As we prepare for the return of students on Monday, August 30, I wanted to share several updates, along with some very important safety reminders too. Student schedules and room assignments should be posted in Skyward no later than tomorrow at 4:00 pm. Most transportation letters have already been mailed, and families should be notified individually if changes are necessary due to new student enrollments and/or other variables that affect student pick-up and drop-off times.
Penn Hills School District remains committed to offering 5 days onsite learning for those families who want that option, and we will offer 100% remote learning for those families who prefer that option instead. However, we must remain prepared to make temporary shifts to remote learning for all K-12 students when/if local conditions warrant, including periods of bad weather. As part of our preparedness, K-12 students will be issued PHSD-owned learning devices again this school year. However, device insurance will not be optional. In order to ensure we are able to maintain a stock of working devices for our students throughout the entire school year, we are charging an insurance fee of $10 per device. Families who have not yet returned devices that were on loan from the District in 20/21 year are encouraged to return them immediately so as to avoid next-level attempts at the magisterial level to recover District damages and/or delays in your child receiving an updated device that is compatible with classmates when school starts. It is important to note all PHSD students (regardless of family income) will remain eligible for breakfast and lunch at no cost during the 21/22 school year, and that's based on our continued participation in the USDA's Community Eligibility Program.
Last night, our Board approved our 21/22 PHSD Health and Safety Plan, and the link is below for your convenience. This same plan was forwarded to PA Department of Education this morning and will be revised as guidance and conditions change. We will continue to consult with Allegheny County Health Department officials when COVID-specific concerns are reported this school year and to follow their directed next steps. It is extremely important that all K-12 students follow our COVID-mitigation strategies with fidelity, and we will be enforcing similar expectations among our PHSD staff. These strategies greatly contributed to our ability to offer onsite learning most days last school year and were highly effective during our summer program sessions as well. As a united PH community, we ask that you:
- perform a health screening in the home before sending your student(s) to school. *No one experiencing any of the known symptoms of COVID-19 exposure (sore throat, elevated temperature, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, body aches, vomiting, or diarrhea) should attempt to access PHSD property;
- reinforce with your child(ren) our indoor mask policy mask while he/she/they is indoors at PHSD (regardless of the student's vaccination status). *Extra masks may be secured from bus/van drivers and building-level school staff;
- reinforce with your child(ren) our recommendation to wear a mask outdoors during PHSD events (if your child(ren) has not been vaccinated);
- reinforce with your child(ren) that a minimum of 3 feet distance must be maintained when in school and during PHSD events;
- notify your School Nurse if your child(ren) has been scheduled for a COVID-19 test and promptly share any/all test results received.
It is important to note that our indoor mask mandate will be enforced across PHSD as of Tuesday, August 24 when we are fully staffed again. Until that time, visitors (including students) will continue to be offered a mask upon entry in our buildings if they are not wearing one at the time of arrival.
We thank you for your ongoing support and patience, and we wish Everyone continued good health. PHSD will continue to help promote vaccination opportunities within our community, and we will advise you of any/all clinics to be hosted onsite within our schools in the future.
PHSD Health & Safety Plan 2021-22 Link: https://4.files.edl.io/de05/08/19/21/175436-0c93e183-67e7-4fd6-b7d8-e3fd944c2c8a.pdf