Important updates for the start of 2021-2022 school year

Dear Penn Manor families and community,

We have a few updates to share with you as we approach the 2021-2022 school year, which begins on Monday, August 30, 2021.

PA Department of Education Health and Safety Plan: In preparation for the 2021-2022 school year, the Penn Manor Board of School Directors approved a Health and Safety Plan during its board meeting on July 12, 2021. Penn Manor’s PA Department of Education (PDE) Health and Safety Plan is posted on the district website here.

Key components of the plan include the following:

  • Mask Wearing: At this time, the wearing of masks/face coverings in our schools will be at the discretion of students, families, staff and visitors. As a result of an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face coverings are expected to be worn on all forms of public transportation, including school buses.
  • Vaccinations: The PA Department of Health (PA DoH) is not requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students or staff to attend school. 
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting: The district will follow pandemic procedures for cleaning and sanitizing spaces, surfaces and other areas each night.
  • Physical Distancing: Physical distancing of three feet will be implemented to the greatest extent practicable inside our schools.
  • Contact Tracing/Quarantining/Isolation: The district requests that all families/individuals prescreen for symptoms prior to entering school each day. Students with symptoms will be sent to the school nurse for assessment. Principals and nurses will be in contact with the PA Department of Health (PA DoH) as necessary regarding reporting and/or monitoring of COVID-19 cases involving Penn Manor students or staff. Upon notification of a positive case, the district will follow the directives provided by the PA DoH regarding contact tracing, isolation and quarantines. All quarantine directives will be issued to affected individuals directly by the PA DoH. Students or staff who are exposed to a COVID-positive individual will not need to be quarantined if they have been fully vaccinated (with proof of vaccination) and are symptom free (as per PA DoH guidelines).
  • Public Reporting of COVID-19 Cases/Quarantines/Closures: The district will not be sending daily emails regarding new COVID-19 cases in school buildings. Because there currently is no guidance from the PA Department of Education regarding mandatory building closures, the district will consult with local and state health officials on an as-needed basis to determine whether to switch schools to a full virtual format and to report information to the public. 
  • Free Breakfasts and Lunches: We are pleased to announce that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allowing schools to offer free breakfasts and lunches to all students in grades K-12 through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Families should complete the 2021-2022 Free/Reduced Lunch application as there are additional benefits (such as reduced internet costs ) for those who qualify.
  • School Menus: Penn Manor School District’s food distributor is currently experiencing labor and product shortages. As a result, some food products we use may be unavailable, so published menus may not match what is being served in our cafeterias in the coming weeks. Please bear with us during these challenges, and know that we will do our best to get the products we need so our meals are nutritious and our menus are accurate.

We look forward to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s principal. Thank you for your continued support as we safely open our schools.

Sincerely,

Michael G. Leichliter, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools