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Northern York CSD Plans for 2021-22 School Year

With Pennsylvania’s masking order lifted last week effective June 28, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on our plans for the start of next school year. Since June 9, staff and students have not been required to wear masks while on District property or attending District events regardless of vaccination status.

Over the last several weeks, we have reviewed current guidelines and sought additional clarification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) on requirements for school districts. Based on statements made by the Secretary of Education, we do not anticipate any regulatory agencies to impose new mask or vaccine mandates on districts leading up to the fall.

Looking Ahead to the Fall
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act requires school districts that receive funding under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to develop and submit by July 30 a Health and Safety Plan. Similar to last year, this plan will capture the processes and procedures put in place to maintain the health and safety of the school community.

Next week, we will post a draft of Northern’s Health and Safety Plan to our COVID-19 webpage and include with it a survey for your input. With the face mask order now expired, the attestation order no longer in effect, and additional guidance from PDE now granting school districts the authority to establish their own restrictions, our Health and Safety Plan for the 2021-2022 school year will be premised on the following:

-All schools will be open for in-person instruction five (5) days a week.
-A full face-to-face return will include pre-pandemic student populations in classrooms, on transportation, and at daily functions.
-Staff and students will not be required to wear face masks while on district property, on school transportation, or while attending district events.
-We will continue to have a supply of masks available for individuals who would like to wear them as masking continues to be recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for unvaccinated individuals.
-Staff and students will not be required to be vaccinated in order to work at or attend our schools.
-We will continue to offer a full time virtual learning option for students K to 12 through our online academy NOLA.
-We are planning a full return to all activities including interscholastic sports, music programs, and student clubs.

As we are all aware, circumstances related to the pandemic can change rapidly. In the event guidance from PDE or the Department of Health changes, we will revisit our practices to consider if any changes are necessary, but at this point, we are looking forward to a more normal year in 2021-2022. Like last year, we will continue to keep you updated regarding our plans and expectations as the new school year approaches.

Thank you again to our students, staff, and families for your cooperation during a very challenging school year. Your patience, trust, and the confidence you have afforded us in making difficult decisions around the safety of our students and staff are greatly appreciated. Your continued collaboration and partnership are invaluable components of what makes the Northern York County School District a special place for staff, students, and the community.

I hope you and your family have a restful and safe summer. We look forward to seeing students on Monday, August 30, the first day of the 2021-22 school year.