Home / Cornwall-Lebanon School District / Academics / Re-Opening of School Frequently Asked Questions


Updated September 29, 2020


On March 13, CLSD administrators and Board of School Directors learned at the same time as parents and the public that Governor Wolf had decided to close all schools. Beginning March 17, 2020, CLSD has been distributing meals to all children – more than 107,000 meals to date. On March 21, while in the middle of a two-week shutdown, the District decided to prepare to deliver remote instruction in case the shutdown lasted longer. During this week, all District teachers participated in online training. This is why CLSD was prepared to begin delivering our Continuity of Education (COE) the week of March 28 while school buildings where closed. While we recognize that the COE was not a perfect situation, the District was limited based on direction from the Governor’s office, the Department of Health, and the PA Department of Education. Information and guidance continues to change almost daily.

Will school open on August 31, 2020?

The CLSD Board and Administration are planning to re-open school for in-person learning on this date. However, this could change based on directives or mandates from the Governor, the PA Secretary of Health, or the PA Department of Education. This also could change if there are significant events or cases in the community that would necessitate the District closing schools and moving online. 

Why have in person school and not just start school online?

In our survey results and feedback from parents, students, teachers, and our families, it is evident that most people want to return to school – albeit in a safe manner. Many younger students, and other students, learn much more effectively in person as opposed to in a virtual setting. Many parents expressed significant challenges with supervising their children at home doing virtual learning while they need to work from home or report to work. Many parents and students have stressed that the lack of in-person interaction with other teachers and other students has been an emotionally and psychologically challenging experience for them. The American Academy of Pediatricians also strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.

What is different with the CLSD K-8 Virtual School and C3 versus the Continuity of Education that occurred at the end of last school year?

Both the CLSD K-8 Virtual School and C3 are full-time educational options for CLSD students where students can continue their education in a virtual environment without attending school in-person. The Continuity of Learning program at the end of the school year was limited in what we could provide based on direction from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and directives from the Governor’s office.  Click here for more information.

What options exist for CLSD for online and regular school?

CLSD will be providing a full-time online school opportunity for all K-12 CLSD students. CLSD also will be providing in-person learning for families who choose for their children to attend school. All families will be asked to make this choice by August 3, 2020 so that the District can re-assign staff and schedule students. Additional information is available about our online programs on this website under virtual school options.

What precautions will be taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?

As stated in guidance from the PA Department of Education: “There is no known way to stop the spread of a virus. The goal is to mitigate the spread.” Some of the District’s efforts directed at mitigation include education of COVID-19 symptoms and precautions for all students and staff; changes to transportation; changes in class size at the elementary level; potential hybrid learning opportunities at the secondary level; enhanced cleaning protocols throughout the District; minimizing student mobility in buildings; close monitoring of attendance across all areas; coordination with local and state health officials; and changes to cafeteria dining. These are just some of the District’s efforts and are not inclusive of every measure.

What will look different in school? (Elementary, Middle School and High School)

For Elementary, the District will be reducing class sizes as much as possible to allow for spacing within classrooms. This will mean that some optional and non-mandated programs will be limited during this transition time due to utilizing as many staff as possible to teach reduced class sizes. Classrooms will be forward facing with desks spaced 3-feet apart. Students may eat in classrooms or eating may be expanded to other large group areas of the building. Hand washing will be frequent and face covering breaks will be incorporated when social distancing can be maintained. Rotation between classrooms will be limited. Assemblies and Field Trips will be postponed until further notice.

At Middle School, similar efforts will be taken with an emphasis on reducing large congregate areas. Hallway transitions will be staggered. Bus entry and dismissal will be staggered. Additional seating will be provided utilizing the cafeteria or classrooms. Hand washing will be frequent and face covering breaks will be incorporated when social distancing can be maintained. Assemblies and Field Trips will be postponed until further notice.

At the High School, students also will report directly to period 1 classes. Bus entry and dismissal will be staggered. Additional seating will be provided utilizing the cafeteria or classrooms. Hand washing will be frequent and face covering breaks will be incorporated when social distancing can be maintained. Assemblies and Field Trips will be postponed until further notice.

Will there be any changes to programs?

Some programs in the Elementary Schools may be limited during the re-opening as we utilize as many staff as possible to reduce class size and provide for as much social distancing as possible.

How will classrooms look? Classrooms will be forward facing with the removal of other learning areas and items. This will allow for as much social distancing as possible and also make the rooms able to be disinfected more easily. Here is an example of the set-up for an elementary classroom and for one at the high school.

How will students eat lunch in school?

Depending on the level and the school, some students will eat in the cafeteria or large group areas. Some students may eat in the classroom or other designated area.

What are the three plans for CLSD for each of the Red, Yellow, and Green status levels?

RED: All students will be fully online with All CLSD staff working from District buildings.

YELLOW: Elementary schools will continue to have in-person learning with all safety protocols. The middle school and high school will offer hybrid or alternating days for students. Students who are not present will participate virtually from home in a fully synchronous schedule and attendance will be taken.

GREEN: Elementary and Middle School Students will be provided in-person learning with all safety protocols. CCHS will offer some hybrid learning or alternating day opportunities for older students.

What will happen if there is a positive case of COVID-19?

The District will coordinate this with the Department of Health and receive guidance on the next steps as per direction from PDE. This does not mean that school will be shut down or that this is a reason for closing school. There will be positive cases as there is community spread in our area of COVID-19. The goal of the District is to mitigate the spread in the school environment. 

Could school be shut down if there are positive cases?  

Yes, depending upon the situation. If the County were to be moved to a RED status, we would be required to move all instruction to online – which we are prepared to do in a fully synchronous way (not like Continuity of Education).

Will my child be required to wear a face covering?  

Yes, as per the order for the PA Secretary of Health: unless there are exceptions, face coverings should be worn if social distancing of 6 feet is not possible. CLSD is encouraging everyone to assist with this to prevent community spread of COVID-19.  CLSD also will be providing optional face shields or ball cap shields that students will be permitted to wear. 

Why can’t the school take temperatures for all students?

It is critical that parents do not send children to school with a temperature. Sometimes it takes multiple times to get an accurate temperature reading. This would take hours to for the District to do this on a daily basis. This also would create congregate settings where students would gather while waiting to have their temperature checked. And, by the time the District would be checking temperatures, students would have already interacted with other students at the bus stop and on the bus. For these reasons, it is extremely important that we have everyone’s cooperation in not reporting to school if you have a temperature. 

What will look different with Transportation?

Transportation will be available for all students with two students to a seat. Face covering should be worn while on transportation. Students will fill the back of the bus first and any siblings will be seated together. In order to adjust our routes, we are asking parents to notify us by July 26, 2020, if they primarily plan to transport their children to school. All schools will be extending the drop off time in the morning to accommodate additional traffic and potential work schedule issues for parents. You can view a video about what transportation will look like here.

Why should I cooperate with these procedures?

The spread of COVID-19 is a community issue, not a school issue. The District is making every possible effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and must have cooperation from the community. If we do not have cooperation and we experience a spike in cases or an outbreak, we will be forced to shut down in-person learning and deliver all instruction online. Our goal is to continue to be able to deliver in-person instruction and that is why we need everyone’s cooperation.