Health and budgets at UCFSD

Unionville Chadds Ford School Board members reviewed the current health and safety plan Monday night and voted to approve the proposed preliminary budget for the 2022-2023 school year.

Approving the proposed preliminary budget is the first step in the budget process, and the numbers will change before a final vote in June. The proposed preliminary budget anticipates expenses and revenues to be $98.5 million, up $5.6 million, or 6.06 percent, from the current budget.

Few changes are expected in the health and safety plan. However, possible changes include testing only symptomatic staff and students and reducing quarantine periods from 10 to five days.

A presentation on the plan can be found here.

The district may adopt CHOP guidelines.

Superintendent of Schools John Sanville said one thing everyone in the district agrees on is the need to keep schools open with students attending class in person, which is the plan's goal.

“Our community, our staff, our students have told us loud and clear that it’s important that education take place in person.”

He added that the district follows CDC and Chester County Health Department guidelines, but Children's Hospital of Philadelphia guidelines are also under consideration. He said that the overall out-of-school health risk is greater than the COVID risk in the schools. Delaware County schools have adopted the CHOP policy, and UCFSD is open to following it, as well. If the district does go that way, it would be the first in Chester County to do so.

The CHOP PolicyLab Guidance calls for continuing indoor masking, having people stay home if they’re feeling ill or have symptoms, but it also allows for COVID-exposed but asymptomatic staff and students to attend classes under a “mask to stay” policy.

Assistant Superintendent Tim Hoffman said the CDC guidelines on masking, social distancing, and other forms of mitigation continue, and they are endorsed by the Chester County Health Department and The Pennsylvania Department of Health. However, the administration is making some recommendations.

Director of Curriculum & Instruction Michael Audevard said the district would continue with the current plan, but there may be changes to the masking policy based on results of community input. According to the presentation, more than 80 percent of the community surveyed supported masking during high community transmission.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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