District Level Communication

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 30, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians: 

Governor Wolf announced today that all Pennsylvania schools are “closed until further notice.” This means we no longer have a target date for reopening our schools this school year. While it may still be possible that we receive direction to reopen, we are also preparing for the possibility that our schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year. 

We will continue to provide “continuity of education” -- enrichment and review. Elementary assignments will be posted to our website each week and secondary assignments will be sent to student email addresses by individual teachers. Students are encouraged to participate as much as possible. They may earn credit for participating, but they will not be penalized if they are unable to complete assignments. 

Our goal is to work toward “planned instruction” for all students, especially now that school is closed until further notice. Our plan is to start this for students in grades 9-12 first. If we implement planned instruction, this means students in grades 9-12 will be required to complete their assignments from home. The goal is to keep our high school students on track with their coursework and ultimately, enable our seniors to graduate this year.

Once we have implemented planned instruction in grades 9-12 we will be working on implementing planned instruction for additional grade levels. We will keep families updated when we begin to transition from “enrichment and review” to “planned instruction.”

In order to best meet the needs of our students during this school closure, our teachers are using various resources and platforms to offer instruction and support. This includes the use of Google Classroom as a way to facilitate the creation of classes, post assignments, and organize information for students. 

Please note that through this program, all students participating will be able to see each other’s names and student email address. If you are not comfortable with your child being added to a Google Classroom, please reach out to your child’s teacher/s to review other options of program delivery.  

Please take a minute to review our full confidentiality agreement, which is posted here: https://www.basdk12.org/Content2/1654.

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility. 


Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 27, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians:

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania updated the “School Code” to provide more direction as well as flexibility to Pennsylvania’s public schools. The updates include suspending the 180 day requirement for the 2019-2020 school year. It also mandates that we provide a “continuity of education” plan.  

So what does this mean for the Butler Area School District? 

The state has given school districts two options for providing the mandated “continuity of education.” One option is “planned instruction” and the other option is “enrichment and review.”

Butler Area School District is proceeding with “enrichment and review” for all students.  We will continue to provide learning opportunities for all students. Although they are not mandatory, we  strongly encourage students to participate in as many of the learning opportunities as possible. 

We know this situation has been extremely difficult. Ultimately, it is up to parents to determine what level of participation is appropriate for their children. 

Will this impact my child’s grade? 

Students who are unable to participate in the learning opportunities will not be penalized.  Those who do participate will be able to earn credit to improve their grades.  

The third grading period will now close on April 9, 2020. 

What about high school students? Will they earn credit? Will seniors graduate? 

We hope to keep our seniors on schedule for graduation and will do everything we can to accomplish that.  We also want to make sure all of our high school students earn the credits they need. It may mean that we move to “planned instruction” for students in grades 9-12 at some point in the future. More details about what that means will be shared if/when that occurs. In the meantime, I strongly encourage all secondary students to take advantage of this opportunity to raise your grades and make sure you have earned all required credits.

What about if my child receives Special Education Services?    

If your child is a student that receives Special Education Services, the supports reviewed by your child’s IEP team this past week will be implemented to the greatest extent possible, if you choose to participate.  If your family chooses to opt out of these supports, upon our return to a typical school program, your child’s IEP team will reconvene to establish a plan to address any skills that may have been lost during the closure.  

Are we returning to school this year? 

I know many of us are hopeful that we will get to return to school. However, for many families, that may not be what you prefer.  If we are able to return to school this year, we will also maintain a remote learning/online option for families that would prefer to finish out the year at home. 

Much of this is just planning for various possible solutions. As of today, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania said that our students may return to school on April 9th. However, since we received that information, we have been told to prepare for the possibility of an extended closure, though nothing official has been determined. I will continue to share any updates I receive with our community. 

Will this extended closure impact next school year?

I am also working on revising next year’s school calendar (2020-2021) to increase the number of student instructional days with the goal of providing additional instructional time. I believe this is the best way for most of our students to make up some of the instruction lost due to this closure.

Will you tell us if people within our district have been diagnosed with COVID-19?

I have received questions asking about COVID-19 cases and requests for information. I understand this is concerning for all of us. However, the district does not receive privileged medical information unless a parent/guardian or an employee informs us.  Even then, we don’t always get documentation to support reports of medical issues. 

What if I have a question about a COVID-19 case or the possibility of exposure?

Should you have a concern or hear a rumor, you should contact  Butler County at 724-431-0982. That number is the general information line for citizens to call regarding COVID-19  The hours are currently 8:30 am-4:30 pm Monday thru Friday. 

As always, thank you for your continued patience and support. 

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

 

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 25

Good Evening,

Yesterday, two of our school police officers were potentially exposed to COVID-19 (coronavirus).  The officers were delivering a device to a family that was in need of technology. During the interaction, the parent indicated that a child in the home was presumptive positive for Coronavirus. The officers were wearing face masks and gloves during the delivery. In an abundance of caution, the officers were placed on administrative leave for 14 days. Neither officer has exhibited any symptoms. 

Each day, all of our school police officers and cafeteria workers are screened by our school nurses. This process will continue. Our police officers, workers and custodial staff are performing a critical task of providing food to our students.  We are now serving 1,300 students, which equates to approximately 18,000 meals per week.

I respectfully request that families do not directly interact with our police officers, especially if somebody in the home is ill. They will continue to leave the food at the front door. If somebody in your home has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus), we would sincerely appreciate it if you would let your child’s principal know. We will not stop meal delivery to your home. However, being fully aware of the situation will help protect our police officers. As more people lose their jobs or are unable to work during this situation, the number of children we need to feed grows.  Please don’t do anything that would jeopardize this resource to our families.

Sincerely,

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 23

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

I hope you and your family are well.  I want to thank you upfront for your flexibility and patience with us as we move to flexible instruction/remote learning.  As of this afternoon, Governor Wolf has extended the school closure through April 9, 2020 for students. Given this information, we will continue with our flexible instruction/remote learning plan. 

We know that remote learning will not be a great way to learn for all students.  Please know that we are doing our best. We know you are as well. Each family's ability to support their children is different. We recognize that. 

Our goal is to help all of our students. This week, our special education teachers will reach out to each of their students/families to talk through how we can best support these students while they are learning remotely.  Updates specific to special education will be posted on our website here: https://www.basdk12.org/Content2/1620

Our regular education teachers have also been working on developing strategies to support students remotely. As a reminder, you can find our enrichment opportunities here: https://www.basdk12.org/Content2/1626

Despite all of these efforts, we understand that each student may have different levels of success during the closure. Therefore, when we return to school, some students may need additional academic support, which we intend to provide.  For other students, additional learning opportunities will be made available this summer. At this point, we are providing a program to all knowing that in the future, we will need to develop individualized plans for our students.

As we move forward, our communication strategy will change.  I will continue to send updates on major announcements, such as the Governor extending or ending the school closures. However, I will not send a daily update. The regular updates will be more focused on the needs of our students by grade level. Our building principals will coordinate this communication. 

Thank you all for your continued patience and flexibility. 

 

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

 

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 20

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

Our faculty and administrators have been working hard this week to figure out how to provide flexible instruction/remote learning to all students. With about 6,500 students districtwide who all have different needs, this is not an easy task. However, I really want to keep us on track to allow our seniors to graduate on time, if at all possible. This plan will hopefully allow us to do that. 

Here is what to expect for next week and beyond.

Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24

  • Students (or parents) should select any three activities from the Student Learning Enrichment Activities List to complete each day.  Click to view the list>
  • List these activities on the BASD Tracking Calendar, sign the bottom and hang on to it. This will be turned in at a later date. Click to download the tracking calendar>
  • Don’t forget to listen to Butler Radio Network at 9 am (grades 7-12) and 9:30 am (grades K-6). This can be one of your activities each day! 
  • Review the Tips for Getting Ready for Remote Learning 

Wednesday, March 25, Thursday, March 26 and Friday, March 27

  • All parents will receive an email regarding specific assignments for your child to complete. IHS and SHS students will also receive an email with this information. 
  • These assignments will use the class materials that were sent home on March 12. Students will not be required to access online resources at this time. 
  • Each teacher will communicate when they will be holding “office hours” and share a link. During the office hours window, teachers will be online to answer questions and assist students and families. 

Monday, March 30 and Beyond

  • All parents will receive an assignment email each week. Secondary students will also receive an email. 
  • Assignments may or may not utilize online resources. 
  • Each teacher will communicate when they will be holding “office hours” and share a link. During the office hours window, teachers will be online to answer questions and assist students and families. 

We are making a plan to connect families in need with devices and hotspots. This will occur throughout next week. Our goal is to work with our families and not penalize students if they are unable to complete their assigned work. If your child is not able to complete an assignment, please reach out to his or her teacher and make them aware of your situation. 

We designed our plan to serve as many students as possible. However, we know we will have to make adjustments and accommodations to reach every child. As we move forward, we are prepared to make adjustments as needed. My hope is that we can all work together to make the best of this situation.

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 19, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Just a week ago life was pretty normal. Today I’m dizzy from how much has changed.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education has sent a lot of information out to school districts.  Some of their guidelines and instructions are still not clear, however we are making plans to move forward with the information that we do have. 

This week, our teachers have been participating in professional development related to teaching remotely. I really appreciate their willingness to jump in, collaborate and learn together.

Next week, I hope to begin the process of transitioning to flexible instruction/remote learning.  I realize that all of our students have their own unique situations and not everyone has digital technology or access to the internet. We are working to find ways to fill those gaps.

As we transition into a flexible instruction/remote learning platform, we will be using a variety of methods to deliver instruction. I anticipate sharing more details tomorrow, but I do want to make you aware that starting on Monday, March 23, Butler Area School District will be partnering with Butler Radio to provide information and instruction to our students and families.  We will have a daily teacher-led broadcast from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for all secondary students in grades 7-12 and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for all elementary students in grades K-6. You will be able to access the broadcast on WISR AM 680 or through the internet at https://butlerradio.com (choose the “Listen Now” tab and select WISR AM 680). 

Butler Area School District 
On Butler Radio Network
Weekdays at 9:00 am (grades 7-12) and 9:30 am (grades K-6)
WISR AM 680
https://butlerradio.com
(choose the “Listen Now” tab and select WISR AM 680)

I want to thank Butler Radio Network for their willingness to partner with our school district to provide this opportunity to our students. 

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

Enrichment Learning -- March 18, 2020

Butler Area School District
Student Learning Enrichment Activities

 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our faculty has been busy creating a list of options for student learning activities that will help keep students engaged during our school closure. These activities can also help prepare students for the possibility of flexible instruction/remote learning. They are not required. These are enrichment resources for families to explore.

The links below will take you to sites targeted at each subject area. We have included both online and offline options.

If we do begin flexible instruction/remote learning, it will be extremely important to establish structure and routine as soon as possible. Some thoughts and tips include:

  • Identify a space, such as a dining room table, that could become the study space. It is beneficial to make this space different from a bedroom or other location with distractions.
  • Develop a structured schedule for school work. This structure will begin to form a routine.
  • Eliminate other distractions, such as cell phones and television, from the environment.
  • Ensure some “brain breaks” and exercise opportunities within the work times. The balance of mind and body will be especially important given the stress and anxiety. 
  • Reinforce the importance of consistency in sleep patterns. We want to avoid “summer mode” when some students stay up very late and then “sleep until noon.” 
  • Stay focused on the learning. Students can take this opportunity to learn more about things that interest them. It is rare to have such flexibility to really focus on personal areas of interest and study. This is a great chance to do so! 

 

Click the link for access to student learning enrichment activities. 
We will continue to add additional resources to these pages.

Math

ELA/English
Science
Social Studies
Special Area
(Art, Music, PE, Health, World Languages, Guidance, Library, STEAM, Family Consumer Science)
Special Education Resources

We hope you find these activities helpful!

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

 

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 17, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

I want to extend my appreciation to our school community. Often in the face of a difficult situation, you see the very best in people. This is especially true of our Butler community.

Many of our school district employees have contributed to helping us support students and families during this uncertain time. These people have stepped up and taken on roles outside of their traditional job assignments. I’m  grateful for their commitment to supporting our students by any means necessary.

We have also had many offers from people who are willing to volunteer to help. At this time, we do not currently need volunteers. However, that could change at any time. If you would be willing to volunteer in the event that we need extra help to support our students and their families, please complete our volunteer form. We will contact you if we need your help. 

Volunteer form: https://www.basdk12.org/Content2/1616

Thank you to everyone for pulling together and helping our community through this unprecedented time. 

I have also received a few questions about events, activities, athletics and meetings. At this time, everything that was scheduled to take place between now and Sunday, March 29 has been canceled or postponed. 

I have also been asked if we are going to cancel all events through the remainder of the school year. At this time, my answer is no, we are not going to do that. At least not yet. 

The end of the year includes so many special events for our students. Today, I'm going to hold on to hope that it may be possible for us to move forward with some of them. Therefore, at this time, we will only be making decisions about whether or not to cancel events a week or two ahead of time unless directed otherwise by Governor Wolf’s Office, the Pennsylvania Department of Health or the Pennsylvania Department of Education. More information about events can be found here: https://www.basdk12.org/Content2/1618

Currently, our teachers are participating in professional development related to Google Classroom. Some have populated lessons as part of their planning. Please remember, even if you see your child’s teacher posting assignments in Google Classroom, they are not required at this time. We are not currently participating in any flexible instruction/remote learning for students. If that changes, we will let you know.

I have tried to be open in all of my communication and we continue to add information and resources here: https://www.basdk12.org/administration/covid19

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to digital communication, so some of our families do not have all of the information that we have sent out. We will be sending a call out to all families tonight to let them know that students still do not have school and have not yet been assigned any school work. I apologize if this is redundant for you. 

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility. 

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 16, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

At this point, all of our school buildings are closed and will no longer be accessible through Friday, March 27. I would like to thank everyone who came to pick up materials, medications and personal belongings for their cooperation today. We were able to do this quickly and effectively in all of our buildings thanks to the organization of our staff and the cooperation of our families.

This week our faculty is participating in online professional development in preparation for the potential to implement Flexible Instructional Days/Remote Learning.

So why haven't we just jumped into Flexible Instructional Days?

When we applied to be authorized to use Flexible Instructional Days, we envisioned having a day here or there most likely in response to inclement weather. Having an extended period of Flexible Instructional Days/Remote Learning is very different than what we originally imagined.   

In addition, as we understand it, PDE is allowing -- but not requiring -- districts to provide continuity of education at this time. However, if we do decide to engage in flexible instruction/remote learning, we must be able to ensure full access to learning for all students. This includes ensuring that students with disabilities have equal access and that we are able to provide any special education and related services that are defined in a student’s IEP or Section 504 plan.

We are working through this and asking for clarity from the state. As we receive more information and determine our capability, we will make a decision about whether or not to  implement flexible instruction/remote learning next week.


Food Service Meals

We already have 903 children signed up for meals.  All Butler Area School District students are able to order breakfast and lunch during our school closure. We will be prepared to provide a meal for each student signed up though the entire closure. You only need to sign up once and your child will continue to receive meals each day through the remainder of the closure. 

Meals can be picked up at either the Center Avenue Community School or the Emily Brittain Community Partnership and Demonstration School between 11 am and 1 pm. If needed, we will also deliver.

Please note, all the meals are free to any Butler Area School District student and any other person under the age of 18.  You do not have to be on free or reduced lunch to receive a meal.  This is open to all.

Sign up: https://forms.gle/Xf2NtW4fBMCUhQXU8

I hope you and your family stay safe and well. Thank you for your continued patience and support. 

Sincerely,

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

BASD Medication, Textbook & Personal Belonging Pickup -- March 15

Dear Parents and Guardians:

All of our schools will be accessible for parents or students to pick up any personal belongings, including medications and textbooks, on Monday, March 16 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.

As a reminder, our school district is closed. Staff will direct you to your child’s classroom, locker or school nurse's office to pick up any necessary items. However, staff will not be available for informal meetings or to answer questions in person during this time.

Medication, Textbook and Personal Belonging Pick-up
If your child keeps medication at school or has personal belongings that he or she needs during the school closure, you may pick it up on Monday.

If your child was absent or had an early dismissal on Thursday, March 12, 2020, please go to your child’s school to pick up their textbooks on Monday if at all possible. If it is not possible for you to pick up your child’s textbooks, we will look at alternative ways to get them to you in the near future. We want all students to have their textbooks at home so that we are prepared if the Pennsylvania Department of Education allows us or directs us to begin Flexible Instructional Days/Remote Learning.

Here are the materials that students should have at home:

Grade/Level

Materials to be sent home:

Secondary Students (7-12)

Materials, such as textbooks, needed for each class. 

Middle School (5-6)

Math Journal

ELA Close Reader

Social Studies book

Grades 2-4

Math Journal

ELA Hardback book

ELA Student Notebook

Grade 1

Math Journal for Chapter 10

ELA Decodable Reader

ELA Readers Notebook

Kindergarten

Math Journal for Chapter 11

ELA Readers Notebook

ELA Hardback book

Student Email (Grades 7-12) and Clever (Grades K-6) Logins
If your child did not receive his or her login information on Thursday, March 12, we are working on a way to get that information to students who need it.

Meals
We have been approved by the state to continue food service for all Butler Area School District students during our closure. If your child (or children) need breakfast and lunch, please click the link below to complete the order form. You will have the option to pick up the food at either Center Avenue Community School or Emily Brittain Community Partnership and Demonstration School. If you are unable to pick up food for your children, delivery is an option.

Food service order form: https://forms.gle/Xf2NtW4fBMCUhQXU8

Meal Order Deadlines
Please sign up using the food service order form by 9 pm in order to pick up food for the next day. You only need to sign up once and your child’s breakfast and lunch will be ready for pick up every day (Monday-Friday) through the remainder of the closure.

If you need food to be delivered, please sign up by noon the day before to ensure we are able to fit your home into our route and delivery schedule. Once again, you only need to sign up one time and your child’s breakfast and lunch will be delivered each day (Monday-Friday) for the remainder of the closure.

Social Distancing
All employees who have to report to work have been asked to follow the social distancing recommendations provided by the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We expect all parents and students to comply with the social distancing guidelines and directives when picking up items from school and/or picking up meals.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Sincerely,

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 14, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

I want to thank you for your continued patience and support during this unprecedented situation. We have received many questions about the details of our school closure. Will these days have to be made up? How will this impact our seniors? Will events be rescheduled or canceled completely? Is flexible instruction/remote learning still a possibility? How long will this closure last? 

All of these questions are valid. However, most of this is beyond our control at this point. We are working quickly to get as much clarity from the state as possible. In the meantime, we are taking this situation one day at a time and will continue to make decisions with the information we have available and the best interest of our school community in mind. 

Right now, the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and community is the priority. My immediate focus is on ensuring our school community has the necessary resources during this time. 

Did you know 44% of our students are eligible for free and reduced lunch? Of that population, several hundred children depend on our schools for breakfast and lunch. Some participate in our free dinner program and even take a backpack full of food home on the weekend. 

We have been approved by the state to continue food service for all Butler Area School District students during our closure. If your child (or children) need breakfast and lunch, please click the link below to complete the order form. You will have the option to pick up the food at either Center Avenue Community School or Emily Brittain Community Partnership and Demonstration School. If you are unable to pick up food for your children, delivery is an option. At the end of the day, we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that our children are not hungry during this school closure. 

Food service order form: https://forms.gle/Xf2NtW4fBMCUhQXU8 

We will also be able to continue the Kids’ Weekend Backpack Program as of this Friday, March 20. More information will be shared directly with those families. 

In addition, I have been informed of several other resources that may become available in our community. For some of our families, loss of wages during this time will be devastating. PA 2-1-1 Southwest has many resources available for those in need. To contact PA 2-1-1 Southwest, dial 2‑1‑1 or 1‑888‑553‑5778 or visit their website: http://pa211sw.org/.

Several parents have asked about picking up their child’s personal belongings, including medication, from school. All of our schools will be open for parents or students to pick up any personal belongings on Monday, March 16 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. 

I have sent a lot of communications regarding the coronavirus and its impact on our operations. I haven't really spoken about the impact on our students. On Thursday, I had the chance to stop in to rehearsal for our musical. It was excellent. I also had the unfortunate task of sharing with our students that the musical would most likely be delayed, because we were being asked to cancel mass gatherings. It was very emotional.  Watching students who have worked so hard for months suddenly being told the show won’t go on as planned was tough. I am sure that many of our students are experiencing these same feelings as they relate to their academics, athletics, arts and activities. At this point, all I can say is that I am sorry. I hope some normalcy returns soon so we can try to reschedule these very special opportunities.

Finally, I encourage everyone to think about how you are talking to your children about COVID-19.  The Child Mind Institute has provided some excellent thoughts for parents to consider throughout this crisis.  I have included the article from the Child Mind Institute below my letter.

We have created a section on our website dedicated to communication about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and how it is impacting our school community. Right now we are closed. However, if we get approval and move to flexible instruction/remote learning during our closure, assignments and other information will be shared on this website. You can also find all of our district level communication, the food service order form, and resources such as 2-1-1 and how to talk to your child about COVID-19 on the website

http://www.basdk12.org/administration/110 

I want to thank you all once again for your support, patience and flexibility during this time. The Butler community is truly remarkable. 

 

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

 

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 13, 2020 (9:00 pm)

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

As we were announcing our plans for the next two weeks based on information we received from the state earlier today, Governor Wolf made the decision to close all K-12 schools for a two week period. 

Governor Wolf has stated that only essential personnel may report to work during the next two weeks. Given this development, we will be unable to deliver flexible instruction to our students. 

At this time, school will be closed from Monday, March 16 - Friday, March 27. Effective as of noon on Saturday, March 14, ALL activities, athletics and events at Butler Area School District are canceled and all facilities are closed to the general public. Please note the SAT scheduled for Saturday morning will still take place. 

We are in the process of making plans to

ontinue food service for our students in need. More information on that is forthcoming.  We will continue to work this evening and through the weekend make plans.

Thank you for your continued patience.

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 13, 2020 (4:00 pm)

Dear Parents and Guardians:

As we were announcing our plans for the next two weeks based on information we received from the state earlier today, Governor Wolf made the decision to close all K-12 schools for a two week period. 

His announcement is below. 

March 13, 2020

Governor Wolf Announces Closure of Pennsylvania Schools

Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16. The administration has been working with school districts as well as state and local officials to gather input on this decision. The Wolf Administration will continue to monitor Covid-19 in the commonwealth, and at the end of 10 days will reevaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed.

Governor Wolf made the following statement:

We understand that these are trying times and recognize the impact of the coronavirus on our students and communities.

First and foremost, my top priority as governor – and that of our education leaders – must be to ensure the health and safety of our students and school communities.

As such, I am ordering that all schools in the commonwealth close for the next two weeks.

Be aware that no school district will be penalized if it fails to meet the 180 day or school hours requirements.

The Department of Education will work with intermediate units and other stakeholders to support school districts with any continuity of learning plans they may be pursuing.

Also, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced today that it received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow eligible schools to serve meals to low income students in a non-congregate setting, such as a drive-through or grab and go, during this closure. We will also work with schools to assist them with those plans.

We appreciate your collaboration as we work together to deal with this difficult issue.

This means that our schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 - Friday, March 27. Our previous plans to provide flexible instruction/remote learning are no longer relevant at this time. We will continue to monitor direction from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and keep you informed. 

Thank you for your patience as we work through this situation. 

 

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent

Butler Area School District

 

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 13, 2020 (3:00 pm)

** Please note this message is no longer relevant given updated guidance from Governor Wolf. **

Dear Parents and Guardians:

We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation and the impacts it will have on our schools. This morning, our administrators participated in a webinar with the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Health. We have also been collaborating with our local health care professionals. 

At this point, we have been advised to limit large gatherings of 250 people or more in one place. For our secondary schools, a typical lunch period includes 500 people in a cafeteria. The state has also recommended "social distancing" and limiting unnecessary gatherings of people whenever possible. 

In light of this information, we have designated Monday, March 16 as an ACT 80 Day. This means our faculty and staff will report to school, but our students will NOT have school on Monday. On Monday, our faculty will continue to plan for flexible instruction and remote learning for our students. 

On Tuesday, March 17, we will begin using Flexible Instructional Days (FID) for the remainder of next two weeks. This means:

Monday, March 16

Act 80 Day -- No School for Students

Tuesday, March 17

Flexible Instructional Day/Remote Learning

Wednesday, March 18

Flexible Instructional Day/Remote Learning

Thursday, March 19

Flexible Instructional Day/Remote Learning

Friday, March 20

Flexible Instructional Day/Remote Learning

Monday, March 23

Flexible Instructional Day/Remote Learning

Tuesday, March 24

Flexible Instructional Day/Remote Learning

Wednesday, March 25

Flexible Instructional Day/Remote Learning

Thursday, March 26

Flexible Instructional Day/Remote Learning

Friday, March 27

Flexible Instructional Day/Remote Learning

 

On Wednesday, March 25, we will assess where we are, review all recommendations from our local health care professionals and make a decision on how to proceed for the following week. 

Please be aware, this is not a “school closure.” Our faculty will continue to plan lessons and be available during school hours while students continue to learn at home. 

Effective as of noon on Saturday, March 14, ALL activities and events at Butler Area School District are canceled and all facilities are closed to the general public.

All employees will receive a communication over the course of this weekend. Please be patient as you wait for that correspondence.

We will continue to communicate with you and keep you up to date. 

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent

Butler Area School District

 

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

As we continue to work out the logistics of possible contingency plans, we have received many questions regarding whether or not we plan to close our schools in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Just this afternoon, Governor Wolf closed all K-12 schools in Montgomery County. However, no such directive or recommendation has been made for Butler County. At this point, we do not have the authority to close our schools due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) without direction from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Secretary of Education will be addressing all school superintendents on Friday via a webinar. At that time, we hope to receive additional information and guidance. 

We have postponed our 7th grade trip to Gettysburg that was scheduled for this weekend. We are in the process of evaluating other field trips and student travel.

In addition, we will continue to put possible plans in place, should a school closure become necessary.  

Family Connectivity Survey -- Grades K-4
If you are a parent or guardian of a student in grades K-4 and you have not already turned in your family connectivity survey, please return it to your child’s teacher as soon as possible.  We are working to develop a plan for students who do not have access to the internet, a device or both.

Student Logins -- Grades 7-12
Students in grades 7-12 have their own Butler school email address. Many already know their login credentials. However, just in case students are unaware or have forgotten, their email address and password are being sent home with them. Some students received it today and others will receive this information on Monday. Please encourage your student to keep this information in a safe place. If we would need to use alternative learning plans, teachers would communicate with secondary students via their school email address. 

Student Logins -- Grades K-6
Students in grades K-6 will be using Clever as their information portal. Students in grades K-6 will bring home information either today or on Monday that includes their “Clever Badge” and steps for accessing the portal. Please keep this information handy on behalf of your child so that your family can access Clever should we need to use this as a way for teachers to send links to elementary students.

Learning Materials
In addition to bringing home login information, students will be asked to carry some school learning materials back and forth between school and home. 

  • K-4: Math and ELA materials

  • 5-6: Math, ELA, and Social Studies

  • 7-12: Materials will vary depending on the courses students are taking

Please note, we do not expect you to do anything extra with these materials at this time. This is simply a precaution so that students are prepared should we be directed to close our schools in the future. 

Once again, we do not have any plans to close our schools at this point in time. 

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility as we work through the logistics of our possible contingency plans. 

 

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent

Butler Area School District

 

A Message from the Superintendent -- March 11, 2020

March 11, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

As I’m sure you are aware, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is still being covered in just about every media outlet. I want to reassure you that we are collaborating with Butler County leaders, Pennsylvania Department of Health officials, Butler Health System and other health care providers to discuss updates, share information and, if needed, coordinate a response.

At this time, we have NOT received any guidance or recommendations that we should be closing our schools. We will continue to operate on a normal schedule as we monitor the situation. 

We are, however, working through the logistics of possible contingency plans, should they need to be used. One piece of that is finding out how many of our families have access to the internet at home. Students in grades 5-12 completed a survey in school earlier this week. We also ask that parents of students in grades K-4 complete the survey that will be coming home with their child today and return it to school tomorrow (Thursday, March 12). 

Although we have no plans to close our schools at this time, we are taking preventative steps to help mitigate the risk. We are continuing to work on improving and intensifying the cleaning methods and strategies in our buildings, particularly in high traffic areas. Our teachers have been educating our students on the importance of washing their hands with soap and warm water. In addition, we have built extra time for hand washing into our daily schedule so that students can wash their hands more frequently and thoroughly.  

We also ask that you keep your child home from school if he or she is sick. If you are unsure whether or not your child is well enough to come to school, please check with your family pediatrician or contact the school nurse at your child’s school. Here is their contact information: https://www.basdk12.org/administration/6

Thank you for your continued help and support.

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District

 

A Message from the Butler County Superintendents -- March 4

Parents/Guardians,

The health, safety and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities. With the recently elevated discussion regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in the news, we want to take a moment to reinforce preventive safety measures and reference our process and communications.

While there are NO confirmed cases at the District level or in Pennsylvania regarding coronavirus, we are continuing to closely monitor updates and are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations in proactively planning should measures need to be put in place. All Butler County Superintendents/Executive Director and School Nurses are maintaining regular contact with Butler County leaders, Pennsylvania Department of Health officials, Butler Health System and other health care providers to discuss official updates, share information and, if needed, to coordinate any response. We are committed to collaborating in this effort and making the best possible decisions for our students, staff and families.

In all districts, we are working with our custodians and cleaning companies to ensure that we are very diligent in our cleaning practices. As a best practice for overall health in cold and influenza season, the CDC recommends that individuals receive the influenza vaccination and engage in everyday, preventative measures to reduce the spread of germs and avoid illness, including:
 

Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. 

  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for a minimum of 24 hours after you no longer have a fever. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed. 

Any specific health concerns should be directed to your family physician or healthcare provider. Anyone who will be traveling in the coming weeks may also want to take note of the CDC’s travel advisory at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. More information on the coronavirus is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

Our districts will provide more information as it becomes available or in the event that the situation changes. Thank you for your continued support in keeping our students and staff safe. 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Alfonso Angelucci, Superintendent 
Slippery Rock Area School District  

Dr. David Foley, Superintendent 
South Butler County School District

Mr. Eric Ritzert, Superintendent 
Karns City Area School District 

Mr. Thomas Samosky, Superintendent 
Moniteau School District 

Dr. Wesley Shipley, Superintendent
Mars Area School District 

Mr. Kurt Speicher, Executive Director
Butler Co. Area Vocational-Technical School

Dr. Tracy Vitale, Superintendent
Seneca Valley School District

Dr. Brian White, Superintendent
Butler Area School District

 

A Message from the Superintendent -- February 26

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

The school year is in full swing -- and unfortunately so is cold and flu season. However, there are preventative measures you can take as a line of defense. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following actions to help people stay healthy this year: 

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when sneezing or coughing. 
  • Get plenty of rest. 
  • Eat healthy foods and drink a lot of healthy liquids (avoid sodas). 
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that could be contaminated. 
  • Get your flu shot.

Both the common cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses that are caused by different viruses. You can learn more about both from the CDC’s website. 

Common Cold (https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html

Influenza (flu) (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm)

There has also been a lot of talk about the Coronavirus this year. According to the CDC’s website: “The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.” 

Coronavirus (https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Yesterday, Nancy Messonnier, a director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated: “You should ask your children’s schools about their plans for school dismissals or school closures.” 

I would like to be clear that closures of school due to the Coronavirus would only be considered at the direction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  This is not something that we decide in isolation.

In the event that we are directed to close by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, our closure plans would be the same as if there was a cancellation for a snow day. We would either cancel a school day and make it up at a later date or have a Flexible Instructional Day.  

It is my hope that a school closure will not be needed. We will continue to monitor the CDC’s updates on the Coronavirus and follow their recommendations for schools. 

We also ask that our families do their part to help maintain a healthy environment in our schools. 

Please do not send your child to school if he or she has experienced:

  • A fever of more than 100 degrees within the last 24 hours. Students must be fever free without medication for 24 hours before returning to school. 
  • Vomiting or diarrhea within the last 24 hours. 
  • Continuous coughing that is not relieved with cough medicine. 

In addition, please do not send your child to school if he or she has been advised by a doctor to refrain from attending school for any medical reason.

The goal of keeping our schools healthy involves us all! Thank you for your cooperation. 

 

Sincerely, 

Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent
Butler Area School District