July 21, 2020
Good Afternoon CASD Families and Team Members!
I hope you are having an enjoyable and relaxing Summer. In order to achieve a successful return in the Fall of 2020, in the midst of uncertainty, it is paramount that we work together as a community in providing a safe environment for our students, staff, and families. Since April we have been planning various scenarios for the Catasauqua Area School District Fall 2020 Return to School. The CASD Health and Safety Plan included the input and ideas of hundreds of people, community survey results, and various agencies, resulting in a comprehensive plan that incorporates various scenarios, and numerous details regarding practices and procedures to provide a safe and healthy environment for our students, staff, and community.
After months of planning, the Board of School Directors approved the CASD Health and Safety Plan in preparation for a return to instruction on August 31, 2020. Instruction may take a variety of forms, including: In-Person 5 days per week; Virtual (Online); or In-Person Hybrid (Combination of In-Person and Virtual). These models are detailed within the CASD Health and Safety Plan, attached to this communication. Due to numerous variables surrounding health screening, isolation, quarantine, and other requirements, the necessity to pivot to any of the various instructional modes is inevitable and may occur regularly. We understand the need for predictability and a high level of quality programming, and will include these in our ultimate decision in determining the Opening Model.
School Principals will send a communication this Friday including a description of the various structures inherent in each model, along with a mandatory CASD Return to Learn 2020-21 Learning Option & Transportation Option Selection Form in which you will be asked to choose an Instructional Model and your intention for AM and PM Transportation.
The Instructional Models will include:
In-Person Model (5 day per week or Hybrid)
CASD Online/Virtual Model
Upon receipt of the survey results by July 31, Administration will decide on the Opening Model that is most aligned with our plan, provides the greatest level of safety, predictability, quality, and meets the needs of our students, staff, and community. We are all in this together and it will take our collective efforts to provide a meaningful and enjoyable school year for all. Thank you for your understanding, cooperation, and collaboration during this unprecedented time.
Robert J. Spengler
CASD Health & Safety Plan 2020-21
Health & Safety Plan Presentation - CASD - 2020-21
July 1, 2020
Good Afternoon CASD Families and Team Members!
The Spring of 2020 has been like no other. I appreciate your incredible support and hope you are enjoying your summer! I would like to provide a general update and ideas regarding the Fall 2020 Reopening planning process.
Your Catasauqua Area School District Administrative Team has been tirelessly reviewing research, best practices, medical-based recommendations, and the most recent stakeholder survey results. We have also led and participated in numerous Lehigh Valley Task Forces to determine the models and practices that result in the most valuable experience for our students.
We are in the process of creating the CASD Health and Safety Plan in preparation for a return to in-person instruction and expect to have the Board of School Directors consider approval during the week of July 20, 2020. We have begun the planning process with a goal of having all students physically present in school, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. We are busy planning instructional models to include an option for families who prefer a robust virtual learning model that is tied directly to a CASD classroom. We will also plan for online instruction should the region enter a phase that prohibits in-person interaction. In order to work towards a successful return in the Fall of 2020, it is paramount that we work together as a community in providing a safe environment for our students, staff, and families.
At this time, it is our intention to provide a 5 day per week “Physical Presence” model for our students with a virtual learning option that allows for a direct connection to our physical classrooms and parallel resources. However, a drastic change in medical-based advice or regional conditions could change this model. Final discussions will take place with our stakeholders and our Planning Committee over the next few weeks. In order for us to provide a “Physical Presence” Instructional Model, there may be different requirements and adjustments to the traditional day. As you know, this is a monumental task, but I am confident that we will produce a plan that meets the needs of all stakeholders of our School District.
In preparation, here are some action items you may wish to consider:
- Purchase a mask for your child to be in their possession during the school day and worn in situations in which minimal social distancing guidelines cannot be achieved. It is our plan to offer bus transportation, but face coverings may be required in order to operate our district vehicles in a practical manner and provide this crucial service. All staff members will be provided with face shields and Personal Protective Equipment in order to provide protection as well as the ability to communicate effectively and meaningfully.
- Have a thermometer available at home for daily temperature checking prior to school arrival.
- Staff and Students are highly encouraged to bring a water bottle to school/work. We are installing additional water bottle filling stations in each school building.
- If daycare is an issue, please prepare for the possibility of a school day that may be slightly shorter (30 minutes) in duration so that our staff may be available for students in the CASD Virtual Learning Program or learning remotely due to illness.
- Brand new iPads have been purchased for every student, K-12. This device will be used in school and taken home, providing the flexibility of virtual instruction if conditions necessitate the transition or if a family illness causes a need for a student to connect virtually to his/her classroom for a short period of time. You may wish to establish a quiet location in your home for your child to perform school work and communicate with Teachers and fellow Classmates.
Upon approval of the Plan, I will communicate with you, and Building Principals will send detailed information regarding your choice of instructional model, transportation preference, school day schedules, procedures, and more.
We are all in this together and it will take our collective efforts to provide a meaningful and enjoyable school year for all. I have no doubt that our Catty community will rise to the occasion! Please have an enjoyable and safe Fourth of July! #CattyStrong
Robert J. Spengler
April 2, 2020
Dear Catasauqua Area School District Families and Staff,
The purpose of this communication is to provide you with the most recent update on District initiatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic Closure. As you are aware, the Governor has closed Commonwealth Schools until further notice and Catasauqua Area School District is preparing for a long-term closure.
Catasauqua Area School District Administration has posted the Continuity of Education Plan and FERPA Notice on the COVID-19 section of the website. I encourage you to take a look at the Continuity of Education Plan for a general overview of the timelines and expectations for Full Instruction to begin on April 14, 2020. As I announced in an earlier communication, teacher contacts, review, and enrichment activities will occur from March 30 until April 14. This timeframe allows us to prepare for a maximized, robust learning environment beginning on April 14, 2020. Principals and Teachers will again be following up with students and parents over the next week to prepare for Full Instruction to begin on April 14.
Over these few weeks, we have been retooling the entire operation of the School District to transition from a traditional environment to one centered on e-learning. Our Instructional Staff have been holding virtual experiences like Virtual Spirit Week, social posting of our 6th Grade Teachers checking in with students, Mrs. Gallo’s Zoom classroom meeting, and more. Staff members, including our SRO’s, have been serving Grab & Go Lunches, delivering meals to those in need including our Senior High-Rise Residents, and more. I am humbled by our community’s response during this time with amazing donations and assistance from community groups and individuals. We will travel this road together and I am confident we will all benefit in the long run. Please remain flexible, understanding and communicative during this unprecedented event. Our entire staff is committed to providing a valuable experience for our students and I am proud of everyone for their hard work and determination in doing so.
Grab & Go Lunch Packs have been served this week on Tuesday and Thursday. If you require additional nutrition, please contact C3P by email C3P@cattysd.org or call 610.264.5571 and leave a message.
Again, please look for additional communication from your Child’s Principals and Teachers, who will be contacting you regarding preparation for full instruction, to include the learning platform, device availability, available resources, assignment structure, and more.
Thank you for your incredible understanding and support throughout this time. It’s greatly appreciated.
Robert J. Spengler