November 20, 2020
Dear Manheim Township Families;
Today’s correspondence provides another important update on the educational programming for our K-12 schools starting the week of November 30 – January 22, 2021. After receiving feedback from our parents, students, and staff regarding the health and safety of our schools during this recent spike of COVID-19 positive cases in the community, the MTSD Administration will initiate a shift in educational programming, effective immediately. The schedule below outlines the framework of the K-12 plan.
Updated Schedule in Instructional Programming
|Week of||Plan Status||Grades K-4||Grades 5-6||Grades 7-8||Grades 9-12|
|12/7/2020||Tentative (Subject to Change)||Green||Yellow||Yellow||Yellow|
|12/14/2020||Tentative (Subject to Change)||Green||Green||Yellow||Yellow|
|12/21/2020||Tentative (Subject to Change)||Green||Green||Yellow||Yellow|
|12/28/2020||OFF (Holiday Break)|
|1/4/2021||Tentative (Subject to Change)||Yellow||Yellow||Yellow||Yellow|
|1/11/2021||Tentative (Subject to Change)||Green||Yellow||Yellow||Yellow|
|1/18/2021||Tentative (Subject to Change)||Green||Green||Yellow||Yellow|
|1/25/2021||Tentative (Subject to Change)||Green||Green||Green||Green|
- Yellow references a hybrid learning model where students attend 2 days per week in their “A” or “B” Group (“C” Group students attend daily in Yellow).
- Green references in-person, face-to-face instruction.
Building principals will communicate details regarding the Yellow/hybrid schedule in their weekly school communication.
On the chart where the weeks are listed as tentative/subject to change, the administration will inform families of any necessary changes as soon as possible. (for example, significant numbers of probable/positive cases resulting in staffing issues, quarantine spread, etc.)
The “split attendance” approach in the hybrid (Yellow) schedule involves dividing the total number of in-person students in half, placing students into groups A and B. For the split attendance (face-to-face) distinction, the following process and schedule will be used:
- Students with a last name beginning with A to L will be in Group A and will report to school on Monday and Tuesday
- Students with a last name beginning with M to Z will be in Group B and will report to school on Wednesday and Thursday
- Students in Group C:
- “Group C” students: MDS, ES, LSS, AS
- “Group C” attends face-to-face on all “Yellow” days
- Fridays will be remote learning for Group A and Group B students while in the Yellow phase. Group C will attend in-person.
Governor Wolf’s Travel Restrictions and Updated Mask Orders
We cannot stress enough that our district can only control what happens within the walls of our buildings. We know there is community spread of the COVID-19 virus within Lancaster County, throughout our state, and throughout the country. Our own personal responsibility to maintain safe practices within our community is imperative to our continuation of in-person learning.
This week, the PA Department of Health issued an order restricting travel outside of Pennsylvania, which includes mandates for any resident who leaves the state and returns. The Order takes effect today, November 20, and will remain in effect until further notice.
What exactly does this mean for you?
According to the Order: “Pennsylvania residents who visit other states are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before their return home or to quarantine for 14 days upon return.” We understand that many families may have previously scheduled trips or outings; however, the District must comply with this Order from the PA Department of Health. If you plan to travel outside of Pennsylvania for the Thanksgiving holiday, the district must follow the mandate and your student will be required to quarantine for 14 days, or obtain a negative test result to return to school. In addition, any previously approved educational trip(s) will remain approved; however, the aforementioned negative COVID-19 test or a 14-day travel quarantine will be required to return to school. If you do plan to travel over the holidays, please contact your building principal.
While this Order restricts travel to other states, the purpose of the mandate is to limit travel and contact with those who do not reside in your household. We encourage everyone to be extra cautious during this holiday season. If you host or attend a holiday gathering, please wear a mask when indoors and keep a distance from people not in your household. In addition to the travel restrictions, the Governor issued a second new Order that included an update on Universal Mask Coverings.
Continuing to follow both of these Orders is essential for helping to keep our schools open for in-person instruction and all other activities. Thank you in advance for following these guidelines and Orders, for having continued conversations with your student(s) about being safe, and for continuing to make decisions with your family to reduce the risk of spread.
Please continue to practice all safety measures, both in and out of school. It is important to report any symptoms, COVID testing, and/or any close contact with a positive case to your school nurse, so our district can monitor and implement contact tracing.
Safety remains our top priority. For the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of our students, we must as a community work together to support each other. Your diligence and cooperation in following all safety protocols is appreciated. As a district, we will remain as responsive and transparent as possible on this and all other COVID related situations, as appropriate.
Dr. Robin L. Felty
Superintendent of Schools