• Below is a record of our communications to parents and guardians:


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 31

    Subject: Elementary Ed Model Update

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Following up on yesterday’s letter, I’d like to clarify why we had to change our elementary education model for in-school and remote options. The disruption to education throughout the world due to COVID-19 has been unprecedented and has put every educator in this unfortunate and challenging situation. We fully recognize that no model is perfect for our students, faculty and staff, but we will continue striving to provide the safest schools with the best educational model under these difficult circumstances while operating under budget constraints.

    When the final numbers came in Monday night and we started placing students and teachers into in-school and remote classrooms, it became clear we faced two serious problems. First, because the in-school numbers were so high, with about 70 percent choosing in-school, we didn’t have enough teachers to cover both in-school and remote learning classrooms. Second, again because of the in-school numbers, there wasn’t enough physical space in our schools to accommodate the high numbers while abiding by the physical distancing guidelines in our health and safety plan. Even when we looked at trying to utilize alternative spaces, such as libraries, cafeteria, and art rooms, we couldn’t make the original educational model work. 

    Therefore, we had no other choice than to change our educational model to what we presented yesterday, the cohort approach for in-school and remote learning. This cohort model will provide opportunities for in-person and remote students to interact with each other and the teacher throughout the school day. Please keep in mind we continue to offer the Virtual Academy as an option. 

    Many of you have wondered if this is just the next step in the process to close schools and move to remote learning as a district before school even starts. At this time, we have no intention of closing schools prior to Aug. 25. While this new education model puts us in a good position for transitioning to district-wide remote learning if necessary, we believe beginning the school year in-person, for however long we can, benefits students and teachers. When students are in a cohort, they build relationships not only with their teachers but also with their classmates. These connections between in-school and remote students will establish a classroom community and serve as a strong foundation to keep students engaged should we be forced into district-wide remote learning.

    Lastly, we realize there are concerns about how teachers will manage in-school and remote instruction simultaneously. Our teachers are highly skilled and dedicated educators, among the best in their profession. While this won’t be easy, we have the utmost confidence that they will be able to carry out this plan, and we are working on giving them the tools they need. For example, we are purchasing cameras so that teachers can show remote students what is happening in the classroom. Additionally, professional learning for teachers prior to the start of the school year will focus on delivering instruction to students in this model. Also remember, every K-2 classroom will have a paraprofessional to support our students and teachers, and we are looking at ways to possibly enhance their roles. 

    As always, thank you for your patience and understanding. If you have further questions or concerns, please reach out to your building principal.

    Sincerely,

    Vern Bock
    Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 30

    Subject: Important Elementary Ed Model Update

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    After analyzing the fall selection numbers we received from our parents, we would like to inform you about how we are going to implement our elementary educational model. We’re moving forward with a cohort approach — meaning our in-school and remote learning options will now be synchronous with each student’s classroom teacher. While our K-5 students will continue to attend every day either in-school or remotely, this new approach will be mostly synchronous; however, for flexibility, some asynchronous learning will be available through recorded lessons.

    Please understand this is a necessary step. Without this adjustment, we would face serious space and staffing issues because of the final numbers. We have 2,739 students at the elementary level. Almost 31 percent (837) of families have chosen remote or virtual learning as their option for the fall. As a result, under the previous plan, we would have needed to reassign 27-30 teachers to teach remote or virtual. This reassignment of teachers would have shifted some faculty to different grade levels and/or schools. Additionally, class sizes would have increased for in-person learning, requiring classrooms to be moved to alternate spaces where possible, but in some cases there simply wasn’t an available space.

    The cohort approach presents two distinct advantages for students. First, every student will now remain with their home classroom teacher whether in-school or remote. Second, if we must close schools this school year, the cohorts will remain together under district-wide remote learning. 

    In summary, by going to a cohort model, one that combines in-person and remote teaching to occur simultaneously with one classroom teacher, in-person class sizes will drop significantly because more teachers will be in our elementary schools. In short, we will have more teachers and more classrooms so, therefore, fewer students will be in each class. Equally important is that the cohort option allows for the cohort to stay together while transitioning into or out of remote learning as an entire district.  

    While not perfect, this updated model is essential to facilitate safe and robust learning experiences this fall. Should you want to change your selection because of this new information, please email your building principal prior to 8 a.m., Monday, Aug. 3.

    Your patience has been appreciated throughout this process, and we can’t thank you enough for your support.

    Warm regards,

    Vern Bock
    Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 29

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, Aug. 5 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, Aug. 3, at 8 a.m. 

    Please note: This will be the last week that meals are available through this program as we need to shift our preparation to be ready for the first day of school on Aug. 25.

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 27 

    Subject: Fall Planning Decision Deadline Today

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    As a reminder, tonight at 11 p.m. is the deadline to log into our Home Access Center and choose your educational option for the fall or, if you wish, change your selection. After you make your choice, please remember to make your transportation selection also. 

    For elementary families, please keep in mind that after the deadline, you won’t be able to change the selection until Aug. 25.

    If you have trouble logging in, please email itsupport@scasd.org or call 814-231-7743. 

    Your cooperation to help us plan for the fall is appreciated.

    Stay safe and well,

    Chris Rosenblum
    Director of Communications


    Letter sent to all K-5 parents and guardians July 24

    Subject: Elementary Final Selections for this Fall

    Dear SCASD K-5 Families,

    Due to the urgency of making staffing and transportation decisions, we need for all families to understand the importance of making your selection by 11 p.m. Monday evening, July 27. After the deadline, we will not be accepting requests for changes until Aug. 25, the first day of school. For families who do not make a selection, we will be assigning those students to our in-school program.

    Beginning Tuesday, the enrollment data will dictate how faculty and staff will be assigned in the district. In addition, your decisions will be used to develop bus routes with pick-up and drop-off times. These are the reasons we must hold on any requests for changes except for the reasons below. Once we are able to accept requests, we will make changes, wherever possible, through our building principals.

    Exception

    There is only one exception regarding changes for our elementary students. At any time, a student can move to the virtual academy from either the in-school or remote learning options. 

    Note: Keep in mind that we are staffing in-school and remote learning with different teachers, so it’s not easy to accommodate changes between in-school and remote. 

    As always, we will continue to monitor our community and the status of the pandemic, and of course, if the status of our community changes, we will adjust our plans accordingly. If you have any questions, please reach out to your building principal

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 24

    Subject: District-wide Town Hall Video

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    If you missed our district-wide Virtual Town Hall last night, you can watch the entire video here. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions. Our hope is that the presentation provides you with the most up-to-date information regarding our educational choices for this fall so that you can make the most informed decision possible. 

    By the Monday night deadline of 11 p.m., please log into Home Access Center (HAC) and make your selection from the in-school, remote learning or virtual academy options. You can change your choice at any time up to the deadline. 

    Thank you,

    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 22

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, July 29 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, July 27, at 8 a.m. 

    Please note: The district will continue to distribute meals throughout the summer every Wednesday until at least Aug. 5.

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 22 

    Subject: Secondary Remote and District Town Hall

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    After continued planning, we have now added synchronous remote learning as an option for grades 6-12 that aligns with our in-school choice. This step maintains our plan for having students in school every other day but now allows all students, regardless of their selection, to have access to district faculty and curricular experiences they selected through scheduling. One positive impact of this change is that new learning will now occur every day both in-school and in synchronous remote learning. In addition, it would help facilitate the transition to district-wide remote learning should we have to close buildings.

    In summary, our fall of 2020 K-12 options are:

    Clearly this is a hard decision for many families, and while we’ve done our best to give you the most up-to-date information available throughout this process, we know many people still have questions. Therefore, we are going to host a live Virtual Town Hall this Thursday at 6 p.m. to answer as many questions as possible. Please submit your questions ahead of time here, though we also will take questions live.

    We have extended the deadline for making your fall educational decision to Monday, July 27, at 11 p.m. Anyone not registered by this deadline will be assigned to in-school learning to begin the school year. This decision is necessary to ensure we have complete data that will allow us to make accurate staffing decisions, as well as plan for the implementation of our health and safety plan protocols. By the Monday night deadline, please log into Home Access Center (HAC) and make your selection from the in-school, remote learning or our virtual academy choices. You can change your choice at any time up to the deadline. 

    For transportation, please remember to choose an option. We need as many parents and guardians as possible to choose “Parent Provided/Walker” to keep busing schedules and the school day as normal as we can. If we don’t have enough people opt-out, we may have to stagger bus times and possibly even adjust the school day schedule. 

    During this extraordinary time, I appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we work through our fall planning.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 20 

    Subject: Fall planning deadline extended

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    We are extending the deadline for making your fall educational decision until Monday, July 27, at 11 p.m. This will give us time to re-evaluate our fall planning to consider the possible addition of remote learning as an option for grades 6-12. By Wednesday, we will communicate our direction so you can make your choice with the updated information. 

    Our Health and Safety Team continues to monitor and evaluate the PA Department of Education’s most up-to-date revised guidelines during this fluid time. Based on this, the team most recently focused on the impact of maintaining 6-foot distances and the amount of time inside that physical space, causing us to rethink our approach to in-school instruction. To reiterate, we will enforce 6-feet of social distancing and require mask-wearing at all times except when students are eating lunch, at recess or having a coordinated mask break. 

    Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we work through these developments to provide safe environments and robust learning experiences for all of our students.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 17

    Subject: Fall planning options update and reminder

    Dear Parent or Guardian,

    As we head into the weekend, I’d like to remind you that the deadline for selecting a learning option for the fall is Tuesday, July 21. To date, we have had about half of our families respond. Thank you for those responses. However, we need all of our families to choose options because the data will help ensure principals can make changes to vital scheduling and staffing plans based on accurate enrollments.

    The options are:

    Specific details about each option are available on our website.

    We recently added remote learning as a flexible opportunity for the elementary level. It includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning, and will promote a seamless transition back to in-person later in the school year. An additional feature will be recorded lessons via Google Meet that students, if they can’t participate in synchronous lessons, can view at their convenience. 

    We ask that you please log into Home Access Center (HAC) and make your selection from in-school, K-5 remote learning or our virtual academy. For transportation, please remember to choose an option. We need as many parents and guardians as possible to choose “Parent Provided/Walker” to keep busing schedules and the school day as normal as possible. If we don’t have enough people opt-out, we may have to stagger bus times and possibly even adjust the school day schedule. 

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this time. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your building principal

    Have a nice weekend!

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians in grades 6-12 July 17

    Subject: Video of Secondary Virtual Academy Town Hall

    Dear Secondary Families,

    For those of you that missed our grades 6-12 Virtual Academy Town Hall last night, you can watch the video here. For your convenience, the presentation in the video starts at 17:53. 

    Our intent was to give you specific details about the program and provide answers to your questions. If you still are looking for information, please visit our Virtual Academy website. There, you will find our online learning course catalog. Additionally, there are specific details on our Secondary Back-to-school website.

    If you have questions regarding the Virtual Academy specifically, please email Jennifer Scudder, Online Learning Coordinator, and Jon Downs, Director Alternative Programs, via virtual@scasd.org. One of them will reach out to you and respond to your questions. 

    If you have other questions or concerns about our back-to-school plans unrelated to the Virtual Academy, please reach out to your building principal.

    Sincerely, 

    Will Stout
    Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 15

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, July 22 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, July 20, at 8 a.m. 

    Please note: The district will continue to distribute meals throughout the summer every Wednesday until at least Aug. 5.

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all grades 6-12 parents and guardians July 15

    Subject: Secondary Town Hall Regarding Virtual Academy

    Dear Secondary Families,

    To give our families that are interested in our grades 6-12 Virtual Academy as much information as possible, we will be hosting a YouTube Live event tomorrow, July 16, at 6 p.m. Our intent is to give you specific details about the program and provide answers to your questions. We invite you to submit your questions ahead of time through this form, but we will also be taking questions live during the event.

    You can view the event here

    Sincerely, 

    Will Stout
    Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 14

    Subject: Important Update Regarding Fall Selections

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    We would like to give you an update regarding our offerings for the fall and expand on other points within our plans. During our preparation for the fall, our goal has been to give our students and families the best options under the circumstances. Along these lines, in response to recent feedback, we will be adding a third option for elementary families this fall.

    K-5 Remote Learning

    Remote learning has been added as a choice for our students in grades K-5 in addition to in- school and Virtual Academy options. The remote learning model will provide a daily schedule of more synchronous experiences than available in the Virtual Academy. This option will be different from what we offered in remote learning last spring, and will include many improvements. For more details, please visit our elementary website

    After investigating this option within the secondary schedule, we have concluded that a remote option is not feasible for our 6-12 students in conjunction with our in-school operations. This is due to the conflicts this would create with our secondary school schedules.

    In-School Learning

    We are planning to return to in-school learning this fall while following our comprehensive Health and Safety plan. The details about our in-school learning are available on our elementary and secondary back-to-school websites.   

    Virtual Academy

    In response to the questions we’ve received from some families, we have updated both our elementary and secondary websites to include more information about this asynchronous choice. Next week, we will propose Fuel Education to our Board as the elementary digital platform to support our teachers in facilitating online learning. 

    For the secondary students, our teachers will use Edgenuity, a digital platform, and Canvas, our current online learning management system, to facilitate online learning. In response to questions about our Virtual Academy for secondary students, we will be offering a virtual town hall Thursday, July 16, at 6 p.m. Our intent is to give you the most up-to-date information about the academy and provide answers to your questions. Please submit your questions through this form. Tomorrow, we will be sending secondary parents a link to the webinar. 

    Masks

    In order to create a safe environment for everyone, we will require masks to be worn at all times in school buildings and on buses. This applies to all students, faculty, and staff and stems from our Health and Safety Plan, which was developed following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and PA Department of Education as well as with input from local medical experts. The mask requirement is important to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the community at large.

    We recognize that there may be circumstances where students have special needs that make mask-wearing difficult or impossible. Before granting an exception, we will first require parents/guardians to submit a healthcare provider’s documentation with established need. In the case of an exception, we will collaborate to develop a plan that includes alternative safety measures. We will handle such instances on a case-by-case basis. Parents and guardians will be notified if a special exception has been granted in their child’s classroom. 

    Please look for more information about our exemption process in the near future.

    Our goal is to do everything we can to protect the safety of our community. As we work toward this objective, we will continually evaluate our protocols and determine what is best in that regard. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this time. If you 

    have questions or concerns, please reach out to your building principal

    Make Your Fall Selection

    Please log into Home Access Center (HAC) and make your selection between In School, K-5 Remote Learning or our Virtual Academy. Note: If you have already made a choice, you are able to change your selection until the new deadline of Tuesday, July 21. 

    Whichever option you choose, your child will have robust and valuable educational opportunities. Please know that our teachers, staff, administrators, counselors and everyone involved will be here to support every student throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 10

    Subject: Educational Model Fall Selection Information

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Following up on Dr. O’Donnell’s letter, here is the information for choosing between in-school instruction or our Virtual Academy for the fall of 2020.

    To make your choice, please log into Home Access Center (HAC). Once you’re logged in, under School Links click, “Fall of 2020 Enrollment Selection.” You will then be prompted to select either “In-school” or “Virtual Academy.” Once you have made your selections, please press submit. If you select “Virtual Academy,” you are done and will get a complete message. 

    If you selected “In-school,” you will then be prompted to make a transportation choice. For transportation, please select between “Parent Provided” or “District Provided.” As you think about this choice, please know that parents and guardians opting out of transportation will be crucial to our plans to go back to school. We need as many parents as possible to choose “Parent Provided” to keep busing schedules and the school day as normal as possible. If we don’t have enough people opt-out, we may have to stagger bus times and possibly even adjust the school day schedule. 

    The portal in HAC will be open from July 10 until July 20.

    We recognize that this will be a difficult decision for many of our families. Please know that regardless of the choice you make, the district, our faculty and staff and I are all here to support you. During this challenging time, we’ll work together to make the best possible educational experience for our students this fall. Along that line, if you have any questions regarding this information, please reach out to us directly.

    Sincerely,

    SCASD Principals


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 10

    Subject: Educational Model Fall Planning Update

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    This fall, we will offer two options for learning: in-school instruction and our Virtual Academy. Following this communication, you will receive an email from your child’s principal asking you to choose between the options via a form in the Home Access Center (HAC). You will be able to select individual options for each student in your household. The window for making your choice will be July 10-20. 

    We understand that you face important decisions, so to help, our educational model team has prepared websites of our in-school and Virtual Academy models for the elementary and secondary levels. The websites go into specific details of our educational models. Our hope is that these, combined with our Health and Safety Plan which was approved by our Board July 6,  will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Please know that for both options, we are committed to providing substantive and rewarding educational experiences this fall while keeping students, faculty, and staff safe.

    Once you make your selection, you will be able to change it during the enrollment period through July 20. When it comes to shifting your choice beyond the July 20 deadline, we will try to be as accommodating as possible based on staffing and classroom capacity. Should you want to switch or have extenuating circumstances, please contact your child’s principal, as we will be managing individual cases at the school level. 

    If you decide on the in-school option for a student, you then will be directed to opt in or out with bus transportation. This information will be crucial for us. So that we can maintain 6-foot social distancing among students and other safety measures, our bus capacity must be reduced drastically. In turn, this means we will need many parents and guardians to provide transportation. The reality is, in order to avoid staggering routes and possibly restructuring the school day, we must have at least 60 percent of families who previously used district transportation either opt out of busing or choose the Virtual Academy. Therefore, we’re requesting that if you can provide transportation, please choose the “Parent Provided” option. So you know, we intend to expand the drop-off/pick-up time windows to give you more flexibility.

    In addition to the educational model websites and health and safety plan, we have developed a parent and guardian Q&A to help provide you with as much information as possible.

    Finally, I don’t think any of us could have ever imagined being in this position. It’s unfortunate on so many levels, and definitely something I wish we didn’t face. But for the safety of our schools and community, we have established protocols we believe are necessary, and to abide by them, we must make these adjustments for the greater good. That said, we want to provide the best possible educational experiences for our students under the circumstances, and that’s why our educational model team has put countless hours into developing these choices for the fall. Whichever option you choose, your child will have robust and valuable educational opportunities. Please know that you are never alone in our district; our teachers, staff, administrators, counselors and everyone involved will be here to support every student throughout the 2020-2021 school year. 

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 9 

    The State College Area School District has a 1:1 Technology initiative in place which allows all students K-12 to have access to a Chromebook. This initiative complements the classroom and remote learning environment by providing options for teachers to enhance lessons and activities with digital resources.
     
    Each year, we hand devices out to our 6-12 students prior to the start of school. This year, that is going to include our elementary families. Although students typically only started taking their devices home beginning in 6th grade, the pandemic created a need for our elementary families to have access to their devices at home.
     
    For the 2020-2021 School Year, SCASD will continue the K-12 take home plan for student Chromebooks. This will ensure that every student continues to have a device regardless of their In-School or Virtual Academy selection. In addition, it ensures that families already have a device at home if school closures occur and that students continue to have learning opportunities available without delay.
    In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to families who do not currently have their student’s 1:1 device at home with information on picking the device up prior to the start of school. This process will begin with our incoming Kindergarten students and move up from there as well as include our 9th grade students who need to receive their replacement devices.
     
    As we plan ways to help our elementary students embrace this new opportunity, IT Services has created resources for families to help both students and parents familiarize themselves with the devices. These articles (https://kb.scasd.org/display/public/KB/Chromebooks) will help answer questions as well as aid you and your students when navigating the Chromebook.
     
    We are excited to be able to provide all of our students with the technology they need to be successful in school and in life. We appreciate your continued support of our efforts to empower students through their use of instructional technology.
     

    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 9 

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, July 15 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, July 13, at 8 a.m. 

    Please note: The district will continue to distribute meals throughout the summer every Wednesday until at least Aug. 5.

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 2

    Subject: Health and Safety Plan Update

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    As we had hoped, many of you took the opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback about the Health and Safety Plan draft that we’re creating to make our return to schools in the fall as safe as possible for students, faculty and staff. Thank you for sharing your concerns and suggestions. They have been useful to our teams working on fine-tuning the plan.

    To help you better understand the safety measures in store, we have created this video in which Director of Student Services Jeanne Knouse, Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik and I give overviews of the plan and address your questions as best we can at this point. Central to our plans for in-school instruction, we will maintain social distancing at six feet, and faculty, staff, and students will wear masks. Our goal is to submit a final plan to our Board of Directors for approval, as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, on July 6.

    Though the video focuses on proposed health and safety protocols, it touches upon aspects of the elementary and secondary educational models being developed for next year. Next week, we will provide an update with more details about the learning experiences we anticipate for our students. On July 10, you will receive a survey asking you to choose between in-school instruction and our Virtual Academy for your child or each of your children. This information will be crucial for much of our planning.

    We understand that a big decision for your family lies ahead, and we hope that the video and our upcoming educational model update will help guide you. As you consider your options, you can always find fall planning information, as well as a record of our COVID-19 communications to families, on our website.

    I hope you and your family have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians July 2

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, July 8 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, July 6, at 8 a.m. 

    Please note: The district will continue to distribute meals throughout the summer every Wednesday until at least Aug. 5.

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians June 26

    Subject: SCASD Fall Planning Update 

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Looking ahead to the fall, we are preparing for both in-school instruction and our Virtual Academy as learning options by first creating a Health and Safety Plan as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This plan will cover the educational and operational changes we’ll make in order for our schools to be as safe as possible for students, faculty, and staff while the risk of the COVID-19 virus continues. Currently, we have three committees working on the details of our plan for in-school instruction: Health and Safety, Educational Model, and Operations.

    Please note: The information below assumes we are in the “green” phase of pandemic mitigation. Should the governor move us into yellow, we will shut down schools and in-school instruction, moving immediately into remote instruction for students. Any remote learning will differ from the “emergency remote” experiences that we utilized this past spring. The new remote learning model is being improved based on student, teacher, and parent feedback.

    In-school Instruction 
    We are planning to provide all students with the opportunity to attend school in a safe manner through our adherence to the district’s Health and Safety Plan. Central to the plan for in-school instruction, we will maintain social distancing at six feet, and faculty, staff, and students will wear masks. Both measures are critical to the effectiveness of our contract tracing. Please know we will be developing specific plans for each student with complex special needs at the school level on a case-by-case basis.

    • Elementary students will be provided daily, full-day in-school learning.
    • Secondary students will be provided full-day in-school learning every other day, along with asynchronous experiences when not in school. Students with specific learning needs may have the opportunity to be in school every day.  

    Virtual Academy

    The Virtual Academy is a full-time cyber option for K-12 students. This program has been in place for secondary students for many years, and we have refined our secondary experience to now include our own faculty. For this fall, we are expanding this program to include K-5 students who would like to learn in a full-time cyber format. The program will be aligned with our in-class curriculum, allowing students to make a smooth transition back into school when appropriate. A key aspect of our cyber experience is that we will include all of our district’s many student services such as counseling, school psychologists, and social workers. 

    Health and Safety Plan

    Our Health and Safety Plan is being created with guidance from health professionals in our community, including all of our nurses, who are providing the recommendations that serve as our in-school plan’s foundation. All of the plan’s details have stemmed from the health professionals’ expertise, as well as from the guidelines we received from the state departments of health and education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Next Steps
    Please review the draft of our Health and Safety Plan. After you look it over, we’d like to hear your questions and feedback through this form by the end of the day on Tuesday, June 30. The final Health and Safety Plan will be sent to our Board of Directors for approval on July 6. 

    Next week, we will be providing a detailed update to answer your questions and share more specific information about the plan, how we will return to schools, and our Virtual Academy. 

    Following next week’s update, we will be asking families to make a choice between in-school instruction or the Virtual Academy for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. 

    Have a nice weekend,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools

    Letter sent to all parents and guardians June 24

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, July 1 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, June 29, at 8 a.m. 

    Please note: The district will continue to distribute meals throughout the summer every Wednesday until at least Aug. 5.

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians June 18

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, June 24 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, June 22, at 8 a.m. 

    Please note: The district will continue to distribute meals throughout the summer every Wednesday until at least Aug. 5.

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians June 11

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, June 17 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, June 15, at 8 a.m. 

    Please note: The district will continue to distribute meals throughout the summer every Wednesday until at least Aug. 5.

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians June 4

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, June 10 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, June 8, at 8 a.m. 

    Please note: The district will continue to distribute meals throughout the summer every Wednesday until at least Aug. 5.

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians May 29

    Subject: Fall of 2020 Planning Information

    Dear parents and guardians,

    In the midst of finishing this school year, we’re busy planning for the 2020-2021 year. We understand that the community has many questions about what the fall will look like for our district, and to provide as many answers as we can at this point, we have prepared this video presentation.

    Our goals with this presentation are to inform you about our planning to date, explain our direction, and respond to your inquiries. This includes information about how we will return to schools as well as our plan to provide everyone with a choice for remote learning. 

    In the video, I’m joined by Finance and Operations Officer Randy Brown and Director of Student Services Jeanne Knouse. As part of our presentation, we provide details about the district teams that are developing protocols for three key areas: health and wellness, educational model and operations.

    Following the video, if you have feedback or questions, please continue to use this form

    On Monday, we will send you a survey to gather your feedback on how our remote learning went this spring. 

    Have a nice weekend,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians May 20

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, May 27 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, May 25, at 8 a.m. 

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians May 14

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, May 20 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, May 18, at 8 a.m. 

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians May 8
     
    Subject: SCASD K-11 Student Chromebooks Summer Information
     
    Good morning,

    As the State College Area School District looks forward to the 20/21 School Year we wanted to share an important update involving your child’s 1:1 Chromebook. Typically each summer, IT Services collects devices from students to perform routine maintenance on the equipment and prepare them for the next school year. This year, in an effort to provide families with increased learning opportunities and more flexibility, all families K-11 will be permitted to keep their child’s Chromebook over the summer. IT Services will be pushing routine updates to the devices throughout the summer to ensure that they are ready for the upcoming school year. These updates will occur in the background, students just need to restart their device regularly to allow the update to install.

    For families that would like to opt-out of this opportunity or if you are moving from/leaving the SCASD district, please fill out the following form and we will be in touch with instructions to return your child’s device prior to summer: https://forms.gle/uYxmCZZJpbibJ4At9
     

    If your family has yet to request your child’s 1:1 device for remote learning and would like to do so now, please email itsupport@scasd.org. Please also feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.
     

    Sincerely,

    Justin Hetrick
    Director of Technology


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians May 7

    Subject: Outdoor Areas and Playgrounds Update

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    On Friday, Gov. Wolf will move Centre County into the Yellow Phase of response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the PA Department of Health has updated their guidelines. During this phase, we will be re-opening our outdoor athletic areas under specific rules. 

    Our playground status is in keeping with what Centre Region Parks and Recreation is communicating: “During yellow status, all playgrounds in Centre Region parks and on State College Area School District facilities remain closed for the safety of our community. Playgrounds will not open until Centre County reaches green status.”

    To follow health and safety guidelines, we ask that you:

    • Do not use our playgrounds.
    • Do not gather in groups larger than 25 people.
    • Stay at least six feet from other individuals, even during conversations.
    • Do not use the facilities if you are sick or medically vulnerable.
    • Sanitize equipment, balls and supplies before and after use of the facilities.
    • Organized youth or adult sports groups’ practices, large events, tournaments, or leagues are not permitted.

    Despite this change, we still need to be cautious, and mindful of healthy practices, as we begin to open some of our facilities. We appreciate your cooperation with these guidelines so that we can all enjoy our community’s outdoor facilities as safely as possible.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 30

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, May 6 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, May 4 at 8 a.m. 

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 23

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, April 29 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, April 27 at 8 a.m. 

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 16

    Subject: Free Meal Order Form Open Now

    Dear SCASD Family,

    The form to submit your order for free meals next Wednesday, April 22 is now open. Submit your order here. The form will be closed Monday, April 20 at 8 a.m. 

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickups will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process.

    In order for us to provide the most meals possible, please place orders only if you are sure you can pick them up. We don’t want any meals to go to waste with so many families in need. 

    If you have no way to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you to help.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Services Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 13

    Subject: Local Power Outages and Internet Disruptions

    Dear SCASD Family: 

    Today, we are experiencing power outages and Internet disruptions throughout the district due to inclement weather. Because of this, it might not be possible for some students and teachers to communicate effectively.

    If you experience a disruption, please do not worry. Once this passes, please contact your child’s teachers with any questions. Any teachers who were impacted will notify students with any changes.


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians as well as the community April 10

    Over the last couple of weeks, administrators, teachers, staff, and volunteers have been working hard to support students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, our school district hears from families who are struggling to make ends meet, and we are helping these people in need. 

    While $22,000 has been contributed to the State College Area School District Education Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Fund in the past few weeks, all of it now has been spent on helping families. This emergency funding has been used to cover basic needs such as utilities, groceries, and transportation to work, as well as other necessities.

    In order to continue assisting our families, we need your help. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Mental Health Matters Fund through the Education Foundation.

    Click here to give online by selecting the Mental Health Matters Fund from the “Select Campaign” dropdown, or by mailing a check to:

    SCASD Education Foundation
    Mental Health Matters Fund
    240 Villa Crest Drive
    State College, PA 16801

    Be sure to include “Mental Health Matters Fund” in the memo line of your check.

    We have been using the hashtag “It takes a village” lately, and that definitely applies here. We appreciate your support and are grateful to be able to help so many families during this difficult time. 

    Take care, stay safe and be healthy.


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 9

    Subject: Governor Closes Schools for the Year

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Earlier today, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed through the end of this school year. This is incredibly sad news because many of us were holding out hope that we would be together again, and now that’s not going to happen. Because this is so disappointing, it’s going to take some time to sink in. However, over the last couple of weeks, I have seen us come together like never before. With this in mind, I know that we can make the most out of the rest of this year.

    Moving forward, our focus will remain the well-being of students and families, while at the same time we’ll strive to provide students with quality learning experiences under the circumstances. We will continue our remote learning, grateful for the groundwork put in place by our entire school community. 

    For our students and families, we recognize this is a difficult time for many reasons. Therefore, we have numerous ways of providing support. Whether it’s mental health or basic needs such as food, we are here to help. If you need assistance, please complete our family needs assessment or register for our free meals for children.

    With remote learning, our goals will continue to extend beyond academics. We want to connect students with teachers and each other. The face-to-face check-ins provide a sense of community and support for learning in this new social distancing world. In an attempt to balance these unique demands and challenges, our lessons are meant to create a sense of structure for our students to engage and keep their minds sharp. 

    As we continue down this road, we truly believe we are all in this as a community. Our intention is not to overwhelm you; rather, we want to do everything we can to support you as we finish this school year. To be responsive with our efforts, we welcome your feedback. Please share your thoughts with your teachers and principals, as well as me.

    I’m proud to be part of this community. Now more than ever, it takes a village. 

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 8

    Subject: April 10 Status and Academic Calendar Recap

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    We’d like to remind you that on this Friday, April 10, we will have no remote learning. In regard to this impact on secondary cycle schedules: We will not make up that cycle day B. That is, Monday, April 13 will be a cycle day A and continue our weekly schedule as outlined in the 6-12 Remote Learning Plan.

    If you have any questions regarding the final two months of our 2019-2020 academic calendar, please visit our website. Take note that May 22 is now a student day, and June 8 remains the last student day for the 2019-2020 school year.

    Stay safe and well,

    Chris Rosenblum
    Director of Communications


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 7

    Subject: Athletic Facilities and Playgrounds are Closed

    Dear SCASD Community:

    While we are under Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home order until April 30, we want to clarify the use of district facilities. To be clear, all playgrounds, tennis courts, and athletic stadiums are closed until further notice. 

    Because exercise and walking outside are allowed under the order, we support the community’s use of our grounds for exercise and fresh air, as long as you practice social distancing and do not use the playground equipment. However, group activities and any type of congregation are not permitted. 

    Both our police departments and school district request your assistance to share and support this closure for the well-being of our community. The police and our district administrators are working together to comply with the governor’s order.

    We realize this may be an inconvenience, but we all need to have a hand in keeping our community safe and slowing the spread of COVID-19.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 3

    Subject: NOTICE: Orders for April 8 Meals Closed

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Due to unexpectedly high demand for the meal kits being distributed April 8, we have to stop accepting orders because we are at our capacity to fill them. This is very unfortunate, and we promise to do everything possible to increase future distributions.  

    If you have already submitted an order, it will be filled. For the April 8 meal pick up, we have extended the delivery window because of the high volume of orders. Hours are now 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and your children still need to come with you to the pick up. 

    If your food situation is dire, please contact me directly at mas15@scasd.org or call 814-231-5095, and we will work on your individual needs.  

    For those families that missed out on ordering for April 8, you will be given priority for the April 15 distribution if you fill out this form. Additionally, if something changes and we end up having more food than anticipated for April 8, we will contact you.

    Again, we are sorry that we are unable to take care of everyone this week and we appreciate your understanding. 

    Stay safe and well,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Service Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 3

    Subject: Superintendent’s update

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    I hope this note finds you and your families safe and healthy. Based on Governor Wolf’s orders, we are in remote learning until at least April 30 and are planning to continue indefinitely. As we wrap up another week, I’d like to provide you with some updates.

    Calendar

    • April 3 and April 6 are now regular school days of remote learning.
    • April 8 is the day for releasing the second marking period progress reports for K-5.
    • April 10 is a day off for everyone; there is no school.
      • For high school and Delta, we will lose the B day and begin Monday with an A day.
      • For MNMS and PFMS, we will lose the even day and begin Monday with an odd day.
    • May 22 will be a regular school day whether we are in remote learning or back in school.
    • June 8 is the last day of school. 

    We know many of you have questions regarding prom and graduation, as well as many other events. At this point, we have not made decisions on future events. 

    Board Meeting

    The SCASD Board of Directors will be holding a remote board meeting on April 6 at 7 p.m. Please click here for details

    Remote Learning Plans and Secondary Grading

    Yesterday, our secondary families received an update about grading. Families can stay up to date on the current information at the below websites:

    Secondary Remote Learning Plan
    Elementary Remote Learning Plan

    Family Needs and Support Assessments

    Your family's basic needs are of the utmost importance to us, and we are here to help. Please fill out this form if your family has any unmet needs such as: food, transportation, Internet, mental health support, counseling, etc. Once we receive the form, a district representative will contact you. And please fill out this form if you want to help our families in need. 

    Zoom Security

    You may have heard about security and privacy issues concerning Zoom. We want to assure you that our district and Zoom are doing everything we can to make sure the platform is safe. Zoom has been consistently updating its security measures to protect school districts. Additionally, our district is monitoring our practices on a daily basis, adjusting them if necessary. One example is the use of waiting rooms to prevent disruptive or offensive “Zoom bombings.” 

    As this week of remote learning comes to a close, I can’t thank our entire community enough for everything that is happening for our students. The patience and kindness I am seeing on a daily basis are truly heartwarming.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all secondary parents and guardians April 2

    Subject: Third and Fourth Marking Period Grading for Grades 6-12

    Dear Secondary Parents and Guardians:

    I hope that your first week of remote learning for all students is going well. Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility while we make historic adjustments to our educational programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    This email has additional information/clarification regarding the third marking period grading process and how we will grade students during the fourth marking period. To start, here are important dates for the third marking period:

    • March 6 - Ended new work/assignments for the third marking period 
    • April 2 - The first official day of the fourth marking period
    • April 8 - Last day students may hand in work for credit for the third marking period
    • April 20 - Third marking period grades posted in HAC

    For the fourth marking period, teachers will continue to monitor student progress and provide feedback with grading schemes that they have customarily used (such as total points, percentages, letter grades). We are still working on how we will report the end of the marking period grades because we are taking into consideration the impact of students’ grades on the whole year. Please know that whatever grading approach we choose will not negatively affect a student’s cumulative grade for each course. As soon as we finalize the details, we will communicate them to you.

    I’ve appreciated hearing all the accounts of students and teachers working together this week to continue our learning. Such stories make me feel even prouder of this district. I’m sure that together, we can support each other and get through this crisis as a community.

    Sincerely,

    Will Stout
    Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians April 1

    NOTICE: Meal Distribution Change Next Week

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Beginning next week, we are going to change the way we distribute meals to our families. Instead of daily pick-ups at three locations, we will be handing out meal kits on Wednesdays only at the High School parking lot. Weekly meal kits will be available for any child age 18 and younger and will have enough food for breakfast and lunch for 5 days. To be clear, meals will continue to be distributed daily through Friday, April 3. Then next week, there will be no meals handed out on Monday or Tuesday; the first weekly pick-up will be Wednesday, April 8. Extra food will be handed out on Friday to help cover when no meals are served on Monday and Tuesday. 

    Place Your Orders

    To facilitate this change, we will need families to place their weekly orders by 8 a.m. each Monday. You are able to customize your orders and pick what suits your family's preferences. By filling out an order form you will also be guaranteed the meals. Place your orders via this form: https://forms.gle/4BtEWjWAY78Lisjp6.  (Find the live link each week at www.scasd.org/schoolmeals)

    Walkups

    A limited number of meals will be available for those who did not order ahead of time. However, these meals will be available on a first come, first served basis. 

    Meal Details

    Each lunch kit will include five servings for each child of the chosen entree along with bulk portions of vegetables, fruits and milk. Breakfasts will also be provided in the form of five complete meals, one for each child in the household.

    Pickup Procedures

    Pickups will be on Wednesdays only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Parking Lot. This lot is located across the street from the main high school building at 653 Westerly Parkway in State College. Upon arrival, families are asked to enter the parking lot via Plaza Drive. Food service staff will then guide you through the process. Children must be present in order for meals to be provided.

    If you are unable to pick up your own meals, please fill out this form.  Someone from SCASD Student Services will work with you to help meet your needs. 

    For any other questions or concerns, please reach out to me at mas15@scasd.org or call 814-231-5095.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Director of Food Services


    Letter sent to all K-5 parents and guardians March 31

    Subject: MyOn Reader for Digital Books

    Dear K-5 Families,

    All SCASD students and teachers in grades K-5 now have access to MyOn Reader. This platform offers a personalized literacy environment that engages students at all reading levels by providing a large library of digital books. Specifically, it walks children through a series of questions and then customizes books to their preferences and reading levels.  

    Parents interested in MyOn Reader can join one of several webinars to learn how to navigate this tool. Multiple 60-minute training options have been scheduled via Zoom in an attempt to accommodate varying schedules.

    Training dates and times for families are as follows:

    • Wednesday, April 1 - 11 a.m., 2 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, April 2 - 5:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, April 7 - 5:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, April 9 - 10 a.m, 3:15 p.m., or 5:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, April 9 - 5:30 p.m.

    For more information about MyOn, additional support, and Zoom links for the webinars, please click here

    Warm regards,

    Vern Bock
    Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 30

    Subject: Calendar Adjustments and Playgrounds Closed

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    We would like to give you an update about our calendar adjustments and the closing of our facilities, which now includes playgrounds.

    Calendar Adjustments

    If you recall, during the week of March 16, we missed five school days. Two were used as teacher in-service days in preparation for our remote learning plan. The other three we will make up on the following dates whether we are still in remote learning or back in school: April 3, April 6 and May 22.

    Because of this change, we will not be holding elementary teacher-parent conferences on April 3 and 6. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher at any time. 

    Our final day of school for students in the 2019-2020 school year remains Monday, June 8.

    Playground and Facility Closure

    Last Saturday, Governor Wolf added Centre County to the list of counties under a Stay at Home order. Because of this, please do not use any of our school grounds, athletic facilities, or playgrounds until this order has been lifted. We realize this is an inconvenience, but we are abiding by the orders of the governor to keep our community safe and slow the spread of COVID-19. 

    Thank you very much for your patience and understanding.

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 26

    Subject: Remote Learning Opportunities

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    I hope you and your family are doing well. Before I get to our updated plans, allow me to share that it’s been an amazing week. I’m not sure any of us were quite prepared for how powerful the initial classroom Zoom sessions were going to be. The laughter, energy, and joy experienced between re-connecting students and teachers have been moving to say the least, something many of us will not soon forget.

    Now, on to what’s ahead. Given that we’re going to be closed until at least April 6, we’ve revamped our remote learning opportunity plan. Beginning Monday, March 30, teachers will communicate specific expectations for particular classrooms and courses. To provide flexibility, our plan is mostly asynchronous, meaning that lessons and learning materials can be accessed throughout the day. In addition, teachers will be offering live opportunities for conversations and support.

    When we said “required” Wednesday, we were trying to emphasize that we want students to engage. So what does required mean? The answer is that it depends on what grade level your child is in. 

    Elementary K-5

    For the elementary level, we want our K-5 students to engage in the learning opportunities that the teachers will be providing. We will continue our menu of options for learning over the next two weeks, March 30-April 6. No attendance will be taken, but teachers will give students feedback on their learning. Our K-5 remote learning opportunities website has information elementary families need to know about our plan.

    Secondary 6-12, including the Delta Program 

    At the secondary level, teachers will not be taking attendance but grading will occur. However, we are finalizing the details of how grading will work. Instruction and content will be delivered by our Learning Management Systems: Canvas, Google Classroom and now, Zoom. We will be running specific schedules for middle and high schools.

    For specific details of our secondary remote learning plans, including scheduling information, please view our 6-12 remote learning information

    Please note: We will be ending the third marking period as of March 6. Teachers will allow students to hand in any missed work for credit by April 8.

    As a district, we understand that during these challenging times for families not all students will be able to fully participate. We want students and our employees to put their families first so please know that this flexibility exists. However, if we find that certain students aren’t engaging, we will reach out to those students and families directly. We want to work with you to give you the best possible support for your child's education. Of course, if you need help at any time with our remote learning plan, please reach out to your teachers and/or your building principal.

    I often say, “It takes a village,” and that absolutely applies here. It’s been inspiring to watch our entire community come together to develop this plan over the last couple of weeks. Now, seeing the opportunities happening this week, I’m confident that next week is going to enhance the education of our students. 

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 24

    Subject: Remote Learning Shift Next Week

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Yesterday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for an additional two weeks. Due to our schools now staying closed until at least April 6, and in light of new guidelines from the US Department of Education, we are going to make a shift with our remote learning plan for our students. 

    Beginning Monday, March 30, we will move from optional to required learning. We are finalizing the details of our plan, and we will share specifics later this week. In brief, we are building on the lessons that our students are having this week to further enhance the educational experiences. Additionally, we are working on student services, special education, grading, marking periods and attendance, among other things. 

    If you still need a computer or Internet for remote learning, please fill out this form.

    Finally, with respect to the health and safety of our community during this crisis, please refrain from gathering in groups, even if they’re small, to limit the spread of coronavirus. We are abiding by the CDC’s direction on social distancing, and we ask that you and your children do the same.

    If you have any questions, please contact your building principal.  

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 23

    Subject: Computer and Internet Needs

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    As we begin our optional remote learning plan this week, we’re still trying to identify students who need a computer and/or Internet access at home. We are prepared to provide a 

    Chromebook to any students, as well as support to families with Internet access issues. If your child already has a computer at home (laptop, Chromebook, tablet, iPad), that will work with our plan and you do not need to sign up. 

    Please fill out this form if you require a device at home or lack Internet access. Once your need is identified through the form, we will contact you directly to fulfill your request. Note: This is a new form. If you have previously filled out a form but still need help, please fill it out again. We need to do this because we want to ensure we are connecting with everyone. 

    If you have any questions, please contact your building principal.  

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 22

    Subject: Optional Remote Learning This Week

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Tomorrow, while our schools remain closed, we will begin our optional remote learning plan. As we enter into this new chapter in our district, I’d like to thank you for your patience with us during this time of change. Below, we’ve included several reminders:

    1. Nothing will be required, and there are no graded assignments or attendance taken.
    2. Secondary students will receive communications directly from teachers. 
    3. Elementary students, along with parents/guardians, will receive information from teachers.
    4. If you have questions, please reach out to teachers directly and then the principal if needed.
    5. Zoom is an online communication tool that many teachers will be using to facilitate conversations with students. Teachers will share access/links directly with students via email (parents for K-2). Please have your child read the Zoom etiquette information.

    We think these optional experiences will help keep our students engaged while they’re at home, and we know our teachers can’t wait to reconnect. We have launched an updated website to host our most current information. This includes ways you can learn how to get help, offer help, and access many other resources. 

    At this time, we are working toward an updated plan for the week of March 30 and will keep you posted on new developments. 

    Finally, a lot of preparation and changes have taken place behind the scenes so that we can provide these experiences this week. Thank you to everyone who has made this happen, and we hope you all have a great week!

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 20

    Subject: SCASD Continues to Distribute Meals

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    We have received word from the PA Dept. of Education that we are able to continue distributing meals under the guidelines of Governor Wolf’s order given last night. 

    Therefore, for the foreseeable future, meals are being provided every weekday (including today) for all children under the age of 18 while schools are closed. This will continue next week, March 23-27. A breakfast and lunch will be available on a first come, first served basis. Children must be present in order for meals to be provided at the following drive-thru locations:

    • State College Area High School bus loop from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    • Weis Market parking lot on North Atherton Street from 11 a.m.-noon
    • Ashworth Woods Apartments in Boalsburg from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    If you have any questions, please email Food Services Director Megan Schaper at mas15@scasd.org or call 814-231-5093.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 19

    Subject: Optional Remote Learning Plan

    Dear SCASD Families,

    On Monday, March 23, while our schools remain closed, we will begin our optional remote learning plan. To be clear, next week’s experiences will not be required, and there will be no assignments, attendance taken or grading. 

    The reason we are unable to move forward with requiring students to participate is that we would be violating federal law that dictates meeting the needs of all students. If not every student can engage equitably with remote learning, then we cannot proceed with required lessons. Required participation also conflicts with the cyber stipulations added to Gov. Wolf’s edict to shut down. 

    We think these optional experiences will help keep children engaged while they’re at home, and we know our teachers can’t wait to reconnect with their students. We’re also laying the groundwork for supporting students and families should we have to stay closed in the coming weeks.

    Lastly, we have launched an updated website to host our most current information. This includes ways you can learn how to get help, meals, offer help, and many other resources. As we learn more information, we will communicate it to you. Please watch for further communications from your building principal and teachers.

    Thank you for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your building principal

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 18

    Subject: How can we help? 

    Dear Students and Families,

    As we join together amidst these challenging times, the SCASD Counseling Department and Social Workers would like to reach out to you all and offer our unwavering support through the coming weeks. Below are a few important items that we would like to share with you:

    First, in order to better serve our families we need to gather information. This information will help us identify specific ways in which we can help and support any family in need of services beyond standard school counseling, and we will work on a system to connect the resources with needs within our SCASD community.

    • Community needs: Please use this form if your family has any unmet needs such as: food, transportation, Internet, tutoring, mental health support, counseling, childcare, etc.   
    • Community supports: Please use this form if you want to help our families with any of the above needs.

    Second, our team has been working diligently to develop a comprehensive collection of resources, including a Q&A, that may be helpful to your family in a variety of ways. These resources can be accessed HERE, where you will find information on how you can access an array of counseling support for your child through our internal and external support systems. We also have compiled many links to resources, meant to assist you in navigating your child’s education during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Our focus at this time is to be accessible and supportive to you all to the extent of our abilities. We are committed to supporting your family’s needs in any way we are able so please do not hesitate to contact your school counselor and social workers at any time.

    In the spirit of community,

    The SCASD Counseling and Social Worker Team


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 16

    Subject: Computer needs and important updates

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    This week, we are working with faculty to prepare our remote learning plan scheduled for next week. However, for the plan to work, we need your cooperation. 

    Specifically, every student needs access to a computer. Therefore, we are assessing the need for Chromebooks among our elementary students. Additionally, we know some of our secondary students might have left their Chromebooks in school prior to spring break.

    We are prepared to provide a Chromebook to any student who needs one. However, keep in mind that any computer will work (laptop, Chromebook, tablet, iPad) with the remote learning plan we are developing. 

    If you need a device at home, please fill out this form. Once your need is identified through the form, we will contact you directly to get you a Chromebook.

    Internet: For those households without home Internet service, Comcast has announced changes to improve local Internet access. For more Comcast information, click here  or call 1-855-8-INTERNET. Additionally, the district has cellular hotspots available for families that can’t get Internet access. If you need a hotspot, please call IT Support at 814-231-7743 or email itsupport@scasd.org.

    Buildings: Our buildings are not open while school is closed.

    Food: During this closure, the district is providing free breakfast and lunch every day for children. Please view our flyer for details. Beyond this, the State College Food Bank is offering assistance, and also is in need of donations. Please visit its website for information.   

    Education this week: There are no required assignments this week. However, some teachers may provide optional work.

    Medicine: If you wish to retrieve medicine left in the school buildings for your child, please contact the school nurse to make arrangements.

    Registration: During this closure, our kindergarten registration process has moved online. Use the online enrollment feature to submit your child's registration. Please feel free to contact the office by phone 814-231-1017 or email dbr14@scasd.org should you have any questions.

    If you have any questions or issues related to the above items, please contact your building principal

    Thank you for your cooperation. We will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available.

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 13, 2020

    Subject: Governor Wolf Announces School Closure

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Today, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for two weeks, effective Monday, March 16. This changes our original plan to make week-to-week decisions on our school closure. While schools will now be closed until March 30, we are still working on a remote learning plan that could begin the week of March 23. 

    We will be in touch as we assess this new information and our plans come together. 

    Have a good weekend,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 13, 2020

    Subject: SAT Testing Cancelled for Saturday

    Dear Parents and Guardians: 

    The SAT testing scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at State High has been cancelled. We apologize for the late notice. Please know, State High will be a testing site on May 2 and June 6 so there are upcoming opportunities to reschedule. 

    Thank you,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 13, 2020

    Subject: Free meals March 16-20 during SCASD closure

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Schools closed due to the coronavirus are able to provide free meals to all students through the National School Lunch Program's Seamless Summer Option. These meals are available for all families and to any child age 18 and younger. 

    For next week while schools are not in session, the State College Area School District invites families and caregivers to pick up meals for their children beginning on Monday, March 16. A breakfast and lunch will be provided each day on a first come, first served basis.

    Children must be present in order for meals to be provided. Please stay in your car, and meals will be passed through based on the number of children in the car.

    Pick up is available Monday through Friday at:

    • State College High School Bus Loop, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    • Weis Market Parking Lot, North Atherton Street, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    • Ashworth Woods Apartments, Boalsburg, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


    Families who live in Ashworth Woods or very close to the other sites may walk to pick 
    up their meals but are asked to not congregate at the pick-up site.

    Lunches will include sandwiches, fresh vegetables, fruit, milk and a dessert treat. Cereal, yogurt, banana bread, and bagels are some of the items that will be provided for breakfast. Breakfast bags will also include fruit, juice, and milk.

    We encourage families to continue to be proactive in reducing the risk of coronavirus by not congregating at the pick-up site once meals have been distributed, continuing to wash your hands often, sneezing or coughing into a tissue, and staying home if you are sick.

    Additionally, free menstrual hygiene products will be available during these times. 

    Contact the State College Area School District Food Service Department at 814-231-5095 or mas15@scasd.org if you have questions about this service or if you need to make arrangements for medically necessary meal accommodations. 

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper
    Food Service Director


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 12, 2020

    Subject: Update: SCASD co-curricular/extracurricular activities

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    In response to the rapidly changing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, our plans for district extracurricular and co-curricular activities have changed. Beginning Monday, March 16, we are suspending all K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular activities next week while schools are closed to students. During that time period, all buildings will also be closed for community use.

    To clarify yesterday’s message, the CEEL program will operate through Friday, March 13, but then will be suspended.

    In regard to the high school’s SAT testing for this Saturday, we plan to proceed as scheduled. We are asking students to arrive 30 minutes earlier than planned to facilitate health screenings by nurses. In addition, our testing administrators have planned to ensure we establish safe distances among participating students.

    As we stated yesterday, our schools will not be in session next week, and we will update the status of the district on Thursday, March 19. By doing this, we will have additional information to better evaluate the impact of COVID-19 and spring break travel on our community as well as develop flexible/remote learning plans should they be needed.

    While we finetune our plans, we will provide you with updates in the coming days. Thank you for working with us through this complex and challenging time.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 11, 2020

    Subject: SCASD Plan for March 16-20

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    We have spent the past few weeks researching and monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 coronavirus health issue. As we negotiate this uncharted territory, we believe that the time has come for our district community to make an important decision. 

    All schools in the State College Area School District will not be in session for students from March 16 until March 20, 2020, but all buildings and district offices will be open. 

    Great care and research went into this decision; however, we regret the hardships this will cause for some of our families. Before choosing a course of action, we reviewed recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and worked with the PA Department of Health, Centre Region Emergency Management, and the Integrated Health Planning Group. At this time, we believe that is the right step to take for the health and safety of our SCASD families, employees, and the community at large — especially to protect our students and employees who are immunosuppressed or at greater risk due to age and other reasons.

    We will use this time to develop the following measures should we resume classes on Monday, March 23, or a longer closure becomes necessary: 

    • Identify immunosuppressed and other at-risk students and employees
    • Finalize daily systematic approach to disinfect all schools and buses
    • Develop flexible and remote learning options for all K-12 students
    • Prepare for potential distribution of chromebooks to K-5 students
    • Coordinate food service options for our children in need


    This five-day period will consist of two instructional training days for faculty and staff and three days that will be rescheduled for students and made-up. In the coming days, we will communicate more information about Special Education and Student Services, including Counseling, Gifted, Nursing, and ESL. 

    At this time, athletics and extracurricular activities will proceed as planned. The SAT test scheduled for Saturday will continue as normal. However, because of the expected large number of test-takers, we will take extra precautions related to student health.

    Moving forward, we’ll continue monitoring the situation weekly and proceed on a week-by-week basis. We will make a decision about the week of March 23-27 on Thursday, March 19. Regardless, our goal is to resume instruction on March 23, whether that’s in our classrooms or via remote learning.

    Because of the magnitude of this decision, I ask that you please reach out to your building principal with individual requests and needs. They will serve as the first contacts for funneling communications throughout the district. 

    Though this is an uncertain time, I know we’ll pull together as a community. Thank you for your understanding as we work through this difficult period. 

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 5, 2020

    Subject: Update: COVID-19 and Travel Information

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    As promised, we want to give you an update on our COVID-19 coronavirus preparation and plans. Yesterday, we had another productive meeting with the Integrated Health Planning Group and today, we attended a Mount Nittany Medical Center briefing on the virus. We will keep collaborating with these groups of local experts in health care, emergency preparedness and crisis management as we closely monitor the situation.

    Although Pennsylvania still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, we are preparing in anticipation of the virus spreading to our area. To keep our community informed, we have developed a COVID-19 website. This will serve as a central place for resources and the most current information related to our district. 

    As of now, our plan for after spring break is to continue the normal operation of our schools. However, if you are planning to travel internationally during spring break, or are currently out of the country, we ask that you abide by the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for travel to CDC Level 3 countries. This will help prevent potential exposure to our community. As per the guidelines, please self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from Level 3 countries, and inform your school nurse of the quarantine. 

    Right now, for preventative care, the CDC is recommending frequent hand washing, healthy eating, not touching your face, and the proper use and disposal of tissues. Additionally, they have valuable resources for what you need to know about COVID-19. Please visit the CDC website to learn about symptoms, how the virus spreads, prevention and treatment, steps if you are sick, and frequently asked questions. 

    Should we have a student or employee test positive for COVID-19, we will be notified by the PA Department of Health. In that case, we will inform our community, and our plans will change accordingly. This could include closing schools, so please be considering childcare options. 

    Because this situation remains very fluid, we will continue to keep you informed. In any event, I hope you have an enjoyable spring break.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O'Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians March 2, 2020

    Subject: COVID-19 Coronavirus Information and Preparedness

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    As many of you are now aware, the COVID-19 coronavirus is now present in the United States and we would like to update you on our actions so far and the steps we are taking as a district. 

    All school districts are required to have an emergency preparedness plan. An important component of our plan is to keep parents and guardians informed of what could potentially happen. Please know that the district has been in ongoing communication and consultation with the following organizations that are experts in emergency preparedness and crisis management: 

    We receive advice and possible direction from them when it comes to taking district-related actions. At this time, there have been no confirmed cases in PA, but we are preparing should this pandemic affect our local area. This could result in the closing of schools, so we ask that you please consider alternative childcare plans. In addition, the CDC website has some recommendations related to getting your household ready for COVID-19. 

    Recently, the district postponed two student trips to Europe based on the Travel Health Notices by the CDC. We have purchased hand sanitizer and tissues that will be available in every classroom following spring break. We also use disinfectant cleaner that is effective against the coronavirus to clean our facilities. 

    Please remember the importance of frequent hand washing, healthy eating, and the proper use and disposal of tissues at all times. Also, our recommendation is that if your child has a fever over 100 degrees, please stay home and before returning, students should be fever-free for 24 hours.

    This week, district officials will participate in another meeting of the Integrated Health Planning Group related to COVID-19. Along with the district, this group consists of PSU Health Services, Centre Region Emergency Management, Mount Nittany Medical Center, and other local medical providers. Following that meeting and before spring break, we will send you another communication with the most up-to-date information.

    Thank you,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools


    Letter sent to all parents and guardians Feb. 26, 2020

    Subject: COVID-19 Coronavirus Information and Preparedness

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    As the COVID-19 coronavirus leads many news broadcasts and information is being widely disseminated, we wanted to share how this virus relates to our district and what we are doing to be prepared. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised school districts to review their emergency preparedness plans, which includes responding to potential pandemic outbreaks, and we are undertaking this action.

    Additional measures include: 

    • Monitoring daily attendance for students, faculty, and staff
    • Monitoring various outlets including CDC, PDE, and PA Department of Health as well as working with the local Infectious Hazardous Planning Group consisting of Penn State University Health Services, Centre Region Emergency Management, Mount Nittany Medical Center, and other local medical providers

    For your reference, the PA Department of Health has a coronavirus resource page that includes valuable information. Additionally, the latest information on the coronavirus in the U.S. and worldwide can be found on the CDC website.

    Because we are at the height of cold and flu season, please remember the importance of frequent hand washing, healthy eating, and the proper use and disposal of tissues at all times. For families traveling during spring break, the school district recommends referencing the CDC Information for travel website

    As always, protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our utmost concern, and we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and communicate as necessary.

    Thank you,

    Bob O’Donnell
    Superintendent of Schools

Last Modified on July 31, 2020