By Vivian Ealy
On April 9th, Governor Tom Wolf closed all Pennsylvania schools for the rest of the academic year, so students will not be returning back to Township this year; however, the district has begun online instruction for all grades. All Township school counselors, psychologists, and nurses are available online and have provided resources for students as needed.
For families who don’t have internet access (about 2.5% of families in the district), Comcast is offering free hotspots so students are able to complete their online school work.
Students grades 5-12 were able to pick up their belongings in certain time slots at the end of March and beginning of April; grades k-6 were able to pick up their iPads during certain distribution time slots. It is unclear when students will return the iPads and other school belongings like library books, but it is likely returns will have to wait until the next school year.
Township families are still able to grab a breakfast and lunch package at Bucher and Schaeffer locations; the meals are available for students ages 18 and younger, but those children do not have to be present for the parents to pick up the meals.
Although many students were dreading the cancellation of the senior prom, it has currently been rescheduled for May 29, 2020; the district plans to postpone it even further if the state/federal guidelines change so the seniors can still have their prom. The situation is similar regarding graduation: it is scheduled for June 4th, but the district is planning to reschedule it if necessary.
There have been many changes to the standardized tests at the high school as well. All Keystone Exams have been cancelled. Also, IB Exams scheduled between April 30 and May 22 have been cancelled and students will receive the IB diploma based on the quality of their coursework. To the dismay of many juniors, SAT testing has been pushed back; the College Board is also currently considering administering an online test (the ACT is considering similar measures).
Information on whether the high school will have make-up days is still unclear. However, Governor Wolf mentioned that Pennsylvania schools do not have to meet the 180-day criteria.
Spring sports have been cancelled in accordance with PIAA local administrative decisions and the postseason for some winter sports has been affected; the PIAA swimming state championship was cancelled.
For more information regarding how COVID-19 is affecting school events and updates from the administrators, visit the resource page on the Manheim Township website.