Manheim Township School District continues to remain in daily contact with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Please know that as part of the district’s emergency preparedness plan, our core safety team (that includes personnel from health services, plant services, and district administrators) meets frequently to discuss planning measures to address the current situation regarding the COVID-19/Coronavirus.
All Lancaster County school districts continue to communicate with each other and will participate in regular state-wide online superintendent briefings with officials from PDE. We will continue to communicate with our stakeholders as situations change and information becomes available. We will continue to share with you WHAT we know, WHEN we know it.
Below you will find resources and communications that we have already sent out district-wide to our parents and staff. We will continue to update the community as we receive information to share; it is our continued goal to keep our community informed and provide information on how this may affect our students, parents, and community members.
March 31, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We hope this communication finds you safe and healthy. Yesterday, Governor Wolf announced that our return to school date is indefinite and the “stay at home” order is in effect until April 30. Since we were already planning for students to begin online learning with our district curriculum on Monday, April 6, we are positioned effectively to address this longer period of school closure. Our Continuity of Education plan provides students with Enrichment and Review activities as well as Planned Instruction, via online learning. We anticipate that the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will continue to issue guidance and resources to school districts during this time period.
The PDE defines “Continuity of Education” as the broad term given to educational practices that occur in the event of a prolonged school closure. Given the importance of the Continuity of Education at this time, recent legislation has mandated that school districts develop and publicly post their “Continuity of Education” plans. Therefore, we have developed and posted our MTSD Continuity of Education Plan on the main district webpage. We encourage you to review the plan. It includes information about our expectations for providing teaching and learning opportunities; accessing technology; communicating with students; and applying strategies to meet the needs of all students. The goal of the Continuity of Education plan is to provide a framework of educational opportunities for students to maintain and develop skills while away from the customary school environment. As per the PDE, the two phases of Continuity of Education are Enrichment and Review and Planned Instruction. We provided the first phase, Enrichment and Review, from March 18 (Elementary) &19 (Secondary) through April 3; we will begin the second phase, Planned Instruction, on April 6.
The Curriculum & Instruction Department will electronically share information later this week regarding our transition to online/distance learning. That communication will contain details for parents and students about: online/distance learning plans, the closing of the 3rd marking period, the daily schedule for online learning, how grading will be managed in the 4th marking period, and other important information. Please feel free to follow up with your student’s teacher or principal with any questions that you may have about the provided information.
We continue to thank you for your patience and support as we prepare to move into the Planned Instruction portion of our online learning.
March 27, 2020
It has been a busy week at MTSD as we continue to facilitate our “Continuity of Education (CoE)” plan that offers continued review and enrichment activities during this upcoming week (March 30 – April 3), and online instruction during the following week (April 6 – 9). Our priorities and accomplishments this past week have involved the following:
- Planning to address online educational programming for students in our English Language Development program and Special Education programs;
- Planning to address the internet needs of some of our families;
- Distributing iPads to students; and,
- Planning for staff and students to access instructional and personal belongings in order to prepare for online learning.
In order to plan for online instruction for students, our district leadership team has been strategically reviewing our educational needs and programming for students with special needs and English Language Learners (ELL). Our Pupil Services and Special Education Departments continued to thoroughly and strategically review how the services we provide can best be provided in a home setting, such as online physical and/or occupational therapies, speech therapy, counseling services, health services, etc. Our ELL Department worked diligently to plan methods for identifying the families who may need translation/interpretation services. And the Technology Services team and building administrators continued to identify and communicate with families who may need internet services in their homes, and initiated assistance for accessing free service.
The Technology Services team worked in collaboration with our administrators to organize and facilitate the iPad distribution process in a timely and organized manner that also adhered to the health and safety of our students and staff. By the end of today, most of our elementary students are equipped with the technology they need to be successful and ready to go on April 6. Next week, our Landis Run Intermediate, Middle School, and High School students will have designated times to pick up their technology and any personal belongings they may still have in their lockers. Although Governor Wolf has issued a shelter-in-place order for Lancaster County today, we are still permitted to provide technology devices to families since these are deemed as “Essential.” Therefore, we will be following the same schedule as previously shared.
Also, Governor Wolf’s shelter-in-place order for Lancaster County still permits us to provide meals to students since these too are deemed as “Essential.” And today, the USDA has authorized the ability to provide meals to students at Bucher and Schaeffer without students being present with their parents/guardians. Therefore, you may pick up meals at our two locations from this point forward without your students being present.
For our students attending the following programs: Career and Technology Centers, MTHS Virtual Learning, Dual Enrollment, College in Place of Senior Year, Lancaster County Academy, River Rock Academy, IU 13 Schools, etc., please look for communication regarding “Continuity of Education” planning from the program coordinators at these schools/programs, our HS School Counselors, and/or the High School Administration.
Our teachers and staff are excited and motivated to conquer the challenge of online instruction. Additional correspondence will come next week that provides more specific information about our online learning, including expectations for academic work and tips for families supporting their students while they are online.
As always, your support is appreciated as we work together as a community to successfully navigate these challenging circumstances.