ACV Update 7-31-2020
This message is intended to go to the entire A-C Valley School Community and people who are affiliated with our wonderful school district. This message will provide ongoing clarification about our plans for the start of the “new” school year.
1. The school calendar that was formally adopted on March 16, 2020 will be modified to provide our teaching staff with additional professional development associated with technology integration. The change in the calendar will not impact the teachers’ first day back to school, it will remain as August 24th, but the students’ first day will be on August 31st. This will provide our staff an entire week for training and planning. The only exception being with our CCCC students. This group of students will start at the CCCC in the afternoon of August 26th.
The technology training mentioned earlier will be designed to support our distance-learning platform, although Bill Gates said it best, “Technology is just a tool, in terms of getting kids working and motivated, the teacher is the most important part of the learning process.” This is why we are so proud of our teaching staff, we have highly qualified and very skilled educators who are passionate about education. I assure you that whether we are face-to-face or in a distance-learning mode, our teachers will have the skills to educate all of our students.
2. The district is still in the process of collecting survey data and completed return to school forms from our families. If you have not completed the survey and/or sent the forms back to the district, please do so today. This information is very important for our planning process. Mrs. Sherman and Mr. Jordan will be using this information in working with their staff to create schedules and learning pathways that best meet all of our students’ needs. Although incomplete, we have seen a majority of the respondents choose the face-to-face learning option. This is great news for our school district, but I want everyone to know that if you are choosing face-to-face instruction, the district will be upholding the latest face-covering mandate issued by Health Secretary Rachelle Levine and Governor Wolf. This means that all students and staff at A-CV will wear a mask in the fall. If your child has a health condition that may prohibit them from wearing a traditional face covering, you will need to contact the building principal as soon as possible. Dr. John Love from the Butler Healthcare System told me during a conference call this week, “The school districts job is to mitigate the spread of this disease, and face coverings have been shown to stop the spread.” If you are not comfortable sending your child to school with a mask on, we are strongly encouraging you to choose the distance learning platform.
3. The district has purchased 100 face shields for staff and 700 face shields for the students. These shields will be made available upon request. In addition, the district has 5000 facemasks if students and staff are in need of a mask. We do encourage all families who plan to return to face-to-face instruction to purchase your own masks and have back-up available as well.
4. In closing, the district has formed a committee to create and review the A-C Valley Health and Safety Plan. This plan is posted on our district website for your review. Please access the new website and review the plan, it was created to keep students and staff safe. In this plan, you will see that if Clarion County is in a “red” phase, the school district will be closed and all students will be learning from home. If our county is in the “yellow” the students will be broken into two groups, a “blue” group and “white” group. The groups will alternate days with every Wednesday being used as a distance-learning day, which will enable students to learn from home. Wednesday will provide our custodians additional time for deep cleaning. If we stay in the “green” phase, we will be back to school practicing social distancing and face covering. Please keep in mind that the Department of Health or the Governor’s Office could make changes to this plan so we will need to remain flexible.
Please be safe and do your best to stop the spread of COVID-19.
David McDeavitt, Superintendent