State College Area School District 2020-2021 school year information
This fall, we will offer two options for learning: in-school instruction and our Virtual Academy. Right now, we are asking parents and guardians to choose between the options via a form in the Home Access Center (HAC). You will be able to select individual options for each student in your household. The window for making your choice is from July 10-20.
We understand that you face important decisions, so to help, our educational model team has prepared websites of our in-school and Virtual Academy models for the elementary and secondary levels. The websites go into specific details of our educational models. Our hope is that these, combined with our Health and Safety Plan which was approved by our Board July 6, will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Please know that for both options, we are committed to providing substantive and rewarding educational experiences this fall while keeping students, faculty, and staff safe.
Additionally, we have developed a parent and guardian Q&A to help provide you with as much information as possible.
Once you make your selection, you will be able to change it during the enrollment period through July 20. When it comes to shifting your choice beyond the July 20 deadline, we will try to be as accommodating as possible based on staffing and classroom capacity. Should you want to switch or have extenuating circumstances, please contact your child’s principal, as we will be managing individual cases at the school level.
If you decide on the in-school option for a student, you then will be directed to opt in or out with bus transportation. This information will be crucial for us. So that we can maintain 6-foot social distancing among students and other safety measures, our bus capacity must be reduced drastically. In turn, this means we will need many parents and guardians to provide transportation. The reality is, in order to avoid staggering routes and possibly restructuring the school day, we must have at least 60 percent of families who previously used district transportation either opt out of busing or choose the Virtual Academy. Therefore, we’re requesting that if you can provide transportation, please choose the “Parent Provided” option. So you know, we intend to expand the drop-off/pick-up time windows to give you more flexibility.
Finally, I don’t think any of us could have ever imagined being in this position. It’s unfortunate on so many levels, and definitely something I wish we didn’t face. But for the safety of our schools and community, we have established protocols we believe are necessary, and to abide by them, we must make these adjustments for the greater good. That said, we want to provide the best possible educational experiences for our students under the circumstances, and that’s why our educational model team has put countless hours into developing these choices for the fall. Whichever option you choose, your child will have robust and valuable educational opportunities. Please know that you are never alone in our district; our teachers, staff, administrators, counselors and everyone involved will be here to support every student throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
Superintendent of Schools
The video below was released on July 2. To help you better understand the safety measures in store for the 2020-2021 school year, we have created this video in which Director of Student Services Jeanne Knouse, Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik and Superintendent Bob O'Donnell give overviews of our Health and Safety Plan and address your questions as best we can at this point. Central to our plans for in-school instruction, we will maintain social distancing at six feet, and faculty, staff, and students will wear masks.
The final plan was approved by the Board of Directors, as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, on July 6. View the Health and Safety Plan
Though the video focuses on proposed health and safety protocols, it touches upon aspects of the elementary and secondary educational models being developed for next year. This week, we will provide an update with more details about the learning experiences we anticipate for our students. On July 10, you will receive a survey asking you to choose between in-school instruction and our Virtual Academy for your child or each of your children. This information will be crucial for much of our planning and the survey will be open until July 20.
Meals are being provided weekly each Wednesday for all children under the age of 18 while schools are closed. Please click here for details.
If you are not receiving our district emails, please call our IT Support office at 814-231-7743 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Free Wi-Fi Access
The district is now offering free public Wi-Fi Internet access in the parking lots at three locations: Panorama Village Administrative Center, Gray's Woods Elementary School and Ferguson Township Elementary School. Click here for details.
Questions and Concerns
If you have questions or concerns, please contact your building principal.