September 20, 2020
Dear Catasauqua Area School District Parents/Guardians,
On Saturday, September 19, 2020, the Catasauqua Area School District was notified of a confirmed case(s) of coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Catasauqua Middle School. The student’s family and contacts have been notified and appropriate quarantine/isolation is in effect for impacted individuals, in accordance with CDC and PA Department of Health Guidelines.
The Catasauqua Middle School will remain open at this time. However, please be aware that in the case of two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases within a school building, that particular building will be closed for a period of at least one week, and all instruction will be performed synchronously and asynchronously by instructional staff from their classrooms to students in their homes via our instructional platform(s).
Staff members and students who may have come into close contact (any individual within 6 feet of an infected individual for at least 15 minutes, uninterrupted) with the individual, will be directly contacted by their local health department and/or school district officials with instructions to self-quarantine.
You are encouraged to do the following to help prevent the spread of illness at home and in school:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Wash your hands frequently.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough and sneeze.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Practice social distancing and wear a face covering.
Please keep your child home if they are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms: fever (I00°F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, lack of smell or taste, sore throat, chills, muscle pain, headache, congestion, or runny nose.
The Catasauqua Area School District will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed. Please know the health and safety of our students and staff is our priority.
If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please contact your building administration. We thank you for your continued cooperation and support.
Robert J. Spengler
Superintendent of Schools
August 17, 2020
Good Evening CASD Families,
I would like to take this opportunity to provide resources, timelines, and general information regarding the start of the 2020-2021 Catasauqua Area School District School Year. The Administration and Board of School Directors have announced the 2020-2021 School Year will include an Online Learning Option and a Traditional Option, along with the PDE approved HomeSchool Option as well. Thank you for choosing your child’s Learning Option for the first marking period, allowing us to properly plan and provide a rich learning experience.
The CASD Online Learning Option is a model that embraces learning from home while connected to CASD Teachers. This robust model reflects the needs and interests you expressed via surveys and conversations. We have improved the program from this Spring to include consistent messaging, enhanced content, and predictable collaboration times. The CASD Traditional K-12 Learning Option is a fully in-person model that meets 5 days per week in school. All Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Education, CDC, and other guidelines have been integrated in our School Health & Safety Plan. Below are documents that provide an overview of each option, along with FAQ’s.
The Catasauqua Area School District has hired additional staff and purchased significant technology (brand new iPads for ALL students), resources, cleaning equipment, and supplies in order to provide a safe environment for all. I commend our leadership, support staff, teachers, and regional experts in contributing to our CASD Health & Safety Plan, working diligently all summer to create a safe and robust environment for our school community.
School Principals will be sending detailed information this week, including classroom assignments, arrival/dismissal procedures, and more. If you chose to utilize CASD Transportation, you will receive pertinent information by early next week at the latest. Please look for these communications and contact the appropriate school building if there are any issues. My personal best wishes to your family for a successful 2020-2021 School Year!
Again, thank you for your incredible support, understanding, and collaboration as we strive to provide valuable and meaningful experiences for the students of our community.
Robert J. Spengler
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