March 25, 2020
Dear Parent, Guardian, or Community Member,
On Monday, Governor Wolf announced that schools would be closed for “two more weeks” but then Secretary Rivera said that schools would be closed through April 6th, teachers and school staff would have two days to get ready for students to come on the third day. Though this may have caused confusion, LASD is using the Secretary’s timeline and planning that school buildings will be closed through Monday, April 6th. School staff will return on Tuesday, April 7th and work their normal work day on the 7th and 8th. April 9th was a scheduled snow make up day associated with a Spring Break. We are going to use this day for continued building preparation and students will return Tuesday, April 14th should the closure not be further extended.
Given the school closure has been extended, District leadership met yesterday to develop a Continuity of Education Plan. The purpose of this plan is to the extent possible, deliver content and provide opportunities for teachers and students to regularly make contact. The elements of this plan include:
- Content is to be a combination of the remaining essential curricular standards and enrichment activities.
- Learning activities should not require students to return to school buildings for folders, binders, other materials with the exception of technology that may have been left there.
Because iPads at Linntown do not go home with fourth graders and have specific classroom applications, the Linntown foyer will be open tomorrow, Thursday, March 26th from 9-11:00 am and from 2-5:00 pm for parents to sign out an iPad for their student.
- It is expected that provided learning activities be completed and returned. How they are returned will be determined by your student’s teacher(s). For purposes of equity, the work will not be graded, but teachers understand that they are to review the completed work and provide students feedback.
- Secondary teachers will be available for “office hours” Monday through Friday from 10:00 am – noon via Google Classroom, Moodle, or another platform.
- In addition to the daily office hours, secondary teachers will have Flex/Advisory/Homeroom meetings with students for the sole purpose of supporting them socially and emotionally on Wednesdays from 9:30 – 10:00 am. Teachers will be reaching out to students with the method by which this will be done.
- Secondary counselors, social workers, and special education teachers will be available for daily “office hours” from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. We have offset this time by one hour so that should students request support services they can do so without completely overlapping time available to meet with their classroom teachers.
- Elementary teachers will likewise be expected to be available to students two hours per day (“office hours”) and one additional half-hour time period weekly (i.e. “morning meeting”). It is thought that elementary students are going to need additional parent support when connecting with their teachers or completing work provided and many parents may be at work during the day. Therefore, teachers will be reaching out to students and their parents to share how and when they will be available.
- Elementary counselors, like their teaching peers, will establish daily “office hours” whereby students and families can reliably contact them.
- Elementary teachers will work in grade groups to develop weekly packets of learning and enrichment activities. Music, art, physical education, and librarians are encouraged to contribute materials to the packets. “Packets” composed of links, pdfs, and/or video links, will be posted on the District website each Monday morning. For those without internet access or the inability to print activities, a small number of printed packets will be available at school lunch distribution sites.
- Elementary social workers and special education teachers are to stay in contact with students and families on their caseload to understand how best to support them and keeping in close contact with your student’s building principal and teachers regarding that support.
Back when the District introduced its One-to-One program providing laptops to secondary students, it did a survey of devices and Internet connectivity in individual student homes. It’s been several years since that information was collected and we would like to update it. Please take the time and complete a quick survey located at:
This is new to everyone, including your teachers who are eager to reconnect with their students. And because this is unchartered waters, I fully expect this is not going to go smoothly the first week but with your patience and feedback, it will be done better the second week, and each week as long as the school closure continues.