Letter to Parents March 19, 2020
Letter to Parents March 19, 2020
Dr. Joseph H. Clapper
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Dear Families of Bald Eagle Area School District,


As the region, state and country deal with the impact of COVID-19,
information and guidance is ever-changing in the effort to keep all of us
safe and stop the spread of the virus. I wanted to take a moment to thank
the community for their patience, understanding and care expressed during
this time.


A few questions have been communicated to me to which I want to provide
more specific information.


Status of Closure:

The District is officially closed through Monday, March 30, 2020. I would
surmise that this closure may possibly be extended. We should learn more
next week. As of today, however, school is scheduled to resume March
30th.


The Governor has stated that districts will not be penalized for not meeting
the 180 day or hour (990 secondary/900 elementary) requirements for the
school year. Below is an FAQ that was released earlier in the week from
the Pennsylvania Department of Education


5. Recognizing that schools will not be penalized for failing to meet the
minimum 180-day/hours (990, 900, 450) requirement because of COVID-19
response efforts, must schools adjust their calendars to meet those
requirements?
No; however, schools are strongly encouraged to plan possible adjustments to
their calendars (e.g., use of snow days, Act 80 days, extension of school year,
etc.) to provide as much instruction as possible during this unprecedented
event. Once PDE develops additional guidance, schools falling short of the 180-
day/instructional hour requirements will be required to report their total days
and hours for the year on a simplified form; completed forms will be deemed
approved.


I fully understand parental concerns over extending the school year to mid to late June. Any delay in the end of our school year will be very difficult --
most especially for seniors. For the past few days, I have been
communicating this concern with legislators and other governmental
officials in Harrisburg.

Note: The full document with FAQs about school closings can be found at:

https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/Pages/AnswersToFAQs.aspx


Access to School Personnel and Buildings:

The school buildings are currently closed to all faculty, staff, and
community. Through the end of next week, there is no access to any of our
school facilities. As of today, there are no reported cases of COVID-19
present in our community. We want to keep our schoolhouses free of the
virus.


Administrators are working during this time. Sometimes they are in their
respective buildings and at other times they are working remotely. If you
need to contact a building principal or departmental administrator, I suggest
that you do so through email.


Instructional Resources:

In lieu of formalized instruction, faculty and administration are assembling
various instructional resources to disseminate to the children and families.
These will be posted on the school district website. These activities will be
voluntary in nature and will serve to support and/or enrich instruction for
students.


Meals:

On Monday, our business manager (Craig Livergood) and food service
director (Laura Frye) submitted an application to the Pennsylvania
Department of Education so that the BEASD can provide Grab N Go meals
for students at various locations in the District. This application was
approved yesterday. We hope to begin on Monday, March 23rd. We will
communicate with you immediately once details have been finalized.


Summary:


Please take good care of yourselves, your children, and your neighbors by
making practical decisions, by following social distancing practices, and
limiting travel and large social gatherings. The more we can do to limit the
spread of the coronavirus now, the faster we can all get "back to normal."
In our lifetimes we have never experienced events such as these. There is
not a script to follow or cliff notes to read. We will get through this with a
high level of support, caring, and love for one another as seems to be a
genuine characteristic of the BEASD community.


In the meantime, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water (at least
20 seconds per washing), avoid touching your face, and practice social
distancing and self-care.


Thank you all for your continued patience and understanding during this
challenging time. We’ll get through this together.


Sincerely yours,


Dr. Joseph H. Clapper
Interim Superintendent


Note: We have established a resource section on our website related to the
Coronavirus. www.beasd.org We will also provide other updates on our
website as we receive them.




You can download this letter here.