West Shore School District to reopen high schools and middle schools for more in-person instruction

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch
The first phase of a nearly $100 million high school renovation is now expected to cost $2 million more than originally expected due to the addition of ten science labs, classroom storage, and new locker rooms. 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

West Shore School District will expand its reopening for high school and middle school students this month, while officials also prepare to open a new elementary building.

Superintendent Todd Stoltz announced Tuesday that the district was reopening its two high schools and three middle schools to hold four days of in-person instruction per week starting April 19. High school and middle school students currently attend class on a hybrid schedule that has them in the classroom two days a week. 

West Shore School District's boundaries straddle the York County and Cumberland County line. The district is one of the last in York County to move out of a hybrid model, with several school districts expanding in-person learning options this year as teachers were vaccinated and state officials relaxed COVID-19 guidelines for schools. 

High school and middle school students will attend class Monday through Thursday, with Friday remaining a virtual learning day. Elementary students already attend class four days a week, and students in special education programs attend class five days a week. Stoltz said students will still have the option to participate in remote learning.

More:Pa. Department of Education updates guidance to allow more in-person learning

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West Shore is also preparing to open its new Rossmoyne Elementary building to select students. A district announcement reported that third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at the existing Rossmoyne Elementary are scheduled to move into the new building Monday. 

The building will replace the district's current Rossmoyne and Lower Allen elementary schools in Cumberland County. The school will house about 400 students and is projected to cost about $25 million. 

More:West Shore School District moves ahead with $85M overhaul

Part of the building remains under construction, so Lower Allen students will continue learning in the old building for the remainder of the school year. Rossmoyne students were instructed to work from home Thursday and Friday to allow staff to move their belongings to the new building. 

The project is part of an $85 million overhaul that will include two new intermediate schools constructed in York County. One of the intermediate schools, Fairview Intermediate, will replace the existing Fairview Elementary School. The second school will be built on a 95-acre plot the district purchased along Valley Road and Beinhower Road near Red Land High School. 

Both schools are much earlier in the process than the new Rossmoyne Elementary. When complete, the new schools will help the district improve curriculum and reorganize grade levels, Stoltz said. 

The plan for the new schools stemmed from reports in 2016 that found several district buildings in poor condition. Six of the district’s 14 school buildings had heating systems more than 30 years old, and seven schools lacked air conditioning.