• Below is a record of our district wide communications to parents and guardians
    If you need assistance with translation to other languages, please email Alix Croswell at abc18@scasd.org or you can call and text at 919-961-7354.

    Jan. 30, 2023

    Subject: Tonight’s Board special meeting/work session

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    Please note that the SCASD Board of Directors special meeting/work session today at 7 p.m. will be covered by C-NET, but not televised live due to a programming conflict. However, it will be streamed live on YouTube.

     

    The program will receive six airings on C-NET Channel 98 at the following times:

    • Jan. 31 - 8 p.m.

    • Feb. 1 - 4:30 p.m.

    • Feb. 2 - 8:30 a.m.

    • Feb. 3 - 12:30 p.m.

    • Feb. 4 - 3 p.m.

    • Feb. 5 - 1 a.m.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Chris Rosenblum

    Director of Communication


    Jan. 10, 2023

    Subject: January Straight Talk - “Career Satisfaction, Life Transitions and Psychological Resilience”

    Dear SCASD Community:

    This month’s Straight Talk session, “Career Satisfaction, Life Transitions and Psychological Resilience” by Dr. Mike Wolff, a licensed and consulting psychologist, will take place Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m at Panorama Village Administrative Center (240 Villa Crest Drive, State College). That’s correct, Straight Talk is now in-person.

    What are the psychological resources we need to meet the challenges of today’s career readiness and career satisfaction? We might be asking ourselves: Are we supporting students with their important and burgeoning career milestones and transitions? What strategies do I employ to support my own career identity and satisfaction? In fact, what does it even mean to have career satisfaction? 

    This training will examine the various developmental stages related to career building, identity, and general career satisfaction. Special attention will be given to life transitions, factors supporting career readiness, improving our psychological coping resources, and modeling a healthy approach to career identity development and satisfaction.

    A recording of this event can later be found on our Straight Talk website. A session flyer is here. If you are interested in attending and need childcare, please fill out this form.

    Do you have any questions about your career identity and how to be resilient? Please submit them on the following Google form. As always, you can ask your questions during the session as well. If you have any feedback or suggestions for the Straight Talk series, please submit them to this Google form

    Sincerely,

    Morgan Bechdel, LSW
    District Social Worker


    Jan. 9, 2023

     

    Subject: Superintendent Search and Board Updates

     

    Dear SCASD Community Members, 

     

    I would like to share an update with you regarding the search process for the Superintendent position and transitions on our Board. 

     

    This week, the Board of Directors is holding second interviews for several candidates. During this round, we will be spending more time with each candidate to truly explore their fit for our district. As part of this process, we will be reflecting on how each candidate may meet the needs of our district as expressed in the extensive community input already provided.  

     

    Additionally, we have worked with the District’s Human Resources department to assemble an interview team of District staff members representing all academic levels and various positions throughout the organization. This employee interview team will also be interviewing each of these candidates and providing detailed feedback directly to the Board in regard to each candidate. 

     

    At the conclusion of this week’s interviews, the Board will make decisions about next steps in the process, which may lead to deeper vetting (via references and background checks) of an individual candidate for the role. Confidentiality in this process is important to the candidates, and it is worth noting that we are using all of the community input to the best of our ability, and will be carefully considering the input of our employee interview group as well. 

     

    As many of you may know, I have accepted a position as Commissioner with the Centre County Government, and serving in that role requires that I resign my position on the SCASD Board when I begin that role on January 17. It has been an absolute joy to serve the SCASD community for the past eleven years, and I am so grateful to live in a community that cares so deeply about all of our children and is so committed to their education. 

     

    The Board will be electing a new President at its January 11 meeting. Although this is a period of transitions, I am very confident that our District is in good hands and that SCASD is on a strong foundation. This is a result of the dedication of the people who work here, a community-wide focus on the well-being and best interests of students, and careful financial planning that will ensure our district’s long term ability to meet students’ needs. And it is also due to the work of families in their involvement in their children’s education and in making this district a great place to learn and grow. 

     

    Sincerely, 

     

    Amber Concepcion 

    Board of Directors President


    Jan. 9, 2023

    Subject: Upcoming Board Conversation with the Community

     

    Dear SCASD Community Member,

     

    The State College Area School District Board of Directors would like to invite you to the next Board Conversation with the Community on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 12:30 p.m. In-person only, the event will take place in the Schlow Centre Region Library’s Downsbrough Community Room at 211 S. Allen St., State College. 

     

    If you wish to talk with board members but can’t attend, don’t worry: Another conversation is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, at 8 a.m. in the Wegmans Market Cafe at 345 Colonnade Blvd., State College. This event also will be in-person only.

     

    Both events are open opportunities for anyone in the community to connect with board members on any district-related topic they choose.

     

    Best wishes,

     

    Chris Rosenblum

    Director of Communications


    Jan. 9, 2023


    Subject: SCASD Community SRO Discussions 

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    So that the SCASD Board of Directors and administration can hear community sentiment regarding school resource officers, we are holding a forum this month. Following that, we will have an informational session featuring a panel discussion. We have designed this format in consultation with Terry Watson, a Penn State World Campus assistant director and the founder of the nonprofit Strategies for Justice, to gather feedback first in order to have a more informed discussion later.

     

    The first event will take place on Thursday, Jan. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the State High cafeteria large group instruction room. At this meeting, we hope to facilitate engaging open conversations led by facilitators. Through small group discussions, participants will have the opportunity to share perspectives and hopefully come away with a deeper understanding of the SRO position.

     

    As a follow-up, on Monday, Feb. 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the high school small auditorium, a panel consisting of district administrators and the high school SRO will discuss the feedback received from the Jan. 26 event. Elizabeth Siegelman, the program coordinator for Community Conferencing of Centre County, will serve as the panel moderator.

     

    To assist us with planning the initial forum, we ask that you please fill out this brief RSVP if you wish to attend.

     

    We look forward to hearing your thoughts and drawing on them to help us all better understand the role of SROs in our district.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Curtis Johnson

    Interim Superintendent of Schools


    Jan. 9, 2023

     

    Subject: New Student Registration Now Open!

    Dear SCASD Community:

    The district is now accepting new student registrations for the 2023-2024 school year. For kindergarten, or any other grades, please visit our registration website for details. A special welcome to our Class of 2036 students!

    This only applies to new students who are currently not part of the district. If your child is already enrolled in the district, there is no need to re-register. 

    For families interested in our comprehensive cyber school, please visit our Virtual Academy website for information about this K-12 program. 

    If you have questions, please contact our registration office at registrar@scasd.org or 814-231-1017.

    Sincerely,

    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager


    Jan. 6, 2023


    Subject: Kindergarten Nights for Winter Sports

     

    Dear Kindergarten Parents and Guardians:

     

    SCASD is excited to announce three Kindergarten Nights for winter sports events. Our teams love hosting kindergarten students whenever possible, and we hope that you can join us for some fun as we cheer on the Little Lions!

     

    For those of you that attended kindergarten night at the State High football game last fall, the below events are similar. All events will be held in the State High North Building. 

     

    • Swimming & Diving: Friday, Jan. 20 at 5:00 p.m.

    • Boys Basketball: Friday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

    • Girls Basketball: Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

     

    We hope you save the date for planning purposes and soon, we will send more details about how to redeem your FREE ticket!

     

    Have a good weekend!

     

    Nabil Mark

    Media and Communications Manager


    Jan. 6, 2022

    Subject: Anticipated Board of School Directors Vacancy

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    The State College Area School District is currently accepting applications from qualified individuals for an anticipated vacant position on the Board of School Directors. The successful candidate will be appointed to serve as a board member until the next municipal election in November 2023.

     

    Interested applicants should submit a resume, cover letter and statement of purpose explaining their interest in and commitment to serving on the Board. To be eligible, a candidate must live within the SCASD boundaries. 

     

    The application deadline is Thursday, Jan. 26, 2022 at 4 p.m. Please submit materials to Lynn Tressler, Board Secretary, 240 Villa Crest Drive, State College, PA, 16801, or via email at hlt11@scasd.org.

     

    The current Board of Directors will conduct the screening and selection process in public. More details about the anticipated vacancy will be discussed at the Board’s Jan. 11 meeting

     

    Have a great day!

     

    Nabil Mark

    Media and Communications Manager


    Dec. 22, 2022

     

    Subject: Weather Update and Cancellations

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    With the current weather situation, we will have regular dismissal times this afternoon. However, CEEL is canceled, all after-school activities are canceled, and there will be no late buses. 

    For tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 23, all SCASD buildings will be closed and all activities and practices are canceled.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this unpredictable weather. 

    Have a great winter break!

    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager


    Dec. 20, 2022

    Subject: 2023-2024 Academic Calendar Approved

    Dear SCASD Community:

    Last night, the Board of Directors approved the Academic Calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. You can view and download the calendar on our website.

    Under the calendar, the first student day of the 2023-2024 year will be Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023 and the last day, Tuesday, June 4, 2024. Other highlights include:

    • The first week of school is a three-day week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

    • Two 3-hour delays are scheduled for federal holidays (Nov. 10, Veterans’ Day, and Feb. 19, President’s Day) for faculty and staff Act 80 professional development.

    • Winter Break will be Dec. 22-Jan. 1.

    • Spring Break is scheduled for the week of March 4-8.

    • One snow make-up day (May 24) is scheduled within the school year with four more scheduled after the last day of school.

    • State High Commencement will be Friday, June 7, at Memorial Field with rain dates of June 8 or June 9.

    Have a good day!

    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager


    Dec. 20, 2022

    Subject: Important Attendance Information for Students

    Dear SCASD Community:

    As a reminder, attendance is a very important component of success for every child in our district. In light of this, we would like to share some details regarding attendance and SCASD's obligation to ensure your child's regular attendance in school.  

    In accordance with the PDE Compulsory Attendance law, effective July 2019, the following processes are required for all school-age students:

    • On the day of absence, parents/guardians will receive an email notification that your child has missed all or part of the day with a gentle reminder to provide an excuse note.  Please ensure that SCASD has your correct email on file. 

    • All absences are unexcused until the school receives a written excuse. Excuses can be handwritten, copied and emailed directly to the attendance secretary, emailed, dropped at the attendance office, or uploaded through ParentVue

    • If an excuse is not received within three days, the absence will be permanently unexcused.

    • If your child accumulates three days, or the equivalent, of unexcused absences, we must notify you by mail of a first offense along with the legal consequences.

    • If your child has four days, or the equivalent, of unexcused absences, you will be invited to a School Attendance Improvement Plan Meeting (SAIP) to proactively collaborate with the team and create a plan to eliminate additional unexcused absences.

    • If you receive a first offense letter and a SAIP meeting has occurred, a second offense will be filed with the magisterial district judge for any additional unexcused absences.

    Additional information regarding attendance: 

    • A maximum of ten (10) cumulative absences may be verified by parental/guardian written notification during a school year to verify lawful absences. All absences beyond ten (10) parental/guardian notifications shall require an excuse from a licensed physician.

    • If a student is late to school, the amount of time they are late will count toward their 10 days. The minimum time increment is .1 days. 

    • If your child has a chronic medical condition that might affect attendance, please call your child's school to discuss options and next steps.

    • SCASD policies allow 10 educational trip days per school year. Educational field trip information and the form can be found here.

    • Parents can monitor their child’s attendance record in ParentVue. If you do not have an account, please contact your child’s home school for help with an account.

    More detailed SCASD attendance procedures can be found here.

    We appreciate your attention to these procedures and understand that extenuating circumstances may require special considerations. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call your building principal, your child's school counselor, or the Home and School Visitor at 814-272-8225 so that we may work together to ensure your child's educational success.

    Sincerely,

    Jeanne Knouse
    Director of Student Services


    Dec. 16, 2022

    Subject: Annual Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Information

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    With the cold and flu season upon us and because of the continued presence of COVID-19 in our community, we would like to provide some detailed information about when to keep a sick child home and remind you of our continued prevention measures in schools. 

    When deciding whether to send your child to school, please keep them home if they have any of the below symptoms:  

    • Fever (100.0 or higher) or chills

    • Cough

    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • Fatigue

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Headache (accompanied by another symptom on the list) 

    • Loss of taste or smell

    • Sore throat

    • Congestion or runny nose

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Diarrhea

    As always, our district continues to do the the following districtwide:

    • Maximize fresh air intake through HVAC systems and stand-alone HEPA filtration units in areas of high need (isolation rooms, band and choir rooms, rooms without windows, rooms with HVAC limitations, etc.)

    • Encourage the use of hand sanitizer stations throughout all of our buildings

    • Provide masks to protect yourself and others upon request

    • Track COVID-19 cases among students and employees on our dashboard

    More detailed information is available on our health services website. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, fill out this form and follow these protocols. As always, our nurses are always available to help answer any questions you may have. 

    Thank you for your attention to this information. We hope you find it useful as we move through this season. 

    Sincerely,

    Jeanne Knouse
    Director of Student Services 



    Dec. 16, 2022

     

    Subject: 2-hour delay today

     

    Dear SCASD Community,

     

    Today, Dec. 16, SCASD schools will start with a 2-hour delay due to road conditions. 

     

    Wintry mornings like this can be challenging, but on the plus side, if a snowy landscape gives you holiday cheer, Mother Nature’s got that covered.

     

    Be safe, stay warm and have a great day.

     

    Chris Rosenblum

    Director of Communications


    Dec. 14, 2022


    Subject: SCASD schools and offices closed Dec. 15

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    For tomorrow, Dec. 15, SCASD schools will be closed due to the impending winter storm. All district offices will be closed, and all after-school activities and events are also canceled.

     

    Honestly, I’m not looking forward to the scraping and shoveling, but I love those holiday treats. So a little ice-o-tonic exercise will do me good.

     

    Be safe, stay warm and have a great day.

     

    Chris Rosenblum

    Director of Communications


    Dec. 8, 2022

    Subject: December Straight Talk - Finding Light and Hope in Our Community

    Dear SCASD Community:

    This month’s Straight Talk session, “Finding Light and Hope in Our Community: Resources to Help During Difficult Times,” will take place Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

    While we often think of the winter season as a time of joy and family, we recognize that difficult emotions can arise. Help and hope are available, thanks to the many community resources available in our community. Join Mount Nittany Health, Centre for Community Resources, and 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline as they share services and resources.

    The Zoom link to watch is here. A recording of this event can later be found on our Straight Talk website. A session flyer is here. 

    Do you have any questions about who is there to help in a crisis? Please submit them on the following Google form. As always, you can ask your questions during the session as well. If you have any feedback or suggestions for the Straight Talk series, please submit them to this Google form

    Sincerely,

    Morgan Bechdel, LSW
    District Social Worker


    Dec. 8, 2022


    Subject: School board meeting changes

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    In January, we will implement changes to the SCASD Board of School Directors meetings held twice a month.

     

    Under our new “Committee of the Whole” approach, the first meeting will start with the board’s Culture, Climate and Learning, Facilities and Grounds, and Finance and Audit committees holding consecutive work sessions for up to 30 minutes each. These will replace our current practice of holding separate daytime committee meetings. We believe this change will benefit both the Board and the community. All board members will be able to hear and respond to committee discussions, and evening sessions broadcast and archived by C-NET will be more accessible to the public. Additionally, senior district administrators will have more time during days to focus on supporting individual schools.

     

    The Policy Development Committee will continue monthly daytime meetings until it clears a backlog of policy updates. In place of the present Communications Committee, a Community Engagement Committee will meet bi-annually, led by Board President Amber Concepcion.

     

    Voting at the first monthly meetings will be limited to routine approvals. A sample agenda is included below. For the second meeting, the present agenda structure will stay the same. Both meetings will start at 7 p.m. and take place in the Panorama Village Administrative Center boardroom (240 Villa Crest Drive) as they do now.

     

    Public comment also will remain. Community members will be able to speak after each committee session in addition to the usual time at the start of meetings.

     

    The district administration and the Board anticipate this restructuring will increase the Board’s efficiency and transparency, and we look forward to beginning it next month.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Curtis Johnson

    Interim Superintendent of Schools

     

    Example Board of Directors Committee of the Whole Meeting Agenda

     

    1. CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

    2. ROLL CALL OF BOARD MEMBERS

    3. PUBLIC COMMENT

    4. COMMUNICATIONS

      1. COG

      2. Legislative

      3. Superintendent Update

      4. Student Representative Update

    5. WORK SESSIONS (2 co-chairs work with one administrator to facilitate each agenda area, 30 minutes maximum per session) 

      1. Culture, Climate and Learning Items (2 co-chairs)

      2. Facilities and Grounds - (2 co-chairs)

      3. Finance and Audit - (2 co-chairs)

      4. Policy Committee - will have a scheduled monthly meeting until the backlog is completed (needs 2 co-chairs and 4 board members total)

    6. ACTION ITEMS (Routine type items)

      1. Approval of Minutes 

      2. Physical Plant Routine Service Contracts 

      3. Technology Routine Service Contracts 

      4. Human Resource Recommendations

    7. FUTURE MEETINGS

    8. ADJOURNMENT


    Nov. 15, 2022

     

    Subject: Notice: All SCASD activities ending at 5 today

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    Due to forecasted inclement weather this evening, all after-school activities will be ending at 5 p.m. Late buses will pick up students at 5 p.m. Additionally, parents and guardians must pick up their children in our CEEL program by 5 p.m. 

     

    The Straight Talk session this evening is a virtual presentation, so it will continue as scheduled

     

    As for any delay or cancellation tomorrow, we will make that decision early in the morning and communicate any change to the school day by 5:30 a.m. 

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Curtis Johnson

    Interim Superintendent of Schools 


    Nov. 11, 2022


    Subject: Free Flu Shots and COVID Boosters

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    On Wednesday, Nov. 16, free flu shots and COVID-19 boosters will be offered at the LION Mobile Clinic. Additionally, free blood pressure screenings and medication counseling will be available. 

     

    Centre Volunteers in Medicine is hosting the event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m at 2520 Green Tech Drive, State College, Pa., 16803. 

     

    Anyone in the community is welcome to attend. No appointments are necessary and health insurance is not required. If you have any questions, please email lionmobileclinic@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Chris Rosenblum

    Director of Communications


    Nov. 9, 2022


    Subject: Weather Call Times and Alerts

     

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

     

    As we approach the inclement weather season, we’d like to remind everyone that all parents and guardians are automatically signed up for weather notifications. Specifically, in the event of a school delay or cancellation, you will receive an email and a phone call. Additionally, you can also be notified via SMS text alerts if you sign up for them.

     

    Weather Call Times

     

    There are two options for call times: 5:30 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. To check your selected time or change it, log into ParentVUE on a desktop computer as you can’t update the times in the app. Then select SCASD Links on the left side navigation, and then Parent Weather Call Time. Update your call time and press submit. Keep in mind that guardians share a call time, so whatever choice is made by either guardian will be set for both.

     

    Please note: When we have a snow day, the letter or number of that day gets pushed to when we return. For example, if Monday is a A day or a cycle day 1 and school gets canceled, Tuesday would be the same as Monday. These days are always shown on the district calendar. 

     

    SMS Text Alerts

     

    While we primarily use SMS messaging for weather alerts, it would also be an important means of communicating in the event of an emergency. Therefore, we ask that you complete this section.

     

    To add text alerts on a desktop computer, return to the ParentVUE overview page and click My Account at the top right. Then scroll down to where it says Phone Numbers. If you do not see a SMS (text) number, you will need to enter one, even if it is the same number as your primary phone number. To add it, click the plus sign on the right and a new row will appear. Under “type” select SMS and then enter the phone number. Finally, scroll down and press Update Account.

     

    For adding text alerts in the ParentVUE app, open the app and select My Account at the bottom and then Phones. Here you will see your phone numbers. If there is no SMS number listed, click the plus sign, enter your SMS phone number and select SMS under “type.” These are all the fields you need. Then press Add at the bottom right.

     

    SCASD App

     

    Lastly, you can download our free app in the Apple Store or Google Play to receive notifications about weather and other important information. 

     

    We hope this information helps you understand our weather and emergency communications options.

     

    Best wishes,

     

    Chris Rosenblum
    Director of Communications


    Nov. 9, 2022

    Subject: Superintendent Search Community Survey

     

    Dear SCASD Community: 

     

    We very much appreciate the participation of so many stakeholders throughout the district at our superintendent search town halls over the past two months. The input has been informative and enlightening!

     

    Thus far, all input provided to our search consultant has been compiled and shared with the Board of Directors. However, since not all interested stakeholders were able to attend a town hall, we are also providing the opportunity for input through this community survey

     

    Please submit your survey responses by November 18. 

     

    Along with the input already received, your responses will enhance the Board’s ability to select the best candidate to lead the State College Area School District into the future. This feedback also helps us to better understand the community's priorities and needs, as our Board and administrative team make decisions moving forward.

     

    More information can be found on our superintendent search website: https://www.scasd.org/superintendentsearch 

     

    Please feel free to share the survey link with other interested members of the SCASD community if you would like to do so. 

     

    Sincerely, 

     

    Amber Concepcion

    Board President

    State College Area School District


    Nov. 8, 2022


    Subject: November Straight Talk - Helping Hands During Winter Hardships

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    This month’s Straight Talk session, “Helping Hands During Winter Hardships” with SCASD’s Family Intervention Team, Centre Helps and the State College Food Bank, will take place Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m via Zoom.

     

    As the colder winter months approach, we know this season can be a time of extra hardship and struggle for individuals and families in Centre County. With colder weather comes increased

    utility and heating costs, mental health challenges and food insecurity. The challenges that come with navigating the holiday season and the long, cold winter months are

    not something to take lightly. But with connections to resources, we can navigate these difficult months a bit more easily. Join the State College Food Bank, SCASD Family Intervention Team, and Centre Helps as we talk about how we can help you during these upcoming brittle months. 

     

    The Zoom link to watch is here. A recording of this event can later be found on our Straight Talk website. A session flyer is here.

     

    Do you have questions about how to access basic need items during the colder months? Please submit them on the following Google form. As always, you can ask your questions during the session as well. If you have any feedback or suggestions for the Straight Talk series, please submit them to this Google form

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Morgan Bechdel, LSW

    District Social Worker


    Nov. 1, 2022

     
    Subject: Wellness Wednesday Event for Elementary kids and their families

    Hello Elementary Families,
     
    Penn State students, Jana Marie Foundation, and State College Area School District are teaming up to offer a fun family-friendly event on Wednesday, November 2nd.
     
    Wellness Wednesday is an opportunity for elementary students and their families to find wellness and connection through art, music, and movement. The event will occur on Wednesday, November 2nd at Corl Street Elementary School from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Pizza and snacks will be provided.  
     
    To register please scan the QR code on the attached flyer or email Valentina at valentinawilson271@gmail.com.
     
    Thank you,
     
     
    Marisa Vicere
    President and Founder
    Jana Marie Foundation

    Jeanne Knouse
    Director of Student Services

    Oct. 31, 2022

    Subject: Recommended Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Director

    Dear SCASD Community:

    I’m pleased to announce that we will recommend Tonya Black to be the State College Area School District’s next director of diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging at the Nov. 7 Board of School Directors meeting.

    Tonya would bring 26 years in the district to the position, most recently as a State High assistant principal overseeing students in grades 10-12. Before that, she had been the high school’s dean of students for two years. Additionally, Tonya also has been an elementary classroom teacher, an instructional support/Title 1 Reading/English language learners teacher, an instructional support/ Response to Intervention and Instruction teacher, and a reading specialist. She also served as an interim elementary school principal.

    Tonya holds an undergraduate degree in elementary education and master’s in education degree in curriculum and instruction, both from Penn State, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the university. Her credentials include ESL, English, administrative and reading specialist certifications, and she’s an experienced trainer for both restorative practices and safety care support.

    Tonya’s breadth of experience as an advocate for students and families with diverse backgrounds at both the elementary and secondary levels makes her the ideal choice to lead our Office of Equity and Inclusivity. In her various roles, she has consistently promoted equitable, welcoming and inclusive environments in our schools, all the while demonstrating kindness and love for our students and entire community. Her commitment and leadership would be crucial in our ongoing efforts to prepare all students for lifelong success.  

    Pending Board approval, Tonya will start as soon as possible. Her current position would be permanently filled by interim State High assistant principal Ryan Walsh. Ryan’s position would temporarily be filled by Tina Greene, a Virtual Academy teacher/assistant principal. In turn, Jennifer Scudder, a Reclaiming Individual Talent Program teacher, would fill Tina’s previous role for the time being.

    Sincerely,

    Curtis Johnson
    Interim Superintendent of Schools


    Oct. 14, 2022

     

    Subject: October Straight Talk - When Grief Comes to School

     

    Dear Parents, Guardians and Students:

     

    This month’s Straight Talk session, "When Grief Comes to School" with Director of Student Services Jeanne Knouse, the TIDES Program and the Jana Marie Foundation, will take place Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m via Zoom.

     

    Experiencing grief and loss can cause an array of emotional and physical challenges that affect the school environment. When students and families have support, the heaviness of these challenges can be lessened. Join us to learn how our schools respond to grief and loss. It is important to recognize significant losses and, together as a community, to offer support, information and healing to all. 

     

    The Zoom link to watch is here. A recording of this event can later be found on our Straight Talk website.

     

    Do you have questions about addressing grief and loss in the school building? Please submit them on the following Google form. As always, you can ask your questions during the session as well. If you have any feedback or suggestions for the Straight Talk series, please submit them to this Google form

     

    We hope to see you there!

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Morgan Bechdel, LSW

    District Social Worker


    Sept. 30, 2022

    Subject: Emergency Text Alerts

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    In the event of an emergency, our mass communication system has the capability to send emails, SMS texts and phone calls. While you are automatically signed up for calls and emails, texts are optional. However, should there be an emergency, texting would be an important way to reach you quickly. Therefore, we are asking all parents and guardians to make sure you are signed up to receive these notifications. 

    Computer
    To add text alerts with a computer, log into ParentVUE and on the overview page, click My Account at the top right. Then scroll down to the Phone Numbers section. If you do not see a SMS (text) number, you will need to enter one, even if it’s the same number as your primary phone number. To add it, click the plus sign on the right and a new row will appear. Under “type” select SMS and then enter the cell phone number. You can leave the other fields blank. Finally, scroll down and press Update Account.

    ParentVUE App
    For adding text alerts via the ParentVUE app, open the app and select My Account at the bottom right, and then the Phones tab. Here you will see your phone numbers. If there is no SMS number listed, click the plus sign on the upper left, enter your mobile phone number and select SMS under “type.” These are all the fields you need. Then press Add at the bottom right.

    If you are having problems logging into your account or changing your call time, please email itsupport@scasd.org.

    Have a great day!

    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager


    Sept. 29, 2022

    Subject: Free Breakfast Begins Monday

    SCASD Food Services is excited to share with you that beginning on Monday, October 3 through the remainder of the school year, breakfast at school is available free of charge to all students. 

    This program, funded through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, does not affect the cost of school lunches.  Students will continue to be charged for lunch at their approved rate (paid, reduced, or free).  School lunches cost $2.70 at the elementary schools, $2.95 in the middle schools, and $3.50 at the high school. 

    Elementary school students who would like to get breakfast at school should go directly to the school cafeteria when they arrive for the day to pick up breakfast to take to their classroom to eat.  Middle school students pick breakfast up in the school lobby/commons as they arrive at school.  Breakfast is available for high school students in the food court until 8:35.   

    Breakfasts include an entree, fruit, juice, and milk. 

    We are excited that we can make it easier for students to start the day ready to learn!

    Sincerely,

    Megan Schaper, SNS
    Food Service Director


    Sept. 26, 2022

     

    Subject: Director of Equity and Inclusion Feedback Form

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    As our search begins for a new director of equity, inclusion and belonging, we are seeking feedback from our community. If you would like to share your thoughts about what we should be considering in a new director, please fill out this form. The deadline to submit a response is Friday, Sept. 30, at noon. 

     

    Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts with us. Any feedback will be helpful as we move through the hiring process.  

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Curtis Johnson

    Interim Superintendent


    Sept. 19, 2022

     

    Subject: School Communications Earlier Today

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    Earlier today, we sent a communication to Radio Park Elementary School families. We wanted to share the information with the entire district to be transparent and dispel any misinformation. 

     

    Before school, a community member called police to report a suspicious person who possibly had a weapon near the intersection of Blue Course Drive and Martin Street. Police immediately responded to the area and contacted the building principal because of the close proximity to the school. 

     

    The investigation has not found any such individual in the area. Because of the increased police presence in the area, it was determined that it was safe for students to enter the RP building. However, out of an abundance of caution, the school is temporarily on lockdown while the police complete their investigation. Additionally, because of the proximity, Corl Street Elementary School temporarily does not have outdoor activities, but is not in lockdown. 

     

    We have no indication that this reported person was ever on school grounds, and we have no reason to believe that students were ever in danger. However, there will be an increased police presence in these areas throughout the day.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Curtis Johnson

    Interim Superintendent


    Sept. 17, 2022

    COVID vaccine booster clinics at State High

    Dear SCASD Community:

    Centre Volunteers in Medicine and the State College Area School District are partnering to offer three upcoming COVID-19 bivalent booster clinics for the general public. The bivalent booster increases protection against Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

    Clinics will take place on Sept. 22, Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 from 1 to 6 p.m. in the State High North Building gymnasium, open to vaccinated individuals ages 12 and over. Due to limited supplies, only the Pfizer booster will be available, but those who received the original Moderna and J&J vaccinations are also eligible. First and second vaccination doses will be offered as well.

    All eligible participants — students, parents, and community members — need an appointment to obtain a booster. Sign up at the CVIM website, and please remember to bring your vaccination card.

    Students must provide a parental consent form with a parent’s signature. The form is available on the CVIM website. Parents of students grade 9 and above do not need to be present when the student receives a booster; however, the booster will not be administered without the student having the parental consent form at their appointment time.   

    Questions about the clinics should be directed to CVIM.

    In order to offer these clinics, CVIM needs community volunteers. If you are willing to help with this effort and are not already a CVIM volunteer, please email Kelly Brayman at kbrayman@cvim.net for details.

    Sincerely,

    Chris Rosenblum
    Director of Communications


    Sept. 17, 2022

     

    Subject: Superintendent Search Virtual Town Hall Link

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    We have already had two very productive public town hall meetings to discuss the community’s priorities and needs in the search for a new superintendent. Tom Templeton, the search consultant for the superintendent position, is facilitating these meetings to ensure we get to hear from everyone and that your feedback is carefully compiled for the Board to use as we evaluate candidates and develop future priorities in the district. 

     

    Our next opportunity is a Virtual Town Hall, on Monday, Sept 19, from 5:00 p.m to 6:45 p.m. 

     

    Please register here to attend: 

    https://psba-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Zw9HzYuvRHec9JMBU-G7Eg

     

    Because so many people have expressed interest in attending a session with Tom Templeton, please let me know if you are unable to attend any of the town hall dates but would still like to participate in a feedback session.

     

    For SCASD employees, there will also be more private employee meetings with Tom Templeton.  

     

    Future community town halls on our schedule: 

     

    Sept 21 at 6:00pm (4-6pm for drop-in meetings with Tom Templeton) 

    Location: Board Room at Panorama Building, 240 Villa Crest Dr., State College, PA 16801

     

    Sept 29 at 6:00pm (5-6pm for drop-in meetings with Tom Templeton)

    Location: Board Room at Panorama Building, 240 Villa Crest Dr., State College, PA 16801

     

    Sincerely, 

     

    Amber Concepcion 

    Board of Directors President


    Sept. 16, 2022

    Subject: Update: Medium Level of Community Transmission

    Dear SCASD Community:

    As you may already know, Centre County has moved to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s medium COVID-19 community level. 

    Moving forward, please reference our Health and Safety Plan for guidance and to see our current recommendations related to masking. 

    We will continue to monitor the presence of the virus in our schools and the community at-large. As a reminder, if a student tests positive for COVID-19, please fill out this form

    Sincerely,

    Curtis Johnson
    Interim Superintendent



    Sept. 15, 2022

     

    Subject: Homecoming Activities and Float Application

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    The State College Area School District will host our annual Homecoming Parade on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 6 p.m. The parade will culminate with a pep rally at Memorial Field. Our theme this year is “Unity is Key in 2022-2023!”

     

    If you belong to an organization and would like to be part of this tradition by having a float in the parade, please submit this application.

     

    The Homecoming Football game will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, and the Homecoming dance is Saturday, Oct. 8.

     

    Further details can be found on our Homecoming website. For questions, please email Tracy Thompson at tat15@scasd.org.

     

    We hope to see you there!

     

    Nabil Mark

    Media and Communications Manager


    Sept. 14, 2022

     

    Subject: Straight Talk - Strengthening Our Children’s Mental Health 

     

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

     

    Recognizing ten years of mental health and suicide prevention awareness support to the community, State College School District will be offering ‘Straight Talk’ in a collaboration with Jana Marie Foundation, Communities That Care Partnership, and Centre Helps.  

     

    This year’s theme, “It Takes a Village: Resources for You and Your Children,” was developed in response to families and caregivers who voiced a desire to increase their understanding of assistance available to them within both the school district and Centre County. 

     

    Our first Straight Talk session of the school year, Strengthening Our Children’s Mental Health - A Mindful Solutions Primer for Parents and Professionals” by Dr. Peter Montminy, Clinical Child Psychologist, will take place Tuesday, September 20, at 7 p.m via Zoom.

     

    With chronic and traumatic stressors in their lives, our children’s nervous systems are repeatedly firing up the “fight or flight” stress defenses. Their brains are being conditioned to be more emotionally reactive, and less thoughtfully responsive. They’re struggling more to focus their minds, calm their emotions, and control their impulses. In short, they’re lacking the key skill to support their mental health: self-regulation. Children develop the ability to regulate their emotions and behaviors through attuned relationships with self-regulating adults. We call this process co-regulation. It is the key to improving self-regulation in kids, and the key to strengthening our children’s mental health. The Mindful Solutions Approach ™ is designed to develop these very skills in both parents and children, as well as teachers and students. In this program, you’ll learn ways to begin strengthening self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-regulation skills in yourself and your children. You’ll learn ways to transform the vicious cycle of toxic stress into the virtuous cycle of mindful caregiving.

    The Zoom link to watch is here. A recording of this event can later be found on our Straight Talk website, and you can download the flyer here.

    Do you have questions about the Mindful Solutions Approach™? Please submit them on the following Google form. As always, you can ask your questions during the session as well. If you have any feedback or suggestions for the Straight Talk series, please submit them to this Google form

     

    We hope to see you there!

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Morgan Bechdel, LSW

    District Social Worker


    Sept. 14, 2022

    Subject: SCASD SeeSaw Incident Notification

    Dear SCASD Community,

    Early this morning, we became aware of an issue occurring within SeeSaw. Specifically, inappropriate messages from an outside creator were shared with teachers and parent/guardian groups through the platform's messaging feature. IT Services quickly isolated the impacted accounts and temporarily restricted student access to the program. We have no information that the content was shared with any students. While only our elementary students use SeeSaw, we wanted everyone to be informed in case you heard about the issue. 

    SeeSaw has indicated this was a compromise in their system, and they are working to ensure this never happens again. For now, the messages program is disabled while the investigation is ongoing. If you received the inappropriate content message, SeeSaw recommends that you reset your password immediately. 

    We appreciate our families promptly letting us know about the problem this morning. If you have any questions, please email itsupport@scasd.org.  

    Sincerely,

    Justin Hetrick
    Director of Technology



    Sept. 9, 2022

    Fall Jana Marie Foundation extracurricular programs

    Dear SCASD Community,

    The State College Area School District will be partnering with Jana Marie Foundation to offer engaging extracurricular activities that promote resilience and mental wellness for students in fourth through 12th grade. The foundation will host three youth clubs and an in-service retreat this fall that may be of interest to you and your student(s):

    GROW Club (Click to register)

    Who: Young people in grades 4 & 5

    What: After-school club designed to spark conversations about mental wellness and personal growth. Each session begins with an opening circle and read-aloud, followed by engaging games and crafts that promote building self-confidence, developing positive relationships, and expressing emotions in creative and healthy ways. 

    Where: Jana Marie Foundation

    110 Regent Court, Suite 200

    State College, PA 16801

    When: 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month, 5:30-6:30 pm, starting Sept. 19, 2022

    SHINE Club (Click to register)

    Who: Girls in grades 6-8

    What: After-school club that uses hands-on activities and discussions to provide practical tools and techniques for building resiliency and self-confidence. Participants are given opportunities to use their voice, follow their passions, and believe in themselves. Each session provides a space for conversations and connection and offers a time for reflection and self-expression through art and games.

    Where: Jana Marie Foundation

    110 Regent Court, Suite 200

    State College, PA 16801 

    When: 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, 5:30-6:30 pm, starting Sept. 12, 2022

    REACH Club (Click to register)

    Who: Young people in grades 6-12

    What: After-school club that provides an opportunity for teens to research, develop, and engage in mental health awareness through service projects. Participants will reach out to peers, friends, family members, and the broader community to strengthen connections and work together to spread kindness. Part of our time will be spent learning about other service projects and student action in order to educate and inspire us to create our own projects. 

    Where: Jana Marie Foundation

    110 Regent Court, Suite 200

    State College, PA 16801

     When: Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 pm, starting Sept. 29-Nov. 17, 2022

    Embrace! Retreat (Click to register)

    Who: Girls in grades 6-12

    What: Jana Marie Foundation’s Embrace! program provides young women across Centre County an opportunity to build personal strength and self-confidence through a fun and interactive day of art, music, and movement.

    Where: Location To Be Determined 

    When: Friday, Oct. 27, 8:45 am-2:30 pm

    If you have questions about these programs, please reach out to info@janamariefoundation.org. Additional programs and opportunities will be made available throughout the year and will be added to the Jana Marie Foundation Calendar.

    Thank you, 

    Jeanne Knouse, SCASD Director of Student Services  
    Marisa Vicere, President / Founder of Jana Marie Foundation


    Sept. 9, 2022

     

    Subject: Update: High Level of Community Transmission

     

    Dear SCASD Community:

     

    As you may already know, Centre County has moved to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s high COVID-19 community level. Therefore, according to our Health and Safety Plan, masks are now highly recommended indoors within all district buildings. This measure is intended to minimize disruptions to the academic learning environment and keep students in school. 

     

    We will continue to monitor the presence of the virus in our schools and community at-large. As a reminder, if a student tests positive for COVID-19, please fill out this form. Should there be a change in our level, we will let you know.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Curtis Johnson

    Interim Superintendent


    Sept. 7, 2022


    Subject: Connect with SCASD this year!


    Dear SCASD Community:


    As we begin 2022-2023, the communications department would like to give you a rundown of our various platforms to help you stay on top of all the news, updates and notifications from around our district. It’s a plugged-in world, so connect with us!


    SCASD App

    What Cycle Day is it, or is it an A Day or B Day? The app tells you with a powerful and completely customizable tool for use on your smartphone. Pick which schools to follow, view calendars and lunch menus, access ParentVUE — and that only skims the surface. Download the free app now in the App Store or on Google Play.


    Social Media

    At the district level, we provide four platforms. Click the links below to follow our accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. By following these platforms, you’ll have the latest information about everything happening around the district. Additionally, every school has its own social media accounts. Please search for your school’s name and follow these accounts as well. 


    Websites

    The district, as well as each school, has a mobile-friendly, easy-to-navigate website. These sites are valuable resources for information.


    Newsletter


    During the school year, we’ll periodically send you a newsletter highlighting various things happening around the district. So keep and eye out for the
    SCASD Scoop!

    We strive to give you the best and most easily accessible communications possible. Thank you for following us and for being engaged in our school community. Here’s hoping you have a successful, rewarding and now more informed year!


    Best wishes,


    Chris Rosenblum, Director of Communications

    Nabil Mark, Media and Communications Manager

    The SCASD Communications Team


    Sept. 2, 2022

    Subject: Upcoming superintendent search town hall forums

    Dear SCASD community, 

    We hope that you’ve enjoyed a refreshing summer and that your return to school is going well. 

    We received a robust response to our last email asking about interest in participating in a focus group discussion regarding the district’s needs in regard to the next superintendent. We are also cataloging all of the input provided in response to our last email. Because of the enthusiastic response, we have determined two important methods for community participation: town hall discussions and surveys, which will be forthcoming. 

    Our plan is to hold five town hall sessions throughout September, one of which will be conducted virtually. These town hall meetings will be led by Mr. Tom Templeton, the board’s consultant for the superintendent hiring process. 

    Schedule of Town Halls: 

    Sept. 8, 6 p.m. 

    Sept. 14, 6 p.m.

    Sept. 19, 5-6:45 p.m. (Virtual, more info soon)

    Sept. 21, 6 p.m.

    Sept. 29, 6 p,m.

    Location: 

    Boardroom, Panorama Village Administration Building, 

    240 Villa Crest Drive, State College, PA 16801

    Each of the in-person sessions will begin at 6 p.m., in the boardroom at the Panorama Village Administrative Building, and will end when the conversation has concluded. Our search consultant, Mr. Tom Templeton, will also be on-site in our boardroom starting at 4 p.m. on each of these days for those who would like to meet with him during that window of time to share their thoughts more privately. 

    The town halls will be dynamic conversations, including opportunities to listen to the views of your fellow citizens. Mr. Templeton has conducted many town hall sessions with community groups throughout Pennsylvania, and is skilled at presenting the information to the board with professionalism, and in a manner that respects everyone’s involvement.    

    For our district staff, we will also be scheduling several specific staff meeting times with Mr. Templeton. We will also plan for students at the high school level to have an opportunity to meet with Mr. Templeton. 

    We welcome your attendance and we value your viewpoints. The information from these outreach efforts will assist the board in developing interview questions, analyzing candidate preparedness, conducting reference checks, constructing interviewing activities for candidates, and setting future goals for our district. 

    Sincerely, 

    Amber Concepcion 
    SCASD Board of Directors President


    Sept. 2, 2022

    Subject: Congratulations to Seria Chatters

     

    Dear SCASD Community,

     

    With mixed emotions, I wish to congratulate Dr. Seria Chatters for becoming the Assistant Vice Provost of Educational Equity at Penn State. Her last day as our Director of Equity and Inclusivity will be Sept. 30.

     

    This is a tremendous professional opportunity for Dr. Chatters, and we are happy for her. On the other hand, we’re sorry to see her depart. Since joining the district in 2018 as a trailblazer in her role, she has led our efforts to raise awareness of equity issues, provide more equitable and inclusive education for all students, and create more welcoming school environments for students and staff. Thanks to her expertise, leadership and dedication, we have not only made significant strides during her tenure but also have clarified the further equity work we must do to meet our current strategic plan goals. Dr. Chatters leaves a strong foundation for her eventual successor to build upon, and we are grateful to have benefited from her passion for helping students and colleagues.This month, we will begin interviewing candidates with the goal of hiring a new director as soon as possible. When an individual is in place, Dr. Chatters will help this fall with the transition.

     

    Please join me congratulating Dr. Chatters and wishing the best of luck in the next stage of her career.

     

    Sincerely,

    Curtis Johnson

    Interim Superintendent of Schools


    Sept. 2, 2022

    Subject: A personal announcement

    Dear SCASD Community:

    I have some news to share with you today. Soon, I will be stepping down as the State College Area School District’s director of equity and inclusivity to become the assistant vice provost of educational equity at Penn State. In this role, I will support the educational equity office by leading the Scholars Program, supporting report bias, and serving as the liaison for all Penn State campuses. I will also continue to be an affiliate faculty member in the College of Education. 

    My decision came after great consideration. I’m proud of the progress the district has made toward providing equitable and inclusive education for all students since I joined the administrative team in 2018 — all of it achieved through the teamwork of colleagues, students and community members. I will miss that collaboration, and I was looking forward to more of it while addressing further equity issues and helping the district continue to improve. My last day with the district will be Sept. 30. However, I have been asked by our administration to support the transition of the next director of equity once this person is hired. 

    Looking back, I’m grateful for all of the friendships and connections I have made in the past four years. Specifically, I have loved working with teachers and staff identified as Equity Advocates, and I’m proud of the development of our Peer Advocates Program and annual Social Justice Summer Institute. Most of all, I will miss the work I have had the opportunity to do with students including supporting their needs through providing various groups and programs. I am particularly excited about the future impact of the new equity action plan and the equity principles deeply embedded in the district’s revised strategic plan. 

    Please know I will still be a proud member of this community. I will also continue to support SCASD as the parent of district students and a dedicated community member. I will keep on cheering for SCASD, from the sidelines, as it continues to drive equity at the foundation of everything it does. This is not a goodbye; it’s more of a see you around. 

    Sincerely,

    Seria Chatters
    Director of Equity and Inclusivity



    Aug. 29, 2022

    Subject: SC Football Kindergarten Night

    Dear Parents and Guardians of Kindergartners:

    The State High football team cordially invites our kindergarten students, along with their families, to the game against Hollidaysburg on Friday, Sept. 9, at Memorial Field.

    These students will receive free admission and their family members can purchase discounted tickets for $3.00 each. Please order online at https://www.scasd.org/domain/3383 using the code “GoLions.” The deadline to claim complimentary student tickets and purchase additional discounted tickets online is noon on Thursday, Sept. 8.

    Here are the steps to purchase your tickets: 

    1. Click the link above and select the Sept. 9 varsity football game vs. Hollidaysburg. Click the “Get Tickets” tab.

    2. On the next page, click on the “Have a Passcode?” link, and enter “GoLions”

    3. You should then see a variety of ticket options. Set the Youth Comp Ticket category to one. The site does not allow more than one comp ticket to be selected. 

    4. Next, select the number of additional discounted “youth” tickets (priced at $3.00) for the rest of your party; not to exceed six tickets. 

    5. Finish the transaction by paying with a credit card

    6. The tickets will be sent to the email address provided, and those tickets can be scanned (via QR code) on the night of the game at Gate G. 

    A special section of the stands will be reserved for these students and their families to cheer on our Little Lions! Additionally, two students from each school will be selected ahead of time to participate in the pregame coin toss activities on the field. In this case, you will be contacted prior to the game. Be sure the students wear their maroon class t-shirts if they are able. 

    Prior to the game, please stop by the tables at the Sidney Friedman Park where we will be distributing pom-poms, among other activities.

    Entrance to the game will be through Gate G (visitors or west side; along Fraser Street). Gates and concessions will open at 6 p.m. and kickoff is at 7 p.m.

    For questions, or if you would like to purchase tickets by check, please contact Heather Card at hvc11@scasd.org or 814-231-1042 prior to noon on Sept 8. For details about our Memorial Field protocols, please visit this website

    We hope you can join us for this celebration of our amazing kindergarteners under the Friday Night Lights of the newly renovated Memorial Field! 

    Sincerely,

    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager


    Aug. 25, 2022

    Subject: Call for Crossing Guards, Bus Drivers and more

    Dear SCASD Community, 

    The State College Borough Police Department still has several crossing guard job openings for this school year and no pending applications to fill the positions. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in this important position, please visit the borough employment website for more information or to apply. Just so you are aware, crossing guards are not SCASD employees, but rather are employed by the respective borough or township where a school is located. 

    Along the same line, the district currently has more bus driver positions open than applicants. So we ask you as well: If you, or anyone you know, would like to be a bus driver, please visit our SCASD employment website for more information or to apply. On that site you will see many other open positions for teachers, coaches, custodians, CEEL support staff, food services workers, paraprofessionals and more.

    We hope to see as many of these positions filled as possible to support our students. These jobs are critical for our operations, and they’re also rewarding as they benefit our students directly. Thank you for your consideration and please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested. 

    Have a great day!

    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager


    Aug. 24, 2022

    Subject: Used Instrument Sale is Sept. 8

    Dear SCASD Community:

    Want to start the school year on a good note? An excellent opportunity for purchasing or selling musical instruments is coming up soon. On Sept. 8, the State College Music Boosters will hold its annual used instrument sale for district families and the public from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Mount Nittany Middle School cafeteria.


    A tradition for more than three decades, the sale helps support the district’s award-winning music program by offering affordable choices for students of all ages. 


    To sell an instrument, bring it to Mount Nittany on Sept. 7 between 7 and 8:30 pm. Please visit the Music Boosters website for details and a pre-registration form.


    If you have any questions, please contact Mary Krohn-Smith at mks11@scasd.org or Joanna Carlson at joannacarlson@gmail.com.

    Best wishes,

    Chris Rosenblum
    Director of Communications


    Aug. 17, 2022

    Subject: Student Accident Insurance Program

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    We would like to provide our families with information about optional accident insurance for students. For the 2022-2023 school year, families can purchase an accident insurance plan through the Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company. Please visit our student accident insurance website for more information and to access the application form.

    If you have any questions, call or email Annette Winningham in the Business Office at 814-231-1021 or asw19@scasd.org.

    Have a great day!


    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager



    Aug. 16, 2022

    Subject: Health and Safety Plan Updates

    Dear SCASD Community:

    Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adjusted its COVID-19 guidance. Accordingly, after consulting with our Health and Safety Team, we have updated our Health and Safety Plan to reflect the new changes. 

    The updates include the following:

    If You Test Positive for COVID-19

    Stay home for at least 5 days and isolate yourself from others.

    • If after 5 days you are fever-free for 24 hours without medication, and your symptoms are improving, or you never had symptoms, you may end isolation after day 5 and return to school on day 6.

    • Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11.

    • Wear a high-quality mask through day 10.

    If You Are a Close Contact or Exposed to COVID-19

    Regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection:

    • If you have no symptoms, you can attend school wearing a high-quality mask for 10 days, and you should get tested on day 5.

    • If you develop symptoms, stay home until you test negative.

    See our SCASD COVID protocols for further details.  

    Important Note: If a medical professional has diagnosed your child with a weakened immune system and you would like to discuss an individual mitigation plan, please email Director of Student Services Jeanne Knouse at jmk37@scasd.org for help facilitating that process.

    This year, we will continue to do the following: 

    • Ask families and employees to report cases, which we’ll record on our COVID-19 dashboard

    • Stay up to date with our COVID-19 website regarding district protocols and communications. 

    • Support an environment where students may comfortably wear masks within all of our schools.

    Finally, surgical masks are available for all students in our schools. You should contact your school nurse if you have other personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. For additional questions or concerns, please contact your building principal

    We hope you find this update prompted by the new CDC helpful guidance. As always, we will closely monitor the presence of COVID-19 in our community and watch for additional updates. Should there be any future changes, we will let you know. 

    Sincerely,

    Curtis Johnson
    Interim Superintendent of Schools


    Aug. 16, 2022

    Subject: Important Back to School Information

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Where does the time go? Summer break is disappearing as quickly as a rain puddle and the first day of school, Tuesday, Aug. 23, is approaching. For your convenience as you prepare for the 2022-2023 school year, we’ve compiled the following information:

    • Teacher and class information is available in ParentVUE under Class Schedule. 

    • Bus routes are available in ParentVUE under Student Info.

    • You can update your email or phone number in ParentVUE under My Account.

    • If you have changed your mailing address, please contact your building secretary.

    • 2022-2023 academic calendar

    • District calendar for school events 

    • The 2022-2023 Health and Safety Plan

    • COVID-19 isolation and close contact guidelines 

    • If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please fill out this form.

    • IT support at itsupport@scasd.org or 814-231-7743

    If you have any questions about these or other matters, please reach out to your building principal. Good luck getting ready! We’re excited to welcome back students and are looking forward to a wonderful year.

    Best wishes,

    Chris Rosenblum
    Director of Communications


    Aug. 13, 2022

    Subject: Beginning Instrumental Music Registration

    Dear Parents and Guardians of 4th and 5th-grade students,

    Each year at this time, students eagerly await their turn to join our music program.  The study of music could be one of the most valuable components in your child’s education.  Current research shows that playing an instrument increases brain development and—along with developing responsibility, mental discipline, teamwork, and self-esteem—will provide enjoyment and fulfillment while fostering a lifelong appreciation of music. 

    Our instrumental music teachers will hold two online parent meetings:

    Please attend the meeting most convenient for you.  

    Wednesday, August 17th at 7:00 pm meet.google.com/pmc-jsep-yud  

    Thursday, August 25th at 7:00 pm meet.google.com/bim-owbc-agp

    During these meetings, a brief video will be shown to demonstrate the instrument choices, explain our instrumental music program, and how to register.  There will also be time for families to ask questions.  The elementary instrumental music video is fun to watch with your child so that they can decide what instrument to play.   This instrument video, along with the meeting, will be available on our music website following the live meetings.  We understand that you have a busy schedule, so the meeting will be short, but informative.  

    The State College Area School District believes that every child should have the opportunity to participate in music-making, to develop an appreciation for it, and to tap into their hidden talents through the study of it.  All instruction is free and all that is necessary is for you to obtain an instrument for your child. A quality instrument is the most essential piece of equipment needed for your child’s success.  

    We deeply believe that every student deserves the opportunity to participate in the instrumental music program, regardless of his or her life circumstances.  Please reach out to your instrumental music teacher if you have any concerns about the affordability of an instrument or supplies.  The school district has a limited supply of loaner instruments for students of need.

    You can learn more about our instrumental music program by visiting our website.  If you have any questions, 

    feel free to contact Emma Van Allen at ekv12@scasd.org or your elementary instrumental music teacher.

    The elementary instrumental music department is looking forward to an exciting year!

    Best regards,

    Danielle Yoder, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education


    Aug. 12, 2022

    Subject: Important Attendance Information for New School Year

     

    Dear SCASD Family:

     

    We hope this letter finds you well and excited about the coming school year.

     

    We enjoy working with our State College families as partners in their child’s school career. A very important component of your child’s school success is regular school attendance. In light of this, we would like to once again share some details regarding attendance and SCASD's obligation to ensure your child's regular attendance in school.  

     

    In accordance with the PDE Compulsory Attendance law, effective July 2019, the following processes are required for all school-age students:

     

    • On the day of absence, parents/guardians will receive an email notification that your child has missed all or part of the day with a gentle reminder to provide an excuse note.  Please ensure that SCASD has your correct email on file. 

    • All absences are unexcused until the school receives a written excuse. Excuses can be handwritten, copied and emailed directly to the attendance secretary, via email mail, dropped at the attendance office or through ParentVue

    • If an excuse is not received within three days, the absence will be permanently unexcused.

    • If your child accumulates three days, or the equivalent, of unexcused absences, we must notify you by mail of a first offense along with the legal consequences.

    • If your child has four days, or the equivalent, of unexcused absences, you will be invited to a School Attendance Improvement Plan Meeting (SAIP) to proactively collaborate with the team and create a plan to eliminate additional unexcused absences.

    • If you receive a first offense letter and a SAIP meeting has occurred, a second offense will be filed with the magisterial district judge for any additional unexcused absences.

     

    Additional information regarding attendance: 

    • If your child has a chronic medical condition that might affect attendance, please call your child's school to discuss options and next steps.

    • SCASD policies allow 10 educational trip days per school year. Please note that educational trips must be requested 2 weeks in advance and require the assistant superintendent's approval.

    • Parents can monitor their child’s attendance record in ParentVue. If you do not have a ParentVue account, please contact your child’s home school for help with an account.

     

    More detailed SCASD attendance procedures can be found here. 

     

    We appreciate your attention to these procedures and understand that extenuating circumstances may require special considerations. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call your building principal, your child's school counselor, or the Home and School Visitor at 814-272-8225 so that we may work together to ensure your child's educational success.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Jeanne Knouse

    Director of Student Services


    Aug. 12, 2022

    Subject: School Health Information and Requirements

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    As we approach the beginning of the school year, please review the requirements pertaining to your child’s age and health needs. The links will lead to the required paperwork. Please note, all orders for medication for the next school year must be dated after July 1. 

     

     

     

    • Diabetic Orders

      • Please send your Diabetic Medical Management Plan (doctor’s orders) dated after July 1 to your building’s Certified School Nurse.

     

    • Head Lice

      • The school nurse will continue to closely monitor any reported cases of head lice in the school setting. If at any time you would like the nurse to check your child’s hair, please send an email or note to the school and we will be happy to perform an examination. If you are not sure what to look for, please call the nursing office so we can be of assistance.

    • Medication on Field Trips 

      • Licensed or District Trained Personnel (epinephrine only) are often required to administer medication on field trips. The district does their best to manage high demand and may use agency nurses to cover this need. 

      • Parent/Parent Designee: If there are no licensed or district trained personnel available, the district will ask a parent or parent designee to attend a field trip to administer medication to their child.

      • Note: If there is no availability of the above persons, the district will cancel trips as a last resort. 

    The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) defines certified school nursing as a specialized nursing practice that advances the well-being, academic success, lifelong achievement, and overall health of students. The mission of school nurses is multi-faceted and includes:

    • Medical management of medications in school

    • Preventive screening services to identify concerns in their early stages

    • Management of private physician and parent referrals as a way to foster health and ensure educational success

    Thank you for everything you do to help us keep your child safe and healthy while in school. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your building Certified School Nurse.

    Sincerely,

    Jeanne Knouse
    Director of Student Services



    Aug. 11, 2022

    Subject: Revised Handbook and Codes of Conduct

    Dear SCASD community:

    Over the last year, the district has been working on updating our handbooks and our student codes of conduct for elementary and secondary schools. The purpose was to create a more consistent approach to organizational policies and procedures and establish a restorative approach to discipline. The new 2022-2023 Student and Family Handbook is now available for you to view

     The process for these revisions included the below steps:

    • Met with administrators and faculty to gather feedback to improve understanding

    • Implemented suggestions from multiple equity audits

    • Added a restorative approach to discipline, which included training for employees

    • Used common terminology for all grades

    We plan to evaluate this K-12 handbook continually. Our next steps include meeting with stakeholder groups and incorporating additional culturally responsive practices into the handbook. 

    Thank you for reviewing the new information and helping us to support our students in the best way possible.  

    Sincerely,

    Curtis Johnson
    Interim Superintendent


    Aug. 5, 2022

    SCASD Food Services - Back to School News

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    I hope that you and your family are well and that your child is looking forward to the new school year.

    This message includes information to help you take full advantage of the services offered by the district's Food Service Department.  I encourage you visit our webpage for additional information including:

    • Menus
    • Meal Prices
    • Free & Reduced-Price Meals Application & Information
    • Cafeteria Procedures
    • Nutrient Facts
    • Allergy & Special Diets Accommodations
    • Contact Information
    • Birthday Baskets
       

    Breakfast: Starting the day with breakfast, either at home or at school, is important for student success.  Breakfast is available every morning in our schools for all students.  Students who receive free or reduced-price lunch are also able to get breakfast at the same approved rate.  Breakfast is available when students enter the building at the beginning of the day.  Students who would like a school breakfast should pick it up when they arrive at school and take it to the classroom to eat.

    Menus:  An updated menu will be emailed to families before the start of each month.  Menus can be found on our webpage or on the SCASD App. 

    August-September Menus for the Elementary Schools 
    August-September Menus for the Middle Schools 
    August-September Menus for the High School 
     

    A la Carte Sales: Students are able to purchase snack or extra food items at school so long as funds are available in their account to pay for the purchase.  Parents can request account restrictions to limit unwanted purchases.  To request an account restriction, please email foodservices@scasd.org and include your child's name, school, parent/guardian's name, phone number, and requested restriction.

    Paying for School Meals: Payments to your child’s lunch account can be made on-line a www.myschoolbucks.com.  There is a $2.75 convenience fee for electronic payments. 

    If you prefer not to pay online, Middle School, High School, or Delta students can present cash or checks to a cafeteria cashier for the purpose of depositing the full amount into the student's cafeteria account.  -Change will not be given. 

    Payments are not collected in our elementary schools.  Payments sent to an elementary school with a student will be sent back home.  Checks can be mailed to the Food Services Office for elementary students and for students in any grade level.

    Mail checks to the SCASD Food Service Office at 653 Westerly Parkway, State College, PA 16801.  Make checks payable to SCASD FSD and include the name of the student(s) for whom the payment is intended, the school(s) they attend, and a phone number for questions. 

    We will never deny a student a school meal for lack of funds.  However, students are not allowed to charge a la carte items such as bottled water, snacks, or extra entrees. IOU emails are sent to parents each week, but we also encourage you to sign up for low balance email alerts at www.myschoolbucks.com.  There is no fee for receiving low balance emails or for viewing your child's account activity on the MySchoolBucks website.

    Free & Reduced-Price Meals: If your family could use help paying for school meals, please consider applying for free or reduced-price school meals.  Current income of $4,279 per month will qualify a family of 4 for some assistance. Visit our webpage for additional information.

    Allergies & Special Diets: If your child has an allergy or special dietary need, please review our procedures for providing safe meals at school.  Some requests will require that a Medical Plan of Care be completed by your physician.  Soy milk can be requested for any student as a substitute for the milk served with school meals by simply submitting a Milk Substitute Request Form. Both forms can be found on our webpage.

    Birthday Baskets are back!  SCASD Food Services can help make celebrating a birthday extra special for your elementary school student and extra easy for you.  Learn more and order birthday treats on our webpage.  
    ​​​​​​​

    We wish all of our students the very best for the year ahead and hope that the healthy and delicious meals served in our schools help to fuel them to succeed!

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    Megan Schaper, SNS
    Food Service Director
    State College Area School District
    814-231-1011 x5095
    foodservices@scasd.org


    Aug. 4, 2022

    Subject: Call for Crossing Guards, Bus Drivers and more

    Dear SCASD Community, 

    The State College Borough Police Department has several crossing guard job openings for the upcoming school year and no pending applications to fill the positions. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in this important position, please visit the borough employment website for more information or to apply. Just so you are aware, crossing guards are not SCASD employees, they are employed by the respective borough or township where a school is located. 

    Along the same line, the district currently has more bus driver positions open than applicants. So we ask you as well, if you, or anyone you know, would like to be a bus driver, please visit our SCASD employment website for more information or to apply. On that site you will see many other open positions for teachers, coaches, custodians, CEEL support staff, food services workers, paraprofessionals and more.

    We need to fill as many of these positions as possible as we are quickly approaching the first day of school on Aug. 23. These jobs are incredibly rewarding as they benefit our students directly, and are critical for our operations. Thank you for your consideration and please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested in working for the borough or SCASD. 

    Have a great day!

    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager



    Aug. 2, 2022

    Subject: Superintendent Search: Stakeholder Engagement

    Dear SCASD Community Member,

    With the superintendent search underway, we are entering the stakeholder engagement phase. We will be reaching out to various groups throughout the community to solicit opinions on the challenges, issues and needs facing the district. As part of that process, we will be asking community members what they feel are the essential leadership skills needed by the next superintendent to successfully steer the district in reaching our strategic goals. 

    The Board of School Directors is tasked to represent our community’s priorities regarding how our schools are run. In order to do that, it is important we solicit your thoughts, opinions and ideas about the State College Area School District. This is crucial to providing the Board with an understanding of a broad swath of community input as we plan the next phases of the search process, assess candidates and develop the future goals for the district. It also gives the community a genuine ‘voice’ in the process.    

    Although the final decision on selecting a new superintendent rests solely with the Board, our decision will be informed by the input from stakeholder groups. In order to provide an environment where all stakeholders can comfortably share their thoughts and concerns, our search consultant, Tom Templeton, will be facilitating the focus groups and conducting the surveys and will compile the input for the Board. 

    If you have an interest in participating in a focus group discussion and/or providing your thoughts in writing, we would welcome your involvement. Please complete this brief form to provide your contact information, and we will be back in touch soon with further details. And please also feel free to share this letter with other community members who you think may be interested, but who may not currently have students enrolled in SCASD. 

    As always, you can view our superintendent search website for more information. Thank you for any way in which you may be interested in participating in this process; we value your involvement! 

    Sincerely, 

    Amber Concepcion 
    Board President, 
    State College Area School District



    July 21, 2022

    Subject: Incorrect Middle School Schedules in ParentVue

    Dear Middle School Parents and Guardians:

    As some of you may have seen, some of the schedule information for our middle school students is showing up in ParentVue. Please know, we have not finalized the middle school schedules and this information may not be accurate. The information is being displayed because of a glitch on the platform. 

    When the middle school schedules are complete, you will receive an email from your building principal letting you know they are done. We expect the schedules to be finalized around Aug. 15. Until then, the information is subject to change and schedules should not be viewed as final.

    We apologize for this inconvenience. 

    Nabil Mark
    Media and Communications Manager


    July 21, 2022

    Subject: SCASD updates for the new school year

    Dear SCASD Community: 

    Following Monday night’s Board of Directors meeting, I would like to provide you with several updates related to the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. 

    For those of you who may not know, the Board appointed me as interim superintendent while the search for a permanent replacement for Dr. O’Donnell is conducted. Monday’s meeting was my first in this new role. For the past few years, I have been the SCASD assistant superintendent for secondary education and before that, State High principal. I’m grateful to the Board for entrusting me to lead the district and know that we are going to have a great year because I am surrounded by an incredible team of faculty, staff and administrators. Christine Merritt, our director of secondary curriculum, will serve in the role as interim assistant superintendent for secondary education while the superintendent search continues. 

    At the meeting, our updated Health and Safety Plan was shared with the Board. This plan was derived with input for the Health and Safety Team which consists of an epidemiologist, pediatricians, nurses and district administrators. It also considers Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. The updated plan is very similar to our previous versions in that it is layered to provide multiple safety measures and flexibility. The objective is to maximize in-person learning opportunities for all students in the most supportive environment possible.  

    Having been part of the Health and Safety Team for the past two years, I’m confident in this plan because of the team of local experts who assist us and monitor our district and community every day. Additionally, it gives us the ability to make adjustments quickly should conditions in our schools or community at-large change. 

    When it comes to masking, we have updated our indoor protocols for each of the CDC’s Community Levels.

    • When Centre County is at Low or Medium Community Levels, masks are optional. 
    • When Centre County is at High Level, masks will be highly recommended.


    District wide mask mandates will only be considered if also enacted by local municipalities. However, there could be special circumstances like large gatherings where masks could be mandatory at certain Levels. 

    As always, we will closely monitor possible transmission at the classroom, grade, or school levels. If three or more COVID positive cases that are connected as close contacts in time and space occur in the same classroom, grade, or school, we would consider temporary mandatory masking on a case-by-case basis. Masks will be optional outdoors at all community levels. Additionally, we will provide opportunities for students to eat lunch and have class outdoors whenever possible, maximize airflow in all of our buildings and continue reporting of COVID-19 cases. 

    Another important item to note is that the board approved a motion for public review of the final updated 2021-2024 Strategic and Comprehensive Plans. Through numerous meetings with stakeholders consisting of Board members, administrators, teachers, other district personnel, students, parents, and representatives from business and the community, the district has completed updating the strategic plans. The plans consist of: 

    • Vision of a SCASD graduate
    • Goals for Student Success
    • Measures of Student Progress
    • Four Pillars to accomplish our goals for student success
    • Using professional practices — teaching, leadership, and organization
    • Strategic mapping — setting priorities and key actions


    These plans will guide the district forward using the goals and related actions to meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) “
    Comprehensive Planning” requirements. Per PDE requirements, the documents will be posted for public review before the plan is on the board agenda for final approval on Aug. 29. More information can be found on our strategic planning website.

    As we continue our planning this summer, one thing is for sure, we can’t wait to welcome back our students on the first day of school, Aug. 23. 

    Sincerely,

    Curtis Johnson
    Interim Superintendent


    July 18, 2022

    Student Initiative for Family Safety

    Dear SCASD community, 

    I’m reaching out to bring you some important safety information as we all enjoy summer break with our families. Over the past year, a group of SCASD high school students has worked to build a public awareness campaign regarding the importance of safely storing firearms, particularly in homes where children or teens are present.

    Below is a story about their efforts, their success involving various government officials and community members, and the important information they seek to share with the community. Please read the letter we have attached from these students to the community as well. We are so impressed with their dedication, persistence, and care for our community. 

    Recently, the Centre County Commissioners unanimously approved a Proclamation on Safe and Secure Firearm Storage, with the goal of sharing this information throughout our community.  “As much as we cherish our right to possess guns, we also have the responsibility to keep everybody safe and one of the simplest ways is to make sure they [firearms] are secure,” Commissioner Steve Dershem said. 

    Additionally, local law enforcement police chiefs and Centre County Sheriff Bryan Sampsel have shared with our school leaders how families can help keep kids safe from firearm injury or death by taking simple steps to store firearms safely

    As local school leaders, we are so grateful for the advocacy of SCASD students to raise awareness about the importance of safe firearm storage, including their work to bring together community leaders, law enforcement, and health care providers throughout the region to share what they know about this issue. 

    For more information about this issue, please visit BeSMART for Kids and Project ChildSafe

    Sincerely,

    Amber Concepcion
    Board President 
    State College Area School District 

    SCASD Students Advocate for Safe Gun Storage
     

    One afternoon in May, a notable collection of individuals gathered at State High. 

    Local police chiefs and school district superintendents joined two Centre County Commissioners, the Centre County coroner, State College Area School District administrators, and the school board leadership — all there because of one student committee’s efforts to protect children from gun violence.

    Started by Delta Program high school students, the State College Area School District chapter of the national Students Demand Action organization discussed its initiative to share safe firearm storage practices with district families via a letter and an informational graphic. Their presentation met with approval from the audience members, who offered encouragement and suggestions. Everyone in attendance agreed on the importance of ensuring all families in Centre County understand how to store firearms safely, and the group committed to working together to communicate safe storage practices. 

    Weeks later, the county commissioners formally signed on to the cause by issuing a proclamation urging safe firearm storage in homes.

    “I was very proud of the work we were able to do, and all the people in the community who worked to make this a reality,” said junior Lilly Frank, the chapter’s co-president with Grace Myersmith.

    Troubling statistics spurred them and chapter members Lorelai Radzanowski and Maya Dombroskie to act. Each year, 350 children under 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else each year, and almost 700 children annually die by gun suicide. 

    On the other hand, safe firearm storage practices have been shown to reduce the risk of self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries by up to 85 percent.

    “You see, at the state and national level, there’s a huge risk of not only unintentional shootings, but also teen suicides,” Frank said. “Having secure firearm storage is really important for child safety at home.”

    Other facts that make this such a critical issue for our community:

    • Firearms are a leading cause of death for children in the US under the age of 18. 

    • Accidental child shootings and suicides by firearm are a significant risk for children and teens, and such tragic events are most likely to occur when children are home, such as summer or school holidays. 

    • Children are usually the victims of unintentional shootings by children — in 91% of unintentional shootings by children, another child is the victim.

    Sadly, SCASD’s Students Demand Action chapter notes, our community has experienced the realities of these statistics. Chapter members endorse the gun safety recommendations from the national Be Smart for Kids organization:

    • Unload: Remove all ammunition from the firearm, including removing any chambered rounds.

    • Lock: Secure guns with a firearm locking device, such as a jacket lock, or in a locked location, like a safe or lockbox.

    • Separate: Store ammunition in a secure location separate from the firearm.

    Free gun locks and safety kits are available at local law enforcement offices (including State College, Patton Township, and Ferguson Township police departments), VFWs, American Legions, senior centers, gun stores, and the county sheriff’s office.

    “If anyone needs one, stop by,” Centre County Sheriff Bryan Sampsel said.

    Frank's interest in firearm safety began in eighth grade and was inspired by the occurrence of school shootings. In particular, the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida prompted her to look into starting a Students Demand Action chapter. But once she learned only high school students could do so, she had to wait. The pandemic delayed her further in ninth grade, but by March of 2021, the chapter finally began with English teacher Amy Allison as its advisor.

    After discussing approaches toward sharing safe firearm storage practices as a community service, the students decided a letter to district families would be the best way to reach parents and guardians. Last year, they made presentations at school and to the SCASD Board of Directors, steadily gaining traction and supportive allies within the community. 

    Frank hopes that, eventually, families will receive the chapter’s safe storage letter before the school year starts as a reminder.

    “It’s important that we build a legacy with this resolution that will go beyond our high school experience, that we make sure it’s sent out every year and isn’t pushed to the back burner,” she said. “This can do a lot of good in the community and really decrease the rate of firearm injuries and deaths.” 

    By Chris Rosenblum, SCASD Director of Communications


    July 5, 2022

    Subject: SCASD Equity Update Newsletter

    Dear SCASD Community, 

    As our school district has closed out the 2021-2022 school year and is currently preparing for the fall, we would like to share an update about our Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) efforts to date. 

    As educators, our role includes so many important responsibilities with caring for and educating students. Our school district desires for all students to have what they need for future success.  

    Our DEI efforts over the past year, summarized in the 2021-2022 Equity Update Newsletter, have fit squarely into our strategic priorities for providing meaningful learning experiences and welcoming environments for all students, but we must do much more.

    Our hope in providing this comprehensive equity update is to continue to work collaboratively with you, our community, in these efforts. We want to ensure that a SCASD student’s identity and circumstances do not dictate their potential for success. 

    In the coming year, our equity efforts will be embedded in our strategic plan. We look forward to a new school year and wish you the best for the remainder of the summer. 

    Sincerely,

    Seria Chatters, Director of Equity and Inclusivity
    Bob O’Donnell, Superintendent of Schools

Last Modified Yesterday at 11:07 AM