A Message from the Superintendent -- December 31, 2020

A Message from the Superintendent

December 31, 2020

I hope everyone has had a nice winter break. We are preparing to reopen in the following manner on Monday, January 4, 2020.

  • Elementary - Enhanced Green -- Live in-person instruction for all students beginning on Monday, January 4, 2021. 

  • Secondary - Hybrid - COHORT -- Live in-person instruction for ½ students in cohorts beginning on Monday, January 4, 2021.  (Secondary self-contained special education classrooms will attend 5 days per week.)

  • Center Avenue Community School -- Live in-person instruction for all students beginning on Monday, January 4, 2020.

  • Special Education Specialized Classrooms -- Continue live in-person instruction for all students.

Secondary students should have received communication directly from their principal designating which COHORT they are assigned to and the COHORT schedule.

Returning to School & PDE’s Data Parameter Charts 

When we return to school in January, we will be operating under a new set of guidelines related to when we will be in remote learning and when we will have live in-person instruction as defined by the COVID-19 data parameters delineated on the charts issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education

These charts use the number of active cases over a 14 day period to determine the operational status of each individual school (as opposed to the district as a whole). Since our last day of school was December 18, 2020 the first day of our 14 day count is Monday, January 4, 2021. This means every school will start with an active case count of zero on Monday, January 4, 2021.

Preparing for the Possibility of Temporary Remote Learning

The thresholds are mandated from the state and vary based on the size of each school. If our positive case count for any school reaches the numbers specified on the charts, we must close the impacted school for the specified period of time on the chart.

In the event that we must temporarily move to remote learning, we will notify families of the students who attend that school via an email, call and text message. Information will also be posted to our website. Please do not rely on broadcast media (WPXI, WTAE and KDKA) for this information.

When the school reopens, its active case count resets to zero.  Even if the closure is only a few days. This too is part of the state guidelines. 

Please Stay Home When Sick and Report Positive COVID-19 Cases

Under the new guidelines, it is very important that our data regarding COVID-19 cases related to our school district is as accurate as possible. Please notify your child’s school nurse if your child has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive. Thank you for your cooperation. 

These guidelines are relative to the size of the school and have pretty low thresholds for the number of active COVID cases when the community spreads at the substantial level. So we need your help.

If your child is not feeling well, please do not send them to school. If someone in your household has symptoms, even if they don’t have every symptom, please do not send your child to school.  If your child is ill, please keep in contact with your school’s nurse.  If you're not sure what to do, please contact the school before sending your child to school.

Transportation

During the school day we have taken measures to implement social distancing to the fullest extent possible. One area that is very challenging remains transportation on school busses. If you have the ability to transport your children, I encourage you to do so.

We may also experience a shortage of bus drivers. This could mean changes to your child’s route. Please be patient. We will do everything we can to offer consistency and updated communication. 

Thank you!

I anticipate we will experience hiccups, staffing issues and a myriad of things that are not normal. We are committed to working through each challenge while remaining focused on the safety of our students and staff. 

My hope is not to just reopen, but to keep everyone safe and stay open. Thank you for your patience, cooperation and flexibility as we navigate the second half of this school year together! 

Sincerely,

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





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