Returning to School 2020-2021

Welcome Back West Shore

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Below is an outline of the information provided on our Return to School website. Use these links to quickly navigate to the information of interest to you.


While it may be necessary to revise the Plan as conditions evolve over the coming months, on August 20, 2020, the Board of School Directors approved a Health and Safety Plan for the District. To view presentations made to the Board and our Health and Safety Plan, please visit the link below.

Emails to Parents & Caregivers

August 14, 2020With the start of the 2020-2021 school year quickly approaching, we wanted to provide answers to a few of the questions your family may be asking at this time.

Is there any chance the District will change its plans for the start of school?
No. As shared on July 16, all students will start the school year on Tuesday, August 25, with Distance Learning 2.0. Our plan to start this school year with students learning from home and a Phased School Reopening has not changed.

Has a Health and Safety Plan been adopted or a decision been made to continue Distance Learning 2.0 in Phase 2?
During last night’s Board meeting, a draft of the Health and Safety Plan was presented to the Board and the community. The Board is scheduled to vote on an updated draft of our Plan at its meeting next Thursday, August 20.

During the presentation, we also shared that we are exploring the option to continue Distance Learning 2.0 after students and staff begin to return for in person instruction. Thank you to all who participated in our August survey and indicated your interest in this approach.

Parents who did not join us online for the Board meeting are strongly encouraged to view the Health and Safety Plan information posted on our Return to School website. There you will find the presentations made to the Board, links to the Board meetings where detailed explanations are provided about our Phased School Reopening Plans, and a copy of our Draft Health and Safety Plan.
Will there be Learning Plans like we received in the spring?
Yes. Our intent is to mirror, as much as possible, the school day. K-5 teachers will post learning plans for the week by 7 p.m. on Sunday in Seesaw. Grade 6-12 teachers will populate their Schoology Calendar with weekly assignments by Sunday at 7 p.m. Please contact your child’s teacher(s) if you need additional support.

How will attendance be taken during Distance Learning 2.0?
Attendance will be taken during period/mod 1 for secondary or during the morning meeting for elementary. Students should be present on screen and dressed for school during Zoom meetings with their teachers.

If a parent believes they have extenuating circumstances that prohibit their child from meeting daily attendance expectations, they must contact their building principal by 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 19. Principals will schedule a Zoom meeting with you and a team of educators (principal, counselor, teacher, etc.) to discuss your unique situation. Email addresses for each principal can be found on the District website on the Contact Us page.

Do I need to report absences during Distance Learning 2.0?
Yes. We will follow regular attendance procedures and policies during Distance Learning 2.0. Parents should notify the school if their child will miss school for doctors’ appointments, educational trips, etc.  In instances when your family may be traveling, if your child is still able to attend Zoom meetings and complete their work for the day, an educational trip request is not needed. Schools will be providing additional information on ways to submit doctor notes and excuses electronically while we are in Distance Learning 2.0.

Do I need to pick-up a device if my child has their own device at home?
Yes. The District is only able to share educational software with District owned iPads and Chromebooks. For this reason, it is very important all students have and use a District device.

Device distribution will be taking place August 17 and August 18 along with materials and textbook distribution. An email from your principal with specific times was sent on August 7. If you did not receive the email or need to make alternate arrangements, please contact your child’s school.

How will my student log in to Schoology, Seesaw, and Zoom?
Quick Start Guides have been developed to assist students in signing on to their computer and platform (i.e., Schoology for Grades 6-12 or Seesaw in Grades K-5). These guides will be given out at device distribution and are available on the Student Devices and Technology Support website along with directions on how to request technology support for your student’s device if it is needed. Additionally, we have developed a digital Schoology Boot Camp for students in Grade 6 or others who are new to the platform. We recommend all students test their log in to Schoology/Seesaw on Monday, August 24.

For students attending Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School (CPAVTS), has a decision been made about their schedule?
Yes. Students enrolled at CPAVTS will return for their morning only classes at Vo-Tech beginning August 26. Cedar Cliff students will attend A days (Monday and Wednesday) and Red Land students will attend B days (Tuesday and Thursday). Transportation for vo-tech students will be provided to and from each student’s home. Vo-tech students and families will receive additional details about transportation, bus pick up times, etc. next week.

Can CPAVTS students use their West Shore School District issued Chromebook to complete their vo-tech assignments?
Yes. District issued Chromebooks can be used. Please click here for a video to show how to add the second account. Students who need additional assistance should complete our Student Device Issues Form.

Can you provide assistance with internet for my child’s device?
Below you’ll find a list of free or low-cost Internet and WiFi access options that are currently available. 
  • Internet Essentials through Comcast
    For information call 1-855-846-8376 or visit their website.
  • Everyoneon.org
    For a listing of providers by zip code, please visit their website.
  • District Hot Spots
    The District does have a limited supply of hot spots available for low-income families who do not qualify for free internet through another provider. These hot spots are limited and are intended to help those families who will not have internet access otherwise. Please email Mr. Vogelsong for information at [email protected].

Will you continue to provide Grab-and-Go Bagged Meals?
Yes. We are pleased to continue to offer meals through August 31.  Beginning September 1, the National School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs will have new rules for us to follow. Additional details to come as we adjust our program to meet changes in regulations.

On behalf of the entire administrative team, thank you for your patience and support. Please continue to share your feedback and ask questions via email or by using the Contact Us page on the District website.

Sincerely,

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Jamie A. Whye, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent

Phased Reopening Communications

July 31, 2020 - I hope you are enjoying summer break and finding some time to relax. As we approach the start of the school year, I know there continues to be a great deal of uncertainty not only around safely reopening our schools, but many other aspects of our daily lives.

In my time as superintendent, I hope you have come to know that I have your best interest in mind, and when making big decisions that will have a big impact on District students, staff, or families, I tend to take more time in that process. That is especially true when the health and safety of students and staff are at stake. I also hope you have come to know; just how much I appreciate your patience and the confidence you have afforded me in that regard.

The plan Dr. Whye and I shared on July 16th and the work since then has been challenging.  It seems just as things appear to be moving in one direction, they can turn on a dime. However, this message is not meant to explain what I think we all realize is happening, but rather to update you as best I can at this time.

Since we released our Phased Reopening Plan, most people, staff and parents, that is, are interested in what Distance Learning 2.0 will look like and what it means for them. Dr. Whye and a team of teacher representatives met yesterday to further define the evolution of Distance Learning, and more importantly, how it will differ from the spring. Mrs. Fourhman has created a designated page on our website with a wealth of information, which contains critical information for everyone in planning for the school year. You can easily access this page from the header of the District website.

After reviewing this information, I am requesting your help in planning for our reopening. On the website you will find a link to a Return to School Survey. Please use this survey to share your intention for the start of the school year, whether that be to utilize Distance Learning 2.0, CAOLA, or another option. The survey will also give those interested in continuing Distance Learning beyond Phase 1 the opportunity to share that with us. I kindly ask for your participation in this survey by Sunday, August 9.

As I, and the administrative team, work toward the goal of reopening schools as quickly and as safely as possible and continue to refine the District’s plans for Phases 2 and 3, we will be providing more frequent updates to you, the Board, and our school community.

Thank you for your time today, and be well.

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
July 17, 2020 - When we began the development of our Health and Safety Plan, there was a trend moving toward green status across the state and restrictions being lifted. In the last two weeks, we have received a universal masking Order, recommended quarantines following travel to approximately 20 states, and limitation on group sizes.  Additionally, at 2:44 p.m. yesterday, July 16, we received updated guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). 

Given these and other factors, at last night's Board Meeting, Dr. Stoltz and Dr. Whye shared the District's plans to start the 2020-2021 school year on Tuesday, August 25 with Distance Learning 2.0 and transition to in person instruction through three phases.

2020-2021 School Year - Phased Reopening Plan  

Phase 1: From August 25 to September 18, all students will engage in Distance Learning 2.0. On September 10, a recommendation will be made to either remain in phase 1 or transition to phase 2 on September 21, 2020. 

Phase 2: A segment of the student population will return to the building for in person instruction with priority given to elementary and high needs special education students. Throughout Phase 2, additional students and staff will return to school for in person instruction. Based on feedback received, we are exploring the option of continuing Distance Learning 2.0 during Phase 2.

Phase 3: Total reopening as outlined in accordance with state, federal, and health agencies.  Specific details will be shared in a revised District Health and Safety Plan prior to the start of Phase 3.

Alternate Learning

student learning at computer
The West Shore School District has partnered with CAOLA, the Capital Area Online Learning Association, to offer full and part-time online learning to families interested in cyber school.
 
CAOLA is a collaborative effort between the Capital Area Intermediate Unit and member school districts to provide flexible online learning and high quality student instruction for our students from kindergarten through grade 12. Click here to learn more.
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