LEWISBURG – Student vaccinations, an online option, and new Health and Safety Plans at the school…that’s what Lewisburg students and parents can think about this summer. The district recently emailed an update to families talking about how to have a successful 2021-22 school year.
Lewisburg Area School District Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Polinchock tells parents, districts have to have a new Health and Safety Plan for the upcoming academic year. Lewisburg Area School District will present its revised plan to the public at its regular meeting July 15.
The new plan will address remote learning options, possible vaccination efforts for students under age 12, and the latest CDC guidelines. While the district plans to have as much in-classroom instruction as possible, online classes will be available for students in all grades. Lewisburg’s district plan will be submitted to the state July 30.
The district’s letter to parents:
Dear Lewisburg Area Community,
As we look forward to our last five days of school, I wanted to provide you with some information regarding the 2021-22 school year. On Friday, June 4, the PA Department of Education announced information about next school year.
First, all school districts will have to complete a Health and Safety Plan; however, this plan is modified from the 2020-21 plan. School districts need to follow the latest CDC guidelines for in-person instruction on mitigation strategies to keep everyone safe and healthy. The plan explains how school districts will implement that guidance. As we have seen over the past 15 months, the guidance evolves as more is known about how COVID-19 spreads and as more people become vaccinated and transmission rates drop. This plan will be responsive to the local conditions in our area, and it will include what is required or mandated. The District does not intend to implement any mitigation strategies that go above and beyond the CDC’s recommendations.
The Health and Safety Plan must be completed, approved by the School Board, and submitted to PDE by July 30, 2021. We plan to have this as an action item at the July 15 School Board meeting. This time allows for us to see what updates CDC has to its guidance, as well as to review which of our current mitigation strategies will continue to be effective or need to be modified.
In short, we plan to be in-person and as normal as possible. The Health and Safety Plan will include what the District will do should we see a repeat of this winter’s community spread.
We know that some families have concerns about vaccinations for elementary students (those 11 and under). Most reports suggest that fall and winter may be the time when emergency authorization from the FDA may allow for children 11 and under to be vaccinated. We also know that some of our families may have more complex health concerns and that these families would prefer to continue with remote instruction for the 2021-22 school year.
The District will offer a LASD eSchool option for students in grades K-5. A teacher will be assigned to the eSchool, and the students will receive the LASD curriculum. This includes our reading and language arts and math series along with modified science, social studies, and related arts. For students in grades 6-12, an eSchool option will be available to students through a new third party provider, Engenuity. The students will have teachers through the vendor, and the coursework is self-paced. More information will come out about the LASD eSchool programs in the coming days.
For planning purposes, if your child/children plan to continue with LASD eSchool for the 2021-22 school year, please complete this survey by June 14. The survey link can be reopened to complete another entry for an additional child. This information will allow us to better plan for all school next year as well as customize our communications.
Dr. Jennifer Polinchock
Superintendent of Schools