Return to School Plan
July 23, 2021
The 2021-22 school year is right around the corner. York Public Schools has been working very hard over the summer to prepare for another great school year. We look forward to seeing our new teachers on August 6th, all staff on August 9th, and all students on August 12th.
The purpose of this letter is to communicate our Return to School Safety plan. As you know, last summer the YPS team created a safety plan that included tiers that allowed us to make adjustments as needed. Throughout the 2020-21 school year, we received some valuable feedback from staff, students, and parents and used some of that feedback to help make adjustments when needed.
Once we dismissed school, YPS moved to our “green” tier for all buildings and summer school programs and we will start the 2021-22 year in our green tier. Here are the main components of our green tier –
- Masks are optional for students and staff.
- Consistent cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
- Promote good hygiene and handwashing at school and home.
- Consistent changing of HVAC air filters.
- Utilization of bipolar ionization machines installed in all buildings to kill a high percentage of airborne viruses.
One of the advantages of our tiered Return to School plan is it allows us to adjust if necessary. For example, if we would begin to see community spread like we did last year, we would consider making lunch room adjustments, postponement of large indoor, non-extracurricular activities (assemblies), or requiring masks for a period of time.
I understand there continues to be a lot of controversy about masks. If we would need to make that requirement, it could be for a short period of time. One example is if we have a cluster in one of our elementary grades. We might need to isolate that group for a short period of time and possibly require masks in that room to help prevent any spread. My hope is we don’t have to make that requirement, but I want to be honest and transparent that it could happen.
Much like one year ago, there are many unknowns going into the 2021-22 school year. Schools are receiving contradictory information on a daily basis from a variety of sources. As new information becomes available, YPS will continue to evaluate and determine what is best for our students, staff, and families.
The entire team at York Public Schools appreciates all the support we have received and we are excited to get the new school year started.
Mitch Bartholomew – Superintendent
York Public Schools