It has been a busy two weeks as MTSD continues to plan for instruction beyond March 30 that meets the educational needs of all of our students during these difficult times. Although we cannot answer all of your questions about future programming at this time, we do want to provide clarification on the information provided to us by State leadership on March 23, and information about our subsequent planning for online learning.
- Governor Wolf’s Press Conference:
Yesterday (March 23), Governor Wolf announced that Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until April 9 for students. Because of our pre-scheduled Spring break, the first day back to school for students would be Tuesday, April 14. Governor Wolf said his administration has not decided on extending school closures beyond the April 9 timeline, unless “extending the closure is needed in response to the situation with the virus at that time.”
- Online Learning:
Knowing that an extended shutdown was a possibility, our administrators, content specialists, and technology integrators have been working tirelessly these past two weeks to prepare for our district to provide online instruction to students in grades K-12. We are reviewing our educational needs specific to technology access, programming for students with special needs and English Language Learners, and identifying strategies for balancing screen time for our younger learners. We plan to give our students the core, fundamental information and content within all grade levels and course curriculum commensurate with the amount of time allotted for online learning. Our goal is to provide online instruction for students starting Monday, April 6 (several days before Governor Wolf’s expectation). Between now and April 6, our staff will be planning for this instruction. You will receive more specific information regarding online instruction from your child’s teacher and/or building principal through an email, Schoology, and/or SeeSaw. From today through April 6, we hope that you will continue to encourage your student to use the optional learning activities provided to him/her by the school and teachers.
- iPad Distribution to Students:
Our Technology Department is currently working on a schedule to implement the distribution of technology and iPads for our students to have at home to continue their education through online instruction. The distribution of the iPads will take place on Thursday (March 26), Friday (March 27), and Monday (March 30). The goal is to distribute all iPads in a timely and organized manner that also adheres to social distancing guidelines. Your student’s principal will be in touch with you regarding this iPad pick-up schedule.
- Pick-up of Other Student Materials:
We will be opening our buildings to students and families on designated days next week to retrieve any belongings that your student would like to have that is currently in his/her locker/desk (textbooks, instruments, etc.). Your student’s principal will be in touch with details regarding a date, time, and procedures for picking items up from buildings. Understand that we are managing this personal belonging pick-up in a way that ensures student health and safety.
- Distribution of Breakfasts and Lunches:
During these weeks of closure, we will continue to provide Grab and Go lunches and breakfasts at our Bucher and Schaeffer Elementary locations. The meals are available for all students, age 18 and younger, and students must be present to receive them. Last week, our Food Service staff and administrators helped provide over 950 meals to our students. I’d like to extend a big thank you to the MTSD staff who continue to provide this service to our students.
As we learn new information, we will continue to communicate with you in a timely fashion. We thank you for your continued support and understanding as we work together to serve the needs of our students and community in these unfortunate circumstances.
Dr. Robin L. Felty
Superintendent of Schools