When: School District of Lancaster board meeting, Oct. 6.
What happened: In a few days, prekindergarten and alternative education students are headed back to the classroom. Superintendent Damaris Rau explained how students will be phased to a blended model of instruction. The plan calls for students to attend class in person two days a week and to learn at home the rest. Some of the district’s more vulnerable populations will resume in-person instruction four days a week.
Background: At the Sept. 29 meeting, the board approved Rau’s plan to set the timetable for students’ return. Prekindergarten, Camelot of Buehrle and Phoenix Academy students will return for in-person/blended instruction on Oct. 12, with all grades to resume face-to-face learning the week of Nov. 30. With the exception of Octorara, which serves both Lancaster and Chester counties, Lancaster was the only district that opened with an all-virtual learning model this school year.
Quotable: Board member David Parry approved the phased plan, but he said bringing back the high school students “is a much higher level of concern for me,” due to their higher risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19.
District response: The district surveyed parents to establish who will send their children back to school and obtained a 59% response rate. Of those who answered, 70% said they will send their kids to school, and 30% will use another option. District officials are contacting families who did not participate to clarify their intentions.
School resource officers: In the wake of the Black Lives Matters movement, board members Salina Almanzar, Kareena Rios and Parry drafted a list of potential questions for a student survey to gauge how they feel about their school resource officers. District officials said they will assist in honing the questions before they are finalized.
What’s next: The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13, with limited seating, in the media center of McCaskey East High School, 1051 Lehigh Ave. The public can still watch it via livestream and submit comments on the district website.