The York County School Division is working to ensure that teaching and learning moves forward in the upcoming school year. Our goal is to provide high quality and meaningful learning experiences for our students – while also prioritizing the health and safety of our students, staff, and families.
The decision to reopen schools is a challenging topic for education leaders and public health officials around the world. Governor Northam has outlined a phased approach that allows buildings to reopen for in-person instruction and gradually eases social distancing and capacity requirements as public health conditions improve.
One Thursday, July 23, Dr. Shandor and members of the division leadership team provided an overview of the 2020-21 School Year Planning Report, a comprehensive course of action to support students’ well-being and academic progress while protecting students and staff from the spread of COVID-19.
The plan includes four instructional models that may be implemented during the school year. Additionally, the division will provide a Virtual Academy for students in grades PreK-12 for families who prefer not participate in the Flexible Framework. You can learn more about the Framework and the Virtual Academy under the Instruction section of this site.
As YCSD moves forward with our planning, we know the number of COVID-19 cases in our state and our area will continue to fluctuate. We also know that the state and federal guidance schools must follow will continue to evolve, as it already has over the last few weeks and months. Further, we know that bringing together large populations of people in an indoor location increases the potential spread of the virus and the possibility of school closings.
After careful consideration of research conducted, current community health data, our stakeholders’ feedback and in consultation with local health officials, the superintendent has recommended to the School Board that division begin the 2020-21 school year in a Remote Learning Model. We will continue to prepare for the safe reopening of our buildings so that when the proper time comes, our students and staff can come back together in a safe environment. You can learn more about those efforts on the Operations section of this site.
As parents/guardians, you will have a choice when it comes to your child’s education for the 2020-21 school year. If you do not want your child(ren) to participate in the Flexible Framework models (Option 1), you will be able to sign up for a Virtual Academy (Option 2) that will span grades PreK through 12.
We know that making a decision for your child(ren) will be one of the most difficult choices you will make as a family. Next week, this site will be updated with resources and information to help families Make the Right Choice and that information will also be emailed to all parents and guardians.
We are aware that anything less than a traditional school schedule places significant strain on many families, but safety must be at the forefront of the division’s decisions. The Board will take action on the superintendent’s recommendation on Thursday, July 30 after receiving public comment through video and voicemail submissions which will be shared during virtual Public Comment Sessions.
We will continue to provide updates along the way on this website, through mass notifications, and on our social media channels as soon as they are available.
This evening, the school board amended the superintendent’s recommendation to begin the school year in the Remote Model for the first nine weeks, to include planning for opportunities to prioritize bringing our most vulnerable and youngest students back earlier than that nine weeks mark.
As you know, the division has been planning and preparing options for returning to school for the 2020-21 school year for the last several months. Last week we presented two options – a Flexible Framework and a YCSD Virtual Academy for families to select for their child(ren) for the first semester.