- New Hope-Solebury School District
Effective June 24, 2021, the Board of School Directors approved an updated Health and Safety Plan and Athletic Health and Safety Plan.
As a resource, here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions that may help clarify key points in the most recent health and safety plan:
What is the format for instruction during the 2021-2022 school year?
The New Hope-Solebury School District will resume regular full-day, five day per week instruction on September 1, 2021, for all grade levels (K-12). Families were also given the option for fully online instruction via Pearson Education, a third-party cyber instruction provider. The selected models were determined following a survey of families conducted in May 2021, through which the majority of NHSSD families indicated a preference for in-person instruction.
Will students and staff be required to wear masks?
The state masking order will be lifted effective June 28, 2021, and as of that date, no federal, state, or local health authority will require face coverings indoors or outdoors. Accordingly, masks will be optional for NHSSD students and staff during instructional programming and at any school-sponsored events hosted on District property.
Will the District students and staff be expected to practice social-distancing?
Yes. The District will continue procedures to support social-distancing, per the guidance of the Bucks County Department of Healthy, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. These procedures include specified classroom and cafeteria seating configurations, a minimum of three feet distancing between students, limiting high-traffic and high-volume hallway use, staggered arrivals and dismissals, and utilizing virtual group events, as available. For a full-list of procedures, please review pages 5-7 of the current Health and Safety Plan.
Will hand-washing and cleaning procedures remain in effect?
Yes, the District will continue to promote frequent hand-washing and hand-sanitizing among students and staff. District custodial staff will also continue to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces twice daily.
Will contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine continue?
In accordance with guidance issued by the Bucks County Health Department on June 19, 2021, NHSSD will no longer report positive cases or maintain a COVID dashboard. The District will also forego isolation and quarantine orders related to COVID-19, per the BCHD guidance. However, individuals who become sick at school or demonstrate any history of exposure will be required to isolate from others in the nurses’ suites and to wear a mask. If the individual exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, he/she/they will be referred to the school nurse or a medical practitioner. Upon evaluation, a COVID-19 test and/or a note from a medical provider may be required prior to returning. The District will provide virtual learning and/or telework for those unable to attend due to illness if possible.
Will my child be required to receive a COVID vaccine?
Although the flu and COVID vaccines are encouraged by health professionals for eligible students and staff, these vaccines are not mandatory for school attendance or employment at this time. For eligible students and staff, the District will distribute information regarding vaccination clinics as available.
If there is a resurgence of COVID-19, how will this impact instruction?
In the event of an increased level of infection in our region, the New Hope-Solebury School District is prepared to quickly pivot between in-person instruction, virtual/remote instruction and hybrid instruction as necessary or required. We will continue to adhere to guidance issued by federal, state or local health organizations.
What if my child has a medical concern or is considered high-risk?
Student medical issues requiring a temporary leave from school will be addressed on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate instructional alternatives. An instructional plan will be developed based on information provided by the student’s health care provider, parent/guardians, principal and counselor, and IEP team, as applicable.
The pandemic has called attention to the need for social-emotional supports for children. How is New Hope-Solebury School District addressing mental health concerns?
Throughout the pandemic, the District has been working to address mental health concerns for both students and staff members. For the 2021-22 school year, we will continue providing lessons that foster emotional well-being and our efforts to identify students in need of support. As necessary, we refer students for additional resources through our Multi-Tiered Support System (MTSS).
The District also provides ongoing access to licensed social workers, counselors, school psychologists, and administrators. As a reference for our families, this team has developed a website with school-specific supports and resources available in Bucks County. In the fall of 2021, professional development will be offered to better equip our teachers and staff to help students address mental health concerns.
Will the District continue its free breakfast and lunch program next year?
Yes. The District received a grant to continue offering free breakfast and lunch to all students for the 2021-22 school year. Students aged 18-23 years with special needs are also eligible. If a student is participating in cyber instruction, meal pickup will be made available. For questions about the free meal program, contact Katie Gioia-DeVito, Director of Food Services.
Is the Health and Safety Plan subject to change?
Yes. The New Hope-Solebury School District has continually updated its protocols and procedures while prioritizing directives from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Health and Safety Plan adopted by the School Board of Directors on June 24, 2021 will offer important guidance as we prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, however it is subject to change as new developments occur.
To access the District's archived correspondence about reopening and other resources related to COVID-19, please visit this site.