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Penn Hills School District

Update from the Superintendent - January 28, 2021

Good afternoon, PH Families and Staff-
Last evening, our Board of School Directors authorized the reinstatement of planned shifts that had been originally approved October 28.  As you are aware, those planned shifts were tabled after a spike in COVID-19 cases during the month of November.  As of this morning, our District records reflect the following:
  • CONFIRMED COVID-19 Cases since March 13, 2020 involving a PHSD Affiliate (contractor, employee, student, and/or volunteer):  105
  • CONFIRMED COVID-19 Cases since January 15, 2021 involving a PHSD Affiliate:  3
    • 2 cases have been linked to someone else in each household having tested positive first.
    • 1 case involves an individual who has not been onsite at PHSD since March 13, 2020.
  • Out and Awaiting Test Results:  2
  • Known PHSD Affiliates Who have Tested and Received Negative Results:  111 *does not include individuals who tested multiple times in the same approximate timeframe
As 2-days onsite A and B hybrid cohorts begin to be combined into a single 4-days onsite model, please trust that we will continue to implement COVID-19 mitigation strategies, and we will continue to contact directly those individuals (or family representatives for students) thought to have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 while onsite at PHSD.  Additionally, PHSD remains bound to the conditions outlined in the attestation form that was Board-approved and submitted to Pennsylvania Department of Education in November.  Those conditions include a mandatory, temporary shift to 100% remote learning should COVID-19 case numbers in the same school exceed defined thresholds.  As you are likely aware, Penn Hills Elementary temporarily shifted to 100% remote learning after four (4) related cases were confirmed several weeks ago.
As our organization plans for its latest shift, we will continue working behind the scenes to adjust current transportation and food service operations to accommodate planned changes.  To that end, each PH Family will be receiving updated transportation information in the near future.  Bus stop locations are not expected to change, and most pick-up and drop-off times will change only minimally; however, vehicle assignments may be adjusted to accommodate anticipated roster changes.  Operationally, we expect to retain current daily practices within our schools that include only minimal movement outside the classroom for students in grades K-8 and continued consumption of breakfast and lunch in classrooms for all students grades K-12.  We sincerely believe limiting student movement throughout the day and avoiding use of our cafeterias have been key to controlling COVID-19 exposure.
Assuming local conditions remain stable, planned onsite learning shifts are as follows:
Tuesday, February 16:  Grades 1, 6, 7, 8, 11, and 12 are expected to move to a 4-day (M, T, R, and F) hybrid option.  The 2-day hybrid option will be dissolved for students in these same grade levels.
Monday, March 1:  Grades 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 10 are expected to move to a 4-day (M, T, R, and F) hybrid option.  The 2-day hybrid option will be dissolved for students in these same grade levels.
Families should expect that Principals and Counselors will continue reaching out ahead of February 16 and March 1 to confirm current family preferences as options change:  onsite 4 days or 100% remote.
PLEASE, remain mindful that WE need EVERYONE's continued support and cooperation to preserve safe learning and working conditions.  To that end, PLEASE remain committed to:
  • Wearing masks faithfully
  • Washing hands frequently
  • Avoiding close physical contact
  • Staying home when not feeling well and/or when experiencing any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 (sore throat, fever, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, body aches, vomiting, or diarrhea)
We wish EVERYONE continued good health, and I encourage you to reach out to me directly should you have questions or concerns.
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