire Community Web Portal entitled “2020-2021 Enrollment Form.” On this form, you will be asked to indicate your preferred learning format, an initial commitment length, and your transportation needs. Additionally, this form will serve as acknowledgement for several policies and procedures, and provide you the opportunity to update critical contact information for parents, guardians, and emergency contacts.you to choose your student(s)’ educational option for next school year, as well as your transportation needs. Please respond to the survey by Wednesday, August 5, by noon, so that we can finalize schedules and transportation information. Note that it will take you approximately 10 minutes to complete the survey; count on a couple of additional minutes for each additional child in your home. Click here to access the Sapphire Community Web Portal to complete the survey. If you do not have an account, please click here for information on how to create a Sapphire Community Web Portal account.
Our district webpage Planning for Reopening of Schools Fall 2020 continues to hold all of our key planning information – parent/guardian letters, recorded videos of Steering Committee meetings, PowerPoint presentations (including the July 30 Board Meeting presentation), and other related documents. It will continue to be the location for posting important documents and information related to the reopening of schools, such as the Board-approved PDE Health and Safety Plan and the PDE Athletics Health and Safety Plan.
We take seriously our responsibility to provide strong educational programming to all students in the safest way possible during this pandemic. Thank you for your continued support and collaboration as we move forward in our plans to reopen schools this fall.
Dr. Robin L. Felty
Superintendent of Schools
The information presented to the school board is below.