COVID-19 Resource Hub
First, I hope that you and your family are in good health. Thank you all for your patience and support over the past month. We know this is a challenging time for our students, their families, and our school employees. We continue to work through the challenges of social distancing, business and school closures, travel restrictions, and many other challenges associated with COVID-19. Our team of teachers, administrators, and support staff have come together to prepare a plan for our district as we navigate the challenges of continuing education for our students. I want to share this plan with you and provide updates for you.
On March 13, 2020, Governor Wolf ordered the closure of all schools in the Commonwealth for a 2-week period. On March 30, 2020, he extended this closure until further notice. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has strongly encouraged districts to develop Continuity of Education plans. Their guidance follows:
Continuity of Education is the overarching term for any educational practices that occur in the event of a prolonged school closure. It is important that students have the opportunity to develop and maintain skills while away from the customary school environment. This can be achieved through Planned Instruction, Enrichment and Review or a combination thereof.
- Planned Instruction: Planned Instruction is formal teaching and learning similar to that which occurs in a classroom setting. Within this process, teachers use planned courses of instruction of new concepts/skills aligned to grade-level standards. When providing Planned Instruction, assignments will be graded and attendance/participation will be required.
- Enrichment and Review: Enrichment and Review consists of formal activities that reinforce or extend students’ prior learning. New standards and skills are not addressed through Enrichment and Review. While in Enrichment and Review, students will not be graded, and attendance/participation is not required.
The Towanda Area School District has developed a Continuity of Education plan, and it has been posted on the district website. You are welcome to read that document, as it provides some additional information about the plan that follows.
Since March 31, 2020, the Towanda Area School District has been delivering Enrichment and Review activities to all students. Starting on Monday, April 20, 2020, the Towanda Area School District will deliver our educational programs as follows:
The Towanda Area Jr/Sr High School will deliver Planned Instruction of all courses to students in grades 7 through 12. Our teachers will provide instruction on new concepts/skills aligned to grade-level standards. Our high school team has prepared and is equipped to deliver planned instruction. Teachers have been using Schoology throughout the year. With this program, we feel confident that we can provide a quality educational program and continue to move our students forward.
The Towanda Area Elementary School will deliver Planned Instruction of English Language Arts and Mathematics to students in grades 3 through 6. Teachers may provide Enrichment and Review for all other subjects. Over the past several weeks, our teachers have been learning to use Schoology. In addition, teachers will use Achieve3000. With these tools, we believe we can provide quality instruction on new content and skills.
At J. Andrew Morrow Primary School, teachers will continue to deliver Enrichment and Review to students in PK through 1st grade. Second-grade students will begin Planned Instruction starting on April 20, 2020, focusing on English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Students who do not have access to the internet should contact their school office to request materials. These materials will be mailed to homes. Upon completion, students will mail their assignments back to the school using the envelope that is provided. Parents who would prefer using our weekly food delivery system for the transfer of packets should contact the school.
Please note that students who are receiving Planned Instruction will be graded on their assignments and coursework. However, students will not receive a letter grade at the end of the marking period; students will receive a Pass or Fail based on their coursework. In addition, students who are receiving Planned Instruction will be required to attend/participate in their courses. Students should make every effort to attend live online sessions with teachers. If students are unable to attend live sessions, they must complete the required assignments by the due date.
We know that your structure at home has changed as a result of this school closure. We know this will be challenging for many of our families. There are some things you can do to help provide a sense of normalcy for your school-aged children. These include:
- Establish a space that could become a study space for students
- Eliminate distractions such as cell phones, video games, television and other forms of technology that are not needed
- Make a daily schedule for school work and try to follow the schedule on a consistent basis
- Provide brain breaks for your children and make sure they have opportunities for exercise, art and music
- Try to make each day a school day. Make sure your children are getting to bed at normal times and staying in a fairly consistent sleep pattern
Our team is here to support you. Our teachers are available through email during the school day. You may also contact your building principals with any needs or concerns.
With schools being closed for the remainder of this academic year, we will finish the school year through remote learning. More details will follow regarding the last day of the fourth marking period and options for our graduation ceremony. Thank you for your continued support of our students. We look forward to the day that we can all get back to school. Nothing can replace your teacher in the classroom setting. Nothing can replace seeing your teachers and friends on a daily basis. Nothing can replace seeing your children at band and choral concerts, athletic events, and so many other spring activities. Together, we all look forward to the day when we are able to come together and return to our daily activities.
Our community has come together to support each other during this crisis. We will get through this challenging time together, and I appreciate all the efforts from the Towanda Area School District community.
We are Black Knights!