SDoL Back to School 2020 Plan

The School District of Lancaster board of directors approved a preliminary phased reopening plan for schools, beginning Aug. 24. The plan is not intended to be comprehensive; it outlines the general schedules, modifications and protocols based on health guidelines.

Read the Full Plan

Frequently Asked Questions - Parent/Guardian

Thank you to the countless students, families and staff who have remained in touch with us during this crisis. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions so far. This is a very fluid and unprecedented situation. We are following recommendations from state, local and national health authorities and collaborating closely with our neighboring districts.

We do not have all the answers at this time. Please be patient with us and trust that we are working hard provide you with as much timely information as we can. We all what is in the best interests of our community, families, students and staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated March 30

When will school reopen?

We don’t know. The governor ordered all PA schools shut down “indefinitely” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is reason to doubt we will be able to reopen this school year. We are contingency planning for a prolonged closure.

Will we have to make up the missed time?

Probably not all of it. Much depends on how long we are actually closed. The PA Department of Education has said we will not be penalized for failing to reach 180 days. But it has also suggested we attempt to make up as much time as possible prior to June 30. We have not scheduled any makeup days at this time.

Will employees be paid during the shutdown?

The state Legislature passed legislation ensuring all school district employees receive regular pay for the duration of the closure.

If we cannot return to school this year, will students still be promoted to the next grade?

We are not sure. All students and school districts in Pennsylvania and across the United States are facing the same issue. We will look for guidance from the US and PA Departments of Education on grade promotion.

Is SDoL providing remote instruction during the closure?

The district is offering students “enrichment and review” as part of its Educational Continuity Plan. For most students, no new content is addressed, and no grading will occur. Provisions are made for seniors in need of credits to graduate this year.

More information

If my child is in grades 6-12, do I need to get a district issued device (iPad or laptop), or may we use our home device?

Our preference is for students to use SDoL-issued devices to enable a secure connection. However, if parents feel more comfortable with their home device, that should be sufficient at this time. If using a home device, please confirm with your child’s teacher that your device provides access to all of the necessary applications for enrichment and review.

What if I have questions about using SDoL technology at home?

The Office of Technology has provided information and answers to frequently asked questions:

View Technology FAQs

Will PSSA testing occur?

No. The PA Department of Education canceled PSSA testing and Keystone exams for the 2019-20 school year due to the “unprecedented conditions,” according to Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera.

What about IB and AP testing?

The IB announced that its May 2020 examinations will no longer be held. Students will be awarded Diplomas or Course Certificates which reflects their standards of work, based on coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor, and quality control already built into the programmes.

IB is updating an FAQ page on its website:


The College Board has said AP students can take a 45-minute online exam at home. More information and updates are posted on its website:


What about CTE programs, especially those requiring practical hours?

CTE seniors will have the opportunity to pursue the industry certification/license that correlates with their CTE Program of Study as part of the Educational Continuity Plan. Instructors will be in touch the week of April 6 with additional information.

Note Regarding Cosmetology: The State Board of Cosmetology has approved for up to 250 hours to be completed through distance education. Cosmetology instructors will be in touch with additional information. Please feel free to contact Kelly White if you have further questions or concerns.

Lancaster County CTC Instructors will be reaching out to students the week of March 30 to provide information regarding distance learning. Click here for additional information

What will happen to commencement and prom?

We will do everything in our power to hold these important life events in some fashion. It will depend on when we are able to resume regular activities and what arrangements can be made at that time. It is possible they will not be held on their scheduled dates or at their scheduled venues.

Dr. Rau wrote an open letter to McCaskey seniors and their families:

Read Letter

What else should students do while schools are closed?

We strongly urge all members of our community to observe social distancing and self-isolation as much as possible. Limit trips outside of the home to essential activities, restrict playdates and limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people.

We have a dedicated page on our website that suggests activities for children and provides links to a host of approved online resources that have been reviewed and approved by our local educators for student enrichment. We encourage parents to support their children academically, as they are able.

At-Home Learning

Are there resources to support seniors who are getting ready for college or a career?

Yes! Our College & Career Services team has created a resource guide for seniors to assist with college and career planning.

View Resources

Is SDoL providing meals during the closure?

Yes, at this time. Due to demand, the district will resume distributing meals two times per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at JP McCaskey, Hand, Reynolds, Carter & MacRae and Hamilton from 10 a.m. to noon. The bi-weekly distribution will begin April 14. The district will distribute three meals on Thursday, April 9.

Do students need to be present to pick up the meals?

No. Siblings, other family members, friends or neighbors may pick up meals on behalf of shut-in students. Unfortunately, due to capacity limitations, the district is unable to provide delivery service.

Can students access school-based health clinics during the closure?

Yes. The clinic at JP McCaskey is open to any SDoL student by appointment only. Please call 717-544-9021 to schedule an appointment.

More Information

How can I be sure schools are safe for students when they reopen?

We will not reopen until we are certain our schools can be kept clean and safe. Schools are currently being cleaned top to bottom with extra care on high-touch surfaces. Our crews will continue to work through the closure, implementing some of our summer protocols for deep cleaning and sanitation. We are grateful for the work of our janitorial staff and their commitment to the well-being of our students and staff during this public health crisis.