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YCSDigest - January 11, 2021

School Board Business

The School Board held its annual organizational meeting this evening. Members elected Brett Higginbotham (District 2) to serve as Chair and Laurel Garrelts (District 3) to serve as Vice-Chair for 2021. 

Return to School Timeline

Dr. Shandor and chief officers also provided an update on the division’s Return to School plan this evening. Since September 29, the division has gradually returned students to school in the Hybrid Model, maintaining safe operations even as case levels began to rise. This has established confidence in the effectiveness of the adopted mitigation strategies in our buildings as well as our staff and students’ adherence to those protocols.

While the division monitors local health metrics and the impact of COVID-19 cases and quarantines in our community daily, the CDC has reiterated that a single indicator should not be used in isolation or as a hard cutoff in determining a divisions’ operating status. Additionally, we anticipate further state guidance to support our approach in evaluating the three core indicators (case burden, case positivity, implementation of mitigation strategies) in our decision-making.  

Next week, our grade 12 students enter the Hybrid Model, bringing us to 9 of 14 grade levels in the Hybrid Model. The earliest date for another grade level to begin in-person learning would be February 2, the start of the second semester. This date, as well as the next possible grade level, remain tentative as we must take time to assess staffing and the impact of community transmission on our school operations prior to bringing in another grade level. We must also factor in the impending state guidance and vaccination plans for staff.

The safety and well-being of our students and staff is a top priority in YCSD. We all play a role in keeping our schools safe, and if safety protocols are followed correctly, our schools can continue to be that safe place for students and staff.

2020-21 Calendar Adjustments

The school calendar for January and February include weeks in which schools and offices will be closed, along with a designated teacher workday and student holiday. In addition, PSAT testing for a significant number of high school students must be administered on January 26, constraining the ability to provide synchronous instruction that day.

The division has adjusted the January and February calendars for both elementary and secondary schools based on criteria established by a committee of teachers, administrators and parents. The adjusted schedules are designed to maximize both in-person instruction and live synchronous remote instruction, provide opportunities for student support and remediation, and meet end-of-semester teacher planning and grading needs. Additionally, the committee prioritized balancing schedules between cohorts and secondary A/B day rotations.

Please note that there are now two Student Support and Independent Learnings days for all secondary students the last week of January to allow students time to work with teachers on assignments, assessments, etc. prior to the end of the semester. At the elementary level, the last week of January includes two early release days (as typically included in a school calendar) to provide time for grading, assessment and remediation as needed.

Links to the adjusted calendars are provided below.

Adjusted Elementary Calendar for January & February

Adjusted Secondary Calendar for January & February

2nd Semester Commitment Forms

As a reminder, all families are asked to complete the commitment form for the 2nd semester (which begins on Monday, February 1) for each child enrolled in the division. Commitment forms must be completed in Rycor by Midnight, Wednesday, January 13. Completion of this form will allow us to work through staffing and scheduling constraints for both in-person and online learning for the second semester. If a new form is not completed and received by Wednesday night, the student will remain in the same instructional model for entire the second semester.

Community Announcements

The York County School Division offers local businesses and organizations the opportunity to share information with students and parents regarding educational/enrichment activities, events and opportunities, which are either available to YCSD students or support division programs. These flyers are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the York County School Division or the schools, but are made available as a community service for our families.

Community announcements can also be found on the division website and each school's website.

January Flyers

Clubs & Organizations

Special Events and Contests