All York County school districts signed Wolf's form to stay open

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch
William Penn Senior High School, or York High, in York City, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

All 16 York County school districts agreed to comply with state safety regulations in order to keep their schools open, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 

The department's website recorded every district in the county returned a signed attestation form agreeing to comply with the regulations in accordance with an order by Gov. Tom Wolf. The deadline to sign the form was 5 p.m. Monday. 

Fourteen districts previously confirmed they signed the form, but officials from Red Lion School District and Northeastern School District did not return requests for comment.

A Red Lion official confirmed that classes were held in person Wednesday, and posts from Northeastern's social media pages show students in class. If either district had not submitted a form, they would have been required to hold classes remotely. 

More than 99% of public school districts statewide signed the form, the Education Department reported Wednesday in a news release. 

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The safety regulations in the form include complying with a mask requirement for all students, staff and visitors as well as complying with recommendations to temporarily close schools for cleaning based on the number of positive COVID-19 cases identified over a 14-day period. 

The new regulations come amid a significant spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state. Nationally, Tuesday was the second deadliest day since the pandemic began, CNN reported. 

York City School District and South Western School District each signed the form, even though all of their schools currently operate fully remotely. York City Superintendent Andrea Berry said Tuesday that signing the form gave the district more flexibility and allowed about 500 students in the district who have special needs or are English language learners to continue receiving in-person instruction. 

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Several school district officials, including York Suburban Superintendent Timothy Williams and Dallastown Area School District board members, criticized Wolf's order, arguing that it takes control away from the districts. 

"We are at the mercy of some of these numbers," Dallastown Superintendent Josh Doll said Monday.