Manheim Township high school

When: Manheim Township virtual school board meeting, Oct. 15.

What happened: Manheim Township, like most districts across the nation, is facing a substitute teacher shortage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, district officials confirmed.

At issue: During a discussion of the personnel report, board member JoAnn Hentz asked if the district has enough substitute teachers, noting some teachers are quarantined and that there have been numerous resignations and retirements. Superintendent Robin Felty said she wished there were more substitutes.

Quotable: “Substitutes remain a focus for us,” Felty said.

Principal departure: At the end of the school year, Deborah Niemi, principal on assignment at the high school, will be retiring. “I’m sorry to see her go,” Hentz said.

New flexible instructional days: Pennsylvania Department of Education has approved the district’s three-year flexible instruction day plan. The policy allows districts five flexible instructional days annually in emergency situations such as inclement weather or a building emergency requiring the district to close schools.

What it means: During the pandemic students can receive instruction at home, counting as a full day of school.

Middle school project: Architect Jay Darkey described September as “a crazy fast month,” noting masons completed their work two months early. The goal for next month is to completely secure the exterior of the middle school building, he said. “We’re getting close to the end,” Darkey said.

Spectators at athletic events: In light of the pandemic, Athletic Director Jason Strunk outlined a plan for winter sports, with an update on fall sports. He said all events will be streamed and asked anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to it to stay home. The complete update is posted on the district website. A finalized report will be discussed next month.

What’s next: Board members will meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 12, when they will discuss developing an anti-racist climate. Location and other information will be posted on the district website.