YCSDigest - February 8, 2021

Posted On: 2/8/2021


Return to School Update

Dr. Shandor and Dr. Carroll provided the School Board with an update on the work underway to bring remaining grade levels into the Hybrid Model. Last week, Governor Northam announced that all school divisions must have in-person learning options in place by March 15. He further stated this begins with the most vulnerable learners, who have been in the YCSD Hybrid Model since September 28, and includes plans for the eventual safe return of all students. Therefore, YCSD already meets the Governor’s expectations and our work to bring all grades into the Hybrid Model continues.

One important step in our Return to School is the vaccination process, which affects our single greatest obstacle – staffing. Between January 18 and February 5, more than 1,600 employees, including substitutes, have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. As employees may have received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the timeline for a second dose and optimal coverage varies for each employee.

In accordance with the new state guidance for reopening schools, the division monitors the following identified metrics on a daily basis: level of community transmission and level of school impact, which includes transmission within schools, student absenteeism, and staff capacity. Community transmission rates have begun to trend downward but remain in the highest level whereas transmission within schools has slightly increased in recent weeks. Additionally, staff capacity is at a critical level. Even though approximately 90% or more of full-time staff are now available for in-person learning (not including required COVID-19 protocols), only half of daily substitute needs are being met.

We know parents and students are eager to hear when grades 7-11 will be back in their classrooms, but we believe we need additional time to review the metrics listed above so that when dates are provided, they are grounded in data as all prior decisions have been.

e-Tutoring for Secondary Students

Free online tutoring with YCSD teachers is now available for all students in grades 6-12 every Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. Students can sign up to receive support in English, math and organizational skills. To register a student for a tutoring session, use this online form.

2021-22 School Year Calendar Planning

The division is in the early stages of planning for the 2021-22 school year. As you may recall, the state now allows school divisions to begin the school year up to 14 days before Labor Day. This week, a calendar committee of staff and parents will meet to consider the opportunities and challenges related to starting the 2021-22 calendar either the week prior to Labor Day or the week after Labor Day.

Family Life Education Forms

The Virginia Department of Education recommends that annual family life education instruction only be provided when students are participating in in-person learning. The instructional materials and course curriculum are available for preview at each school and the School Board Office. In addition, elementary school counselors will offer virtual previews to interested parents.

Parents who wish to have a student removed from all or part of the family life education program should complete the Family Life Education Removal Request Form in Rycor by February 26. Students enrolled in the elementary and secondary Virtual Academies will be provided opportunities to receive instruction in this year’s content during the 2021-22 school year.

Community Announcements

The York County School Division offers local businesses and organizations the opportunity to share information with students and parents regarding educational/enrichment activities, events and opportunities, which are either available to YCSD students or support division programs. These flyers are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the York County School Division or the schools, but are made available as a community service for our families.

Community announcements can also be found on the division website and each school's website.