A Video Message from the Superintendent
April 9, 2020
If you are unable to view the video, you can read the information Dr. White shared below.
Hello, This is Dr. White, Superintendent of the Butler Area School District. I want to thank all of our students, parents, employees and community members for working together to help each other during this unprecedented time. This morning we were notified that the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education has ordered the closure of all of Pennsylvania public schools for the remainder of the school year. We will continue with our current plans.
This means that the school district will continue to operate in a modified manner to support our students and community at large. Our focus has been to provide students meals, connect students with mental health services, provide remote learning opportunities and convert the Broad Street School into a surge medical facility to support Butler Hospital and Butler County.
The kitchen at the Senior High School is really busy. During the school closure, we are serving over 1,500 students two meals a day, seven days a week. That means our staff is preparing and distributing 21,000 meals per week. This food service program is open to all children who reside in Butler Area School District. There is no financial qualification to receive meals. If you are having trouble affording or accessing food for your child, please sign up for the free meals being provided. You can sign up through our website or by calling 724-214-3223.
I would like to thank all of the cafeteria workers, school police, transportation department and facility staff for making our food service program happen.
Many of our students receive counseling services in our school. The school district’s guidance counselors are available to support students during the school closure. In addition to the school counselors, we have a therapist available through Glade Run who can also support our students. If you feel your child would benefit from counseling services, please contact your school's counselor or principal.
Our remote learning continues to evolve. I appreciate all of the patience our students and parents have shown through this process. When we started, we had hundreds of students without devices and/or the internet. We have been providing devices and connecting students to the internet. Our number of students without access to technology has dramatically decreased. As we move forward, we will be modifying our learning opportunities. Some of this is because more resources are becoming available, some is because we're learning how to do this better each day, and some modifications are occurring as a result of feedback students and parents have shared with teachers and principals. But at the end of the day, absolutely everything we’re doing is with the intention to help and support our students and families.
As I mentioned before, The Broad Street School is being converted into a surge medical facility to support Butler Hospital and Butler County. The district has been removing furniture and other stored items at the school, the internet connections have been re-established, and portable partitions have been gathered from all of our schools as well as from Mars Area School District and Seneca Valley School District to help make appropriate patient spaces. Our facility team has been working to make modifications to the school like adding doors where needed, removing carpet and modifying the HVAC system to what is needed in this type of facility. All of this is being done in coordination with Butler County and Butler Hospital.
This time of year is usually full of memorable student events like the high school musical, which was scheduled to be Cinderella, and the Fab Showcase, which was originally scheduled to take place last week, and spring music concerts, which should have been right around the corner. We don’t know if or when we might be able to reschedule these events.
Also, our Spring sports should be in full swing. However, in Butler, the winter sports season hadn’t quite ended. We’re still waiting to hear from the PIAA on what the plan will be to move forward. As we learn more, we will be sure to share it with you.
We know our students are awesome. We know they do incredible things academically, athletically and in the arts. While many of our traditional events have not occurred, students, teachers and parents are all engaging each other in unique and positive ways. I have seen inspirational videos, heard about club meetings like Best Buddies moving to an online format. It's heartwarming to see people encouraging and supporting each other.
I have hope that we will come out of this as an even stronger community than before. We already have so much to be proud of. I’m always encouraged to see how our community comes together in good times and in challenging times to support one another. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement of one another. I hope each of you has a wonderful spring break.