Penn Manor School Board Update on Face Covering Order

Penn Manor School District is providing an update on the required implementation of the Acting Secretary of Health’s face covering order, which took effect September 7, 2021. After meeting with legal counsel and listening to public comment, the school board approved the following action at its Tuesday, September 7, meeting:

The district will extend until September 21, 2021, the need for a physician’s note to provide a mask exception for students or staff without consequences and has directed the administration to seek legal counsel regarding the requirements for a medical exception.

Penn Manor will continue to require all students and staff to wear a face covering while in school. This applies to all students, unless a parent/guardian has submitted a written request for an exception.

The school board action does not impact the federal requirement that masks be worn by all students on school buses.

We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in this matter. The district will provide more guidance as it receives further clarification. Please reach out to your child’s building principal if you have any questions regarding the mask order and/or the exception process. 

Thank you.

Free and Reduced Lunch Applications

As all of you know, breakfasts and lunches are free this year. This is an extension of the National Seamless Summer option to feed children. Although this is amazing for our students, the task of signing up for free and reduced meals actually helps our school for various funding sources. For example, some of the staff and materials associated with Letort are paid for out of these qualifying dollars.

As a family who qualifies for FREE or REDUCED lunch, you are also eligible for discount services such as reduced internet through COMCAST. I am inviting you to take a look at the income eligibility document at the bottom of this post. It really does benefit our school and I am hoping to encourage all who might be eligible to try.

You are welcome to complete the form on your own. Please follow this link.

Important – Face Coverings Required In School Starting Tuesday, September 7, 2021

On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an order that requires the wearing of face coverings at schools starting on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. The order is issued pursuant to authority granted to the Department of Health under the Disease Prevention and Control Law, 35 P.S. Section 521.5, and requires that all teachers, students, staff, and visitors wear a face covering indoors at school. Furthermore, the order states that it does not impact the obligation of schools to comply with CDC requirements concerning masking on school buses.

As a public school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Penn Manor School District is required by law to comply with this order.

Penn Manor will use the same procedure followed during the 2020-2021 school year in considering face covering medical exception requests from parents/guardians. Parents/guardians will need to provide documentation from a medical provider by completing a Face Covering Order Exception Request Form from their child’s school and submitting it to the building principal.

The Penn Manor Board of School Directors will meet on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of Penn Manor High School. At the beginning of all school board meetings, there is a public comment period. If you are interested in speaking during that time, the school board respectfully requests that  you pre-register here so that an appropriate amount of time can be allocated for public comment. The school board will be accepting comments regarding the face coverings order during the meeting; however, the school board is not scheduled to take a vote on the order.

The school district is obligated to comply with the provisions of the face coverings order, including during school board meetings, unless or until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an injunction against the Acting Secretary of Health regarding the implementation and enforcement of the order.

The school board agenda will be posted to the school district website by the end of the day on Friday, September 3, and will be available here:  https://www.pennmanor.net/ board/agenda/ 

The timing of the face coverings order is unfortunate and disappointing, coming as it does with the 2021-2022 school year already under way. It creates a new challenge for community members, students and our school employees. That being said, it will not deter Penn Manor from making this school year the best that it can be, and we will continue to adjust as needed in order to provide an outstanding educational program for our students.

For more details about the face coverings order and Penn Manor’s Health and Safety Plan, please click on these links:

Breakfast Menu Change for Tuesday

We will have muffins for breakfast on Tuesday. This is a change from the menu. Thank you!

Schools are closed today

Due to significant road closures in the district, school will be closed today for students and staff. February 18th will be our weather make-up day. Please note that this make-up date will also be an early dismissal that was previously scheduled for today.

Stay safe everyone!

Important Weather Cancellation

The Penn Manor School District will be dismissing early today (Wednesday, September 1, 2021) due to flooding potential. Elementary Schools will be dismissing at 1:30 PM.

If you plan to pick up your child at 1:30PM, please use this on-line form. This form NEEDS to be completed by 12:00PM.

All evening activities are cancelled. This cancellation does include our Back to School Night.

Morning kindergarten will be in session and dismiss at normal time. Afternoon kindergarten is cancelled.

AM Car Rider Drop-off Change

If you are transporting your child to school each morning, the doors will open at 8:50 AM. This is a CHANGE from last year.

If your child would like to have breakfast and is a car rider, Mrs. Straub will open the doors at 8:45 AM for those students ONLY.

We appreciate your understanding as we make this change.

Students have returned…

The smiling faces have returned to Letort and they are all settled in their classrooms hearing about the new learning adventures they will embark on this year. It is such a joy to have them back. Parents, rest easy. They all made it to their classes and are meeting new friends as I type this blog post.

Thank you for sharing your children with us. It is going to be an amazing year.

Look at that smiling face!
They have arrived!
We are so excited to see you all!
You can feel their excitement and just look at Dr. McPherson’s face!
Welcome Back, Hannah!

Important Updates for the Start of 2021-2022 School Year

Please read the following letter from Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter regarding procedures at our schools for the new 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 

Important Back to School Night Information

Back-to-School Night is scheduled for Wednesday, September 1, 2021. The program will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  This is an open house drop-in format where you will have the opportunity to briefly view your child’s classroom(s) and meet his/her teacher(s).

In order to minimize the number of people in the classrooms at one time, we are asking that parents visit the school anytime during their designated time period, as teachers will not be delivering formal presentations. Additionally, children are asked to stay home

  • Families with the last names A through M are asked to participate from  4:00 to 4:45.
  • Families N-Z are asked to participate from 5:15 to 6:00. 

While in the building we ask that you follow these mitigation strategies:

  • Please practice social distancing and respect other individuals’ preferences, including those of our teachers.
  • Monitor your own health prior to attending the event. If you are experiencing any COVID-related symptoms, please do not attend.

If you have specific concerns related to your child, please contact his/her teacher at a later time to schedule an appointment.