Asa Packer News

4/16/21

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Welcome Ace!

Our New Friend!

Asa Packer News

Please see below for this week's news.

It's Good to Be Back

It was great to see all the hybrid students back in class for four days this week. There was definitely a different type of energy in the building. Thank you for all your support.

Dismissal

We ask that parents continue to be socially distant while outside and continue to wear masks. Children should be monitored once dismissed from the building. Students should not be running around unsupervised or knocking on classroom windows. Dismissal for the walkers may take a little longer due to the increased number of students. Depending on the need, we may stagger walkers or dismiss a grade level a few minutes early.

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PSSA Information From Dr. Roy


For Parents/Guardians of Students in Grades 3-5

Please see below for a message from Superintendent Joseph Roy. Only the Elementary FAQ is attached. Opt out requests may be sent to jchorvath@basdschools.org

Dear BASD Parents/Guardians,

Should I opt my child out of the PSSAs (or Keystones) this year?

This is a very common question right now. What's a parent to do?

I am attaching three Frequently Asked Questions documents (elementary, middle and high school) that were distributed by principals a few weeks ago. I encourage parents to read through these FAQs to assist with your decision. If you choose to opt out of testing, please notify your principal via email by April 30th.

Why is the question of whether or not to opt out my child such a big deal this year?

There is significant opposition from education professionals (including me) to administering federally mandated standardized testing during this pandemic year. Unfortunately, the federal Department of Education will not waive the mandated tests as was done last year.

The opposition to the PSSAs and Keystones this year consists of three main arguments:

1. This year's standardized tests cannot yield useful results. These tests are meant to measure/assess a student's learning over a period of time and covering specific content standards. In order to be useful (valid) a test has to align with the learning. For an extreme example, we wouldn't give a math test at the end of a social studies unit. The PSSAs/Keystones were designed to measure learning over the course of a "normal" school year. As a result, many professional educators believe the PSSAs/Keystones are not aligned to the learning and the reality of this year. Therefore, the results will not be useful for schools to assist individual students based on their individual test scores.

2. Standardized tests create unnecessary stress at a time our children are living with the unprecedented stress of a pandemic. I share deep concerns about the mental health and well-being of our students who have not enjoyed the normal activities of childhood for over a year. I find it hard to justify adding to this stress by mandating that students take multi-hour, multi-day standardized tests that we believe will not yield educationally valid or useful results.

3. Administering the PSSAs and Keystones will consume teaching and learning time in a year where every day of school is precious.

The support for administering the PSSAs and Keystones this year consists of three main arguments:

1. At the federal and state level, the results of the tests can then be used by policy makers to argue for more funding for education.

2. Schools can use results for planning to support student learning.

3. Individual parents may still want to know how their children score on the PSSAs or the Keystones as we come out of this pandemic.

The above arguments have led to increased questions from parents regarding whether or not to opt-out. I encourage you to read through the attached FAQs.

For my wife and I, our children will not take the PSSAs this year. We do not believe the benefits come close to outweighing the negatives. The feedback we receive from teachers via report cards and conferences provide us with the necessary information we need to have a handle on our children's progress. Many parents feel similarly. Many parents will want their children to complete the tests. Our district is prepared to support children either way. Parents should know that it is possible, even likely, the students who are not taking the tests will learn remotely on testing days at the end of May. Please read through the attached FAQs for related information.

If you choose to have your child take the tests, you need to do nothing more. If you choose to opt your child out of the tests please email your principal by April 30th so we can plan accordingly.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Dr. Joseph J. Roy
Superintendent

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PTA Updates

Reminders:


Wawa Hoagie Coupons - Need an order form? Download the order form online.

https://asapackerpta.memberhub.store/news


Teacher Appreciation Week is approaching...

The PTA would like to provide our teachers with a special breakfast/snack during teacher appreciation week. We are asking for parents to consider donating beverages, snacks or $1-5 for Teacher Appreciation Week of May 7. For a full list of items needed, please contact: ShawntaySabetti@gmail.com or visit www.asapackerpta.org

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First in Math Teams & Players of the Week

Please see below for The First in Math Teams & Players of the Week. These rankings are updated every Monday morning.
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BASD E-News - Click Below for Updates

This week's BASD eNews features the following:

-2020 Earned Income Tax Filing Deadline Extension.

-BASD's Employee of the Month was recently Surprised at her school. See the video capturing the moment.

-End of Year High School Event Video Announcement from Dr. Roy.

-Go on a Virtual Tour of the Communities in Schools with Dr. Roy, and President and CEO of CIS Tim Mulligan.

-East Hills Middle School's production of Matilda The Musical will be shown on the big screen at Becky's Drive Inn. For more details see this edition of the BASD eNews in the Upcoming Events Section.


BASD eNews from Dr. Roy

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Reminders:

April Lunch Menu

Attached is the lunch menu for April.

2021 - 2022 School District Calendar

Attached is the 2020 - 2021 School District Calendar.

Daily Symptom Monitoring Checklist

Please continue to utilize the Daily Symptom Monitoring Checklist. A copy of the document is below.

Asa Packer Attendance - Email Excuse link for Sick Students

Please remember that the below e-mail may be used for attendance excuses.


asapackerattendance@basdschools.org

Health Concerns

If your child was possibly exposed to or is exhibiting COVID symptoms, please contact our health office staff. They will be in contact with you about the various procedures. You can call the school or email them at the addresses below. Both members of our staff should be contacted if you are sending an email.


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