UPDATES from the Superintendent Regarding the Graduation, School Closure, and Distance Learning

Message Sent to Senior Families May 22, 2020

Good evening,

As I mentioned last week in my message about graduation, we felt it was important to hear from our senior class before making a decision on how to proceed with this important milestone in their educational career. The survey we shared with seniors provided them with two commencement options — a virtual ceremony or an in-person ceremony. These two options were based on the feedback we had already received from parents and members of the school community via our website.

Approximately two-thirds of our senior class responded to the survey, and of those who responded, 83% indicated they would prefer an in-person graduation ceremony, if possible.

After careful consideration of student survey results, parent feedback, and the guidelines of the CDC, federal, state, and county officials, we are proceeding with plans to hold an in-person graduation ceremony no later than August 1, to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2020.

We have witnessed rapid changes during this pandemic.  In fact, not even 24 hours after sending my message last week, we learned that Cumberland and York Counties would be moving to the Governor’s yellow phase on May 22. I remain optimistic that by waiting to select an exact date, we can consider new opportunities as social distancing and group gathering regulations continue to change. The last thing we want to do is cancel or postpone another event you had hoped for. So, with all the uncertainties we are still facing, I hope you understand that it is not possible for us to commit to a specific date at this time.

With that said, I want to share with you some important dates that I believe will provide students and parents with some clarity and comfort.

  • Thursday, May 28: Last day of instruction for seniors.

  • Monday, June 1: We will distribute caps and gowns (not diplomas) to seniors at both high schools. Students will return their Chromebooks, textbooks, and any other school district items. This will be done via a drive-thru format. Students will not exit their vehicles or be permitted to enter the building. Seniors will receive additional information about this exchange from their individual high school next week.

    Thanks to the West Shore Foundation and Lamar Advertising, a congratulatory message for seniors will appear on local billboards for two weeks, beginning June 1.

  • Saturday, June 6: In order to honor our seniors in a fitting way on what would have been their graduation day, we will share a Senior Showcase video of all District graduates via our website, Facebook, YouTube, and social media platforms. The video, which will feature each student individually, will be posted at 10 a.m. to be viewed collectively or as your schedule allows.

  • Saturday, July 4:  In order to provide students and their families with at least three weeks’ advance notice, by July 4, we will announce either a date for the in-person ceremony or if social distancing and gathering restrictions necessitate, alternate plans.  It is our intent to hold the in-person ceremony if at all possible, even if multiple sessions with smaller groups of students is required. Alternate plans would include scheduling times for students and families to have their picture taken receiving their diploma.  These photos, taken in mid-July by appointment, along with recordings of speeches and other parts of our graduation program, would be compiled by District staff into a virtual graduation ceremony video to be shared no later than August 1.


More details will be sent as we continue working through the logistics this summer. In the meantime, I wanted to also share answers to some questions I have received.

What about students who will not be able to attend any ceremony due to military enlistment, relocation, etc.?
Our student survey and our contact with individual students/families indicated there are seniors who will be unable to attend any type of ceremony for various reasons, including enlistment in the armed services. We are making special arrangements for these students to receive their diploma, in the presence of school administrators and their family. Principals will be reaching out to students who they know are impacted; however, please do not hesitate to contact your school administration if special arrangements are needed.

Where will the in-person graduation ceremony be held if permitted?
The West Shore Stadium is our first choice for our in-person ceremonies. We believe the stadium will allow social distancing to be implemented much easier. Tentatively, our plan is to hold each high school ceremony separately, on consecutive evenings, likely a Thursday and Friday.  It is our hope that the evenings would be cooler and assist working families in attending the events. If guidelines and/or restrictions limit the number of people in attendance at any given time, we may need to hold an abbreviated version of the ceremony multiple times. If that is the case, we will explore the possibility of using another venue such as the high school auditoriums.

What if seniors have personal belongings they need to retrieve from school?
High school administration will communicate a plan to pick up items belonging to students at a future date. 

What about yearbooks?
We do not expect yearbook delivery before late June. We will communicate at a later date a plan for distribution.


While I understand this message does not answer all questions in the most definitive manner, you have my word, no matter what, we will do all we can to create special graduation memories for you and your senior.

THANK YOU for your continued patience.

Sincerely,

Todd

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
[email protected]
#WestShoreProud

 

Message Sent to Senior Families May 14, 2020

Good afternoon West Shore senior families,

First, let me express my thanks for your patience. This was not how any of us envisioned your student’s last year as a West Shore student to look. It had been my hope that by affording ourselves more time to make a decision, we would be closer to some sense of normalcy in our lives. However, in light of the current social distancing restrictions, the West Shore School District will not be able to hold commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 6, as planned.

After my last email, many of you submitted ideas and suggestions on ways to celebrate our seniors. Thank you for your thoughtful answers and support. What myself and high school administration are doing now is asking your students for their input. Earlier today, in Schoology, your child received a request to participate in an online survey. The survey presented students with three options for their commencement. 

  • Virtual Graduation - To be broadcast prior to June 30, 2020. Would include as many elements of a traditional ceremony as possible (ex. student speeches, announcement of each senior, recognitions).

  • Postponed In-Person Graduation Ceremony - To be held no later than August 1, 2020. Our ability to hold this ceremony would be dependent on moving to green status and/or lifting of other restrictions on gatherings such as group size, number of invitees, etc.

  • No Virtual Graduation and No In-Person Ceremony this summer.

We are requesting student responses by Monday, May 18 at 3 p.m. Your help in encouraging your child to participate would be greatly appreciated. Once the survey closes, we will review their feedback and make an announcement no later than Friday, May 22, as to our final decision.

Additionally, I wanted to let you know that the last day of Distance Learning classes for all seniors will be Thursday, May 28.  I want to assure all seniors in the Class of 2020 that if you were in good standing and passing all your required courses for graduation before schools closed, you will graduate. 

Chromebook and textbook return for seniors will occur on Monday, June 1, along with the distribution of graduation caps and gowns.  Specific details for each high school regarding the June 1 collection and distribution will be provided by your building principal. 

Also, we will be broadcasting a Senior Showcase Video on June 6. This District video will feature the class of 2020 and is not meant to replace graduation but instead, provide a way to honor our seniors on what would have been their graduation day. A link to this video will be emailed to all District families and shared with our community on the District’s official YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. 

I realize there are other items to be shared such as diploma distribution, the collection of personal belongings, and the distribution of yearbooks.  We are continuing to work on procedures to address these items.  

On behalf of the Board and administration, please know that we share in your disappointment in the way your child’s high school career has come to an end. I want to assure you that we will do our best to make sure West Shore’s Class of 2020 receives the recognition and celebration they so greatly deserve.

Sincerely,

Todd

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
[email protected]
#WestShoreProud

Message Sent April 19, 2020

Good afternoon students and families,

I hope you and your family are well and in good health. Just days after my last message on April 5, the Governor announced that schools will remain closed through the end of the school year.  Since then, we have continued to receive additional guidance and direction from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) about expectations for learning during this extended closure. The purpose of today's email is to provide you with the best update I can for seniors and to outline our Distance Learning Plan for all students for the remainder of the school year. 

Seniors, Graduation, Diplomas, etc.
In the last week, I have heard and seen news reports on what schools, locally and nationally, are planning for graduation. At this point, I do not have a definitive graduation plan to share. What I can tell you is that our high schools are continuing to discuss options and remain committed to making this momentous occasion memorable. 

It is understandable that seniors and their families are anxious to know how commencement will look this year, but honestly, I have found that when we can afford ourselves more time, a better decision is always made. While we wait for more information about when or how our lives will return to some sense of normalcy, we will continue to explore alternative ways to celebrate our seniors and focus on making sure all our students are prepared to graduate and tackle life beyond high school. 

If you have thoughts or ideas on end-of-year activities for seniors, including graduation, please use the Contact Us button on the District website to share them.

Looking Ahead
As I shared previously, before moving forward with any revisions to our Distance Learning schedule, we wanted to evaluate how it was or was not meeting your needs. Based in part on the feedback we received, Chromebooks were provided to students currently in Grades 6-8 earlier this month, and devices will be distributed to our fifth grade students later this week. Additionally, we heard from families at the elementary level that printed packets would be beneficial. Those will also be distributed this week and made available in PDF format on our Distance Learning website

With these resources now in place, it is time to move to the next, and hopefully final, phase of our Distance Learning program. Dr. Whye, Assistant Superintendent, and the instructional team have been hard at work making preparations to ensure everyone has a successful finish to the school year.

Beginning on Monday, April 27, we will transition to a four-day instructional week with all core content subjects being taught Monday-Thursday. Just as they are now, teachers will be available Monday through Friday to answer questions and provide support as students finish their assignments for the week and submit them for review. 

In addition to supporting students, teachers will also be using Fridays to plan for the upcoming week, participate in virtual meetings with colleagues, and engage in professional learning workshops to enhance their online instruction.

Weekly Learning Plans
All students will receive Weekly Learning Plans from their teachers. Learning Plans will be posted on Seesaw for students in K-5 and on Schoology for students in grades 6-8. Learning Plans will be posted by Friday at 3 p.m. for the following week, beginning this Friday, April 24.

Students in grades 9-12 will continue to receive assignments from their teachers through Schoology.

What will be expected of my child each day?
Elementary and Middle School students will have daily assignments in the four core subject areas of English Language Arts, math, science, and social studies. In addition, they will have specials as scheduled by the teacher.

High School students will follow a six period schedule each day with periods lasting approximately 30 minutes. High School instruction will provide essential course content necessary for students to progress to the next level in the course sequence or to meet graduation requirements. As a reminder, if you do not feel your child is being challenged, please share that with their teachers and request supplemental work for them to complete.
 
When and how are assignments due?
Each week's assignments should be submitted upon completion no later than 3 p.m. on Friday unless otherwise noted by the teacher. Specific details on how to submit assignments will be provided by each teacher and may or may not involve submitting work using an online platform like Schoology or Seesaw.

What can I expect in terms of assessments and grading?
The intent of Distance Learning is not to see how much we can assign to students, but rather how meaningful assignments can be used to meet the learning objectives of the course/grade level so students are prepared for next year and beyond. Teachers have been encouraged to focus on the most essential elements of the curriculum and select content and assignments that are conducive to an online learning environment.

With our focus on learning, not grading, student effort will continue to be recognized using the following scale:

Highly Engaged - means a student is actively participating by attending sessions, completing work/tasks, and is proactively communicating with the teacher and classmates. 

Moderately Engaged - means a student is meeting minimum expectations and/or is partially engaged, attends some learning sessions, and completes some work/tasks. 

Not Yet Engaged - means a student is not engaged in the learning process, does not attend learning sessions, and does not complete tasks/work. 

An additional accountability piece will be occasional quizzes and the weekly recording of work completion in PowerSchool for grades K-12. This will help you and your student better understand their level of engagement.

While we are doing our best to provide accessible and engaging Distance Learning activities for each individual student, we know that some students will need additional support, accommodations, and/or enrichment. Please reach out to your child's teacher or counselor if you need assistance with Distance Learning, basic needs, mental health services, etc. 

We value your partnership and are here to support you and your student!

Sincerely,

Todd

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
[email protected]
#WestShoreProud

 

Message Sent April 5, 2020 

Good afternoon students and families,

I hope all of you are healthy and well. The disruption to our daily lives caused by this pandemic has been challenging for everyone. I want you to know, I am listening. I recognize how difficult it may be to find time to help your child with their schoolwork when you are also faced with meeting their basic needs, job requirements, and ensuring your family is safe when resources may be limited. 

Together we are facing a very surreal time, and it is with well-being, patience, and compassion, in mind, that the District will be observing Spring Break from April 9-13. 

As we shared in a similar message with our staff yesterday, it is my hope that this break in Distance Learning will provide you and our staff with a few days to relax, recharge, and let everyone catch their breath.

Looking Ahead  
For April 7 and 8, we will continue with the six-day schedule currently in place. As I shared above, Distance learning will not take place April 9-13 during our scheduled spring break. Following break, April 14-17 we will jump back into our six-day rotation with a suggested 2.5 hours per day of learning for all students K-12. Our goal is not to overload you with changes at this time.

Our Distance Learning schedules have been updated to reflect these additional dates.

Before moving forward with any revisions to this schedule, we want to evaluate how it is or is not meeting your needs and will use this time to do that. So far, I think we have heard mostly positive feedback about the attempts being made by our teachers and administrators to assist families and to ensure a continuity of education for students.

Meal Service
For those utilizing our Grab-and-Go Bagged meal locations, those sites will be open Monday through Thursday this week. We are closed on Friday, April 10, to give our Food Service team a much-needed break as well. However, families will receive four breakfasts and four lunches on Thursday. Please be sure to let volunteers know if your family is in need of additional food for the weekend.

Ending the Third Marking Period
The last day of the Third Marking period will be Monday, April 20. We hope the extension of this marking period, provides students with time to complete and turn in any missing work that was assigned before the school closing on March 13. If your student does not have materials needed to complete an assignment that was due prior to March 13, please work directly with the teacher who can provide alternate ways for the student to complete the missing assignment(s).  It is the District's position that third quarter final grades should not be lower than they were as of Friday, March 13. Students turning in make-up work, extra-credit, or remediation activities as stated above, could improve their grade, but grades would not be lowered. We are mindful that circumstances and schedules may be challenging for you during this time, and we want to give students every opportunity to be successful moving forward.  If you have any questions, please direct them to your teacher or building administrative team. For scheduling purposes, beginning Tuesday, April 21, middle school students will move on to their fourth quarter encore class.

Planning for the Fourth Quarter
As you may have seen on the news this week, Governor Wolf announced he is considering promoting K-12 students to the next grade or graduating them if they had passing grades before schools were closed due to the coronavirus.

What does this mean for our students?  We understand that Distance Learning is difficult in many ways, especially for our families with multiple children, working parents, and those facing technology issues. As such, we feel it is not possible to grade students in an equitable manner during the closure; however, it is important we provide some form of feedback.

Our focus as we move into the fourth quarter will be on engagement. Please continue to do your best to encourage your children to complete materials even though they are not being graded. When evaluating student progress, we will focus on their engagement level as follows: highly engaged, moderately engaged, or not yet engaged.

Highly Engaged – means a student is actively participating by attending sessions, completing work/tasks, and is proactively communicating with the teacher and classmates. 
Moderately Engaged – means a student is meeting minimum expectations and/or is partially engaged, attends some learning sessions, and completes some work/tasks. 
Not Yet Engaged – means a student is not engaged in the learning process, does not attend learning sessions, and does not complete tasks/work.

For secondary students, level of engagement will not be calculated into the final course grade, but might be considered when we determine if the student does or does not earn credits. The District is carefully watching for further guidance from PDE.

We know there may be many reasons why a student’s engagement may be affected, and we will do everything we can to support them.

Calendar Adjustments
Cedar Cliff and Red Land High Schools have finalized new dates for their proms. Assuming the stay-at-home order is lifted, Cedar Cliff’s will be held on May 23 and Red Land’s on May 30. Students can look forward to more information about prom from their respective high schools. 

As for class trips, concerts, and graduation ceremonies, those are still highly dependent upon the duration of the school closure. Please know, our preference continues to be to hold these special events for our students and their families. As this situation continues to evolve, I will provide additional updates.

In closing, at the heart of what we are trying to do for our families during the closure is to keep our community safe. On behalf of the school board, professional and support staff, and the entire administrative team…thank you for going above and beyond to help us, help your children, and help each other!

Have a wonderful Spring Break.

Sincerely,

Todd

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
[email protected]
#WestShoreProud

Message Sent March 25, 2020
Good evening students and families,

I hope all of you are healthy and well. This evening, I am providing you with a very important update. On Tuesday, the following information was released by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).
 
“The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced today that all schools in the commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6 as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. The closure order could be extended beyond April 6 if necessary to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. When it’s determined that students can return to school, administrators, teachers and other staff will be given two days to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation and arrange other business operations. Students would return on the third day.”

What does that mean for West Shore students?  After carefully considering PDE’s announcement and reviewing our approved school calendar, students would return to school on Tuesday, April 14. It is not my intent to use April 9 as a make-up day or to revise the calendar to consider using other days we are scheduled to be off. Of course, this return date is dependent on whether or not the closure is extended by PDE. 

With that in mind, it’s time to initiate our plan for continuity of education. After working with staff and receiving additional guidance from PDE, we are ready to begin distance learning for Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade, starting on Monday, March 30. Our goal is to provide students and families with learning opportunities they can do at home. These activities are not meant to replace daily classroom instruction, and while we are encouraging all students to do their best to complete the assigned material, it will not be graded. Teachers will however be providing feedback to students that will help them with retention of already taught material and new material that will be presented.

Elementary and Middle School teachers are providing two distance learning options. One option requires the use of technology, and the other option does not. Families may choose the option that works best for everyone at this time. Books and materials were sent home with students on Friday, March 13.  If your child was absent that day or did not bring the necessary materials with them, please remind your teachers so they can provide support. 

High School students have District issued Chromebooks with the ability to work offline or online.  On March 24, parents received a phone call and email message with information about no-cost or low-cost internet from area providers. This information is also posted on the Parent Portal of the District website (blue parent button). Families who do not have access to the internet or who are unable to connect with a provider are asked to contact Mr. Vogelsong at [email protected], and we will work directly with you to provide support.

Your child's classroom teacher is your best resource to help you with the work he/she is asking to be completed. However, we have created a special Distance Learning portal on our website to assist families and students with the transition to Distance Learning.

https://www.wssd.k12.pa.us/DistanceLearning.aspx

This page will be updated throughout the closure, and contains answers to frequently asked questions, suggested schedules, technology support links, and information about other services being provided by the District. Information is also included regarding the marking period, which at this time is highly dependent upon the duration of the school closure.

We will begin Distance Learning with a suggested 2.5 hours per day of learning for all students K-12 so everyone can acclimate to this new approach. It is important for all of us to be flexible and work together as we navigate these new waters. 

I know the coming weeks may prove difficult in many ways, especially for our families with multiple children, working parents, and technology issues. At the heart of what we are trying to do for our children during the closure is to keep our community safe and our students engaged. I want to personally thank you for your support and partnership toward that goal. As this situation continues to evolve, I will provide additional updates.  
 
Sincerely,
 
Todd

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D. 
Superintendent
[email protected] 
#WestShoreProud


Message Sent March 22, 2020
Good afternoon students, staff, and families,

Following the order to close schools, I have worked diligently to provide you with timely and meaningful updates, even when I didn’t know all of the answers to your questions. In response, you have shown District employees at all levels your support and appreciation. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and prayers, words of encouragement, offers to help, and for providing us with meaningful feedback. This week reinforced what I already knew…we have amazing employees serving an amazing community!

By today, I was hopeful I would have details to share with you regarding the status of our closure beyond Friday, March 27, but in many ways that is beyond my control. What I can share, is what we have done that is within our control.

On Tuesday, March 17, we began meal service for all children under 18. By Friday, we had provided 4,630 meals to children. This service will continue next week but would not be possible without our food service team preparing those meals and staff volunteers helping to distribute them. I would also like to give a shout out to Fishing Creek Salem United Methodist Church for partnering with us to create a satellite site at the Budget Inn in New Cumberland. As this situation continues to develop, we are anticipating an even greater need for meals, and we continue to look for ways to expand our service so no child goes hungry during the school closure. Please be sure to visit our website for updates and a current listing of all our Grab-and-Go Bagged Meal locations. 

In addition to meals, we continue to find creative ways to meet the many other needs of our school community. We have encouraged our teachers, counselors, and other school staff to use platforms such as Seesaw, Schoology, Google Classroom, and Zoom to stay connected with each other and their students. When our lives are turned upside down, we quickly start to miss the routines of our normal lives, and I believe interacting with people we know from school helps restore some normalcy. 

We are still waiting for further clarification and direction from the state about what “continuity of learning” means and should look like. In the meantime, I know many teachers have provided resources for their students and parents. I recognize these resources do not replace classroom instruction, but it is our hope they will help parents and students explore learning in new ways. You will be receiving more information from your child’s teacher(s) this week in relation to meaningful, optional activities you can do from home.  Additionally, in the event of an extended closure, we have asked teachers and professional staff to prepare lessons and assignments for each grade and subject level in order to provide a greater degree of continuity of learning. More details about how this modified schedule will look for your child (and you) will be sent later this week. 

On a final note, as each day of this pandemic passes, we are confronted with sadness and despair about what was lost or may be in jeopardy of being lost. Aside from worrying about basic needs being met, we worry about what will happen with the end of the marking period, student grades, musicals, spring sports, concerts, field trips, prom, graduation, etc. Your concerns about our ability to offer these, in some instances, once in a lifetime events, is understandable. I wish I had a definitive answer for each one of them, but I do not. However, I will leave you with this. As we continue down this uncharted path, we will do our best to postpone these moments that students looked forward to and worked to achieve and not cancel them.  

Again, I want to thank you for your support this past week and as we move forward. Stay healthy and be well.

Sincerely,

Todd

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
[email protected] 
#WestShoreProud

 
 
Message Sent March 18, 2020
Good afternoon students and families,

As I mentioned in my email on Monday, to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and community, effective today, March 18, 2020, building access has been restricted to all non-essential staff, students, and community members. 

Additionally, we are asking for your cooperation in the use of our outside facilities, such as the tracks at both high schools, district athletic fields, playgrounds, and other areas where large public gatherings could occur. At this time, those spaces will remain open, but we strongly recommend you follow the restrictions and recommendations given by government agencies to limit gatherings of groups of people and to maintain social distancing. We will continue to monitor the use of these spaces as they relate to government restrictions and look forward to your continued cooperation if further restrictions are needed.

Even though our schools and offices are closed, our staff remains committed to working hard each day on behalf of our students, their families, and our community. One example of that is our Grab-and-Go Bagged Meal program which has provided over 700 bagged meals to children in our community already this week.  We look forward to continuing this program throughout the closure and are grateful to our food service department, staff volunteers, and community members providing transportation to those in need who have contributed to its success.

On that positive note, please know I will continue to email you with updates as they become available. Thank you for your ongoing understanding and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Todd

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
[email protected]
#WestShoreProud

 
 
Message Sent March 16, 2020
Good evening students and families,

This morning, the central office team and I participated in a session with our solicitors and other area school districts. After reviewing the guidance of numerous federal and state agencies and considering the evolving nature of this situation, we have decided to suspend all educational assignments and activities minimally through Friday, March 27, or until such time there is additional guidance for schools to ensure we can provide all students with a free appropriate public education. Given the timeframe provided, we could not ensure that all students would have equal access to curriculum and resources. 

However, we can ensure our students have access to meals. Starting tomorrow, the District will be offering free Grab-and-Go bagged meals including a breakfast and lunch at four sites (Allen, Hillside, Newberry, and Washington Heights).  The program will run Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Like the summer meals program, these sites are open to all children 18 and younger.  Additional information about this program can be found at the bottom of this email.

Access to Buildings
On Tuesday, March 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., access to all District buildings will be available for staff, students, and/or parents who need to retrieve personal items and medication. Building administrators will be onsite to assist. Please limit the time spent in the schools to minimize possible exposure to other families. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, all schools will be closed to everyone except essential staff.  

Assignments & State Testing
Today, we shared with staff that no new assignments or activity suggestions are to be given during the closure. We have asked teachers who have posted and distributed assignments in advance to let their students know these assignments do not need to be completed during the closure. This time may be used by students who would like to complete and submit missing assignments or review previously taught concepts. District and outside resources remain available for students to pursue independent learning.  

Students and staff in dual enrollment courses should follow the expectations set by the college or university.

At this time, PSSA and Keystone Exams are still slated to be given during the 2020 administration dates. The Advanced Placement (AP) exam remains as scheduled for schools that will be open on May 4–8 and 11–15, with late testing scheduled for May 20–22. Additional information can be found on their website (click here).

We all value the continuity of learning for students and do not want you to feel discouraged by the direction to suspend educational assignments and activities through March 27.  Teachers and school staff will remain available throughout the closure. As a reminder, teacher email addresses are readily available in PowerSchool by clicking on the envelope icon.

Calendar Adjustments
The end of the marking period, parent conferences, kindergarten orientation, etc. will be adjusted accordingly and are highly dependent upon the duration of the school closure. It is too soon to consider any impact the closure may have on end-of-year activities such as prom, field trips, concerts, graduation, etc.

I know the coming weeks may prove difficult in many ways. At the heart of what we are trying to do for our families during the closure is to keep our community safe. Thank you to everyone who has extended offers of support. As this situation continues to evolve, I will provide additional updates.

Sincerely,

Todd

Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
[email protected]
 

The West Shore School District will offer Free Grab-and-Go Bagged Meals for children starting Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 27 from 11 a.m. till 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, at four designated locations. Lunch for that day and breakfast for the following day will be included in each bag. Similar to the summer meal program, all children 18 and younger are welcome to participate. No questions will be asked; however, following current federal guidelines children must be present to receive the bagged meals.

Children may walk to the Grab-and-Go locations or families may take advantage of our curbside service (meals will be delivered to your vehicle by school staff).

If driving, please remain in your vehicle and use extreme caution when arriving and leaving to ensure the safety of other participants. As a reminder, during this time building and school facilities (including playground equipment) are closed.

Grab-and-Go Locations

Allen Middle School
4225 Gettysburg Road, Camp Hill, PA  17011
Please enter using Gettysburg Road and proceed toward the Slate Hill exit. Staff will be distributing meals near the kitchen dock area.

Hillside Elementary School
516 Seventh Street, New Cumberland, PA  17070
Please enter using the Seventh Street entrance and pull into the fire lane. Staff will be distributing meals near the picnic tables.

Newberry Elementary School
2055 Old Trail Road, Etters, PA  17319
Please enter using Old Trail Road and proceed around the back of the school. Staff will be distributing meals near the kitchen and gymnasium doors.  

Washington Heights Elementary School
531 Walnut Street, Lemoyne, PA  17043
Please enter using the Seventh Street entrance and follow the road around the loop. Staff will be distributing meals near the stop sign in front of the building’s side entrance.

Please know we are looking for ways to expand this program and are researching other avenues we use to ensure no child goes hungry during the school closure.  As federal restrictions change, look for updated information from the District.

Message Sent March 15, 2020
Good afternoon students and families,

First, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the outpouring of support following Friday’s message that our schools would be closed through Friday, March 27. Your patience and understanding during this time has been greatly appreciated.

Because this is an unprecedented and ever-changing issue, I am receiving new information and updates multiple times a day.  At this time, I am working to clarify some of the latest guidance for schools and want to make sure I understand federal and state expectations and any implications they may have on District decisions. Tomorrow, I will be participating in a coronavirus question and answer session with surrounding Districts, our solicitors, and members of the District central office administration. Following that session, it is my intent to provide a more detailed update for families and staff.

In the meantime, I appreciate the valuable questions and feedback we have received via email and social media about things to consider, such as medications that may be at school and meal service. We have also heard concerns about school assignments. As I mentioned previously, this remains an evolving situation, and we intend to release additional information later in the day tomorrow about educational expectations during the closure. Please continue to share your feedback and ask questions; we are listening! Stay tuned and please enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sincerely,

Todd

Todd B. Stoltz
Superintendent
[email protected]


Message Sent March 13, 2020
Good afternoon West Shore students, staff, parents, and community,

Thank you for your patience in awaiting an additional update on our response to coronavirus (COVID-19). As stated yesterday, there are NO known cases associated with our school district at this time.

Following the Governor’s announcement, all schools in the West Shore School District will be closed from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020. All extracurricular, athletic events/practices, and after-school events will be cancelled during this same timeframe. It is our hope to reopen schools on Monday, March 30, 2020.

In the next few days, we will continue our planning and preparation for delivery of flexible instructional activities for students. In addition to any curricular planning, there are many logistical and operational factors to be considered that affect students, employees, and the community. For example, we are actively working to ensure there are opportunities for students to have access to meals while schools are closed. As we develop our plans for the next two weeks, you can expect additional communication.

Student and staff safety remains our top priority. As always, I appreciate your questions, and I will continue to be transparent through this process. I encourage you to visit our website and follow us on social media for updates.

Sincerely,

Todd

Todd B. Stoltz
Superintendent
[email protected]
 

Message Sent March 12, 2020
Good afternoon West Shore students, staff, parents, and community,

With so much information being shared in the media and online related to coronavirus, I wanted to personally reach out to you to provide an update on District preparedness and to share my perspective on a potential response to this ongoing public health concern.

I, and the District as a whole, have always placed student and staff safety at the top of our priority list. With that in mind, I want to assure you we are working closely with county, state, and federal emergency management agencies to be proactive in our decision-making and to keep abreast of developments as they relate to the coronavirus. As I write this, there are no known cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) associated with the District. If, or perhaps more realistically when, we are faced with a confirmed instance of coronavirus in our school community, we will follow the guidance provided by these agencies to respond accordingly and in the best interest of all who visit our schools.

Beyond the day-to-day learning that takes place in our schools, we provide many necessary supports to our students. I will continue to follow the guidance from national, state, and local health agencies regarding school closures, and as a District, we will work diligently to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our students and staff while doing everything we can to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  I ask in turn, that you continue to take precautions to lessen the spread of germs and reinforce good hygiene at home. Teaching children positive preventive measures and giving them a sense of some control over their risk can help reduce anxiety.

Based on the Governor’s address this afternoon, I intend to follow his recommendation to cancel/postpone after-school events expected to attract 250+ attendees for the next two weeks. Additionally, we are reviewing all trips planned in the upcoming weeks, including their destination and number of attendees, to determine if students will be permitted to attend. We are expecting to receive additional guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education tomorrow.

On numerous occasions in my tenure, whether it was related to student tragedy, mold, or inclement weather, I have received your support and trust. I want you to know how much that trust is appreciated and to thank you for your support as we navigate the coronavirus.  It is my intent to remain transparent with you and our school community as the situation evolves, and I encourage you to visit our website and follow us on social media for updates.  Lastly, as is always the case, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
 
Todd

Todd B. Stoltz
Superintendent
[email protected]

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