Members of CVSD cannot be denied input into our own Health & Safety Plan

Members of CVSD cannot be denied input into our own Health & Safety Plan

137 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
Petition to
Cumberland Valley School District and

Why this petition matters

Started by Nikolene Cole

For residents of Cumberland Valley School District:

While we may not collectively agree on what we want to see in our Health and Safety Plan, there is one thing upon which we can agree - CVSD is actively ignoring a legal statute that REQUIRES they seek and take public input into consideration during the Plan revision process.

The administration/school board is not meant to dictate our plan and hand it down to us simply to react to. Statutes were written to ensure that we are active players in our own Plan, and it is time we collectively held our administration and school board accountable. This goes beyond "masks" or "no masks"- this is about our school district willfully going against a legal requirement to solicit and consider our input in informing our plan revisions. We need to set the precedent now, and for all future revisions and generations, that we will not be silenced, no matter what our individual views may be.

Read more details below about the requirement on soliciting and considering public input for Health and Safety Plans. If you agree that CVSD did not solicit your input to take into account for the revisions of our plans, add your name to the petition. ALL CVSD residents and employees are welcome to sign- student, parent, teacher, school staff, EVERYONE. allows you to add your name anonymously, so everyone is encouraged to sign to show their support via a confidential forum. Since requires petition signers be at least 16 years old to register an account, parents can add an optional, non-identifying note in the comment box with a blanket statement saying, "I have # of CVSD students in my family," should they wish to be represented.

Let's give CVSD some input they can't ignore. Thank you for signing!


To receive ARP ESSER funding, local education agencies (CVSD) are required to seek public input for the development and all revisions of their Health and Safety Plan.

CVSD sought our input exactly once- in July 2021 for the initial development of the Health and Safety Plan. The ThoughtExchange conducted at the time captured more than 2,000 comments from our CVSD community.

No ThoughtExchange was ever conducted for the subsequent revisions of the Health and Safety Plan passed on August 23, 2021 and January 3, 2022. On the contrary, CVSD did nothing to seek collective input during either revision process. Instead, the already-revised plans were sent out via links in emails with explanations on why the plan revisions were made on behalf of the entire school district.

Despite it being brought to the attention of both CVSD and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) on August 25, 2021, that CVSD was out of compliance with the federal statute, to date, nothing has been rectified. CVSD has attempted to claim that the public comment submitted during board meetings is sufficient for input. (By default, the Sunshine Law requires public comment during board meetings, and CVSD is merely following the protocol to get approval on the plan as an agenda item.)

Retroactively responding to a plan that has already been revised without your involvement is the exact opposite of input. Revised plans were presented as being up for vote, not up for continued discussion and revision. Submitting public comment at school board meetings, where you are required to publicly submit with your name with your comment, in an environment where the board felt the need to even cancel in-person attendance, does more to DETER public comment than encourage public comment.

Looking at how our plans match with the public comments submitted at the following board meetings is also another story entirely. One only has to look at the numbers to see the blatant discrepancies, and how it yet again goes to prove that public input is not a part of our plans.

Despite trying to get clarification on what this process should actually look like for the school community, neither the Pennsylvania Department of Education or the US Department of Education will commit to objectively defining what is meant by “seeking” or “taking into account”. What good are federal regulations if no one will commit to answering the public’s questions on holding those accountable for the health, safety, and welfare of our kids and our school community at large?

Instead, the issue has once again been escalated to another level of government involvement to try and get more traction through all of the red-tape preventing everyday citizens from getting answers and results in a timely manner. To expedite the process, every signature on this petition will go to show all levels involved that CVSD residents stand in solidarity that the few (administration and school board members) are trying to speak for the many.

Again, we may not agree on what we want in a plan (clearly, we don’t). But we are unquestionably passionate about our kids and the staff serving those kids. Many things have divided us as a community since the beginning of this pandemic, but let us stand together to show that no one is going to silence the collective voices of Cumberland Valley School District.

Just a few sources which clearly spell out CVSD's legal obligation:

According to the ARP ESSER Interim Final Rule:

LEA Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

Consistent with section 2001(i)(2) of the ARP Act, which requires an LEA to seek public comment on the development of its plan, an LEA must seek public input and take such input into account in determining whether to revise its plan and, if it determines revisions are necessary, on the revisions it makes to its plan, i.e., the LEA must seek public input on whether to revise its plan and on any revisions to its plan no less frequently than every six months (taking into consideration the timing of significant changes to CDC guidance on reopening schools).

According to the PA Department of Education ARP ESSER FAQ:

Is stakeholder engagement required?

Yes. As recipients of ARP ESSER funding, school districts, charter schools, and PDE are required by statute to engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders. LEAs are specifically required to engage with stakeholders in the development of the LEA Plan for the Use of ARP ESSER Funds and the revisions to the LEA Health and Safety Plan. Under ARP requirements, stakeholders include, but are not limited to, students, families, school and district administrators (including special education administrators), teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and their unions. In addition, the LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with each of the following to the extent present in or served by the LEA: tribes; civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations); and stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children and youth in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.

For additional information, please see the ARP ESSER Guidebook section titled "Consultation with Stakeholders."

According to the PA Department of Education ARP ESSER Guidebook (page 28):

The ARP Act requires LEAs to review their Health and Safety Plans at least every six months during the period of the LEA’s ARP ESSER grant. LEAs also must review and update their plans whenever there are significant changes to the CDC recommendations for K-12 schools. Like the development of the plan, all revisions must be informed by community input and reviewed and approved by the LEA’s governing body prior to posting on the LEA’s publicly available website.


137 have signed. Let’s get to 200!