HEALTH, SAFETY AND CALENDAR UPDATES

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM DR. TINA CHEKAN - MARCH 2022

Propel Schools Families,


We hope that you and your families are healthy, happy and ready for the official arrival of spring, which will happen in just a few weeks!


Please take a few moments to review this newsletter for important information regarding:



  • Updates to our Health and Safety Plan
  • An important update to our school calendar



As always, thank you for your continued support and for choosing Propel Schools as your partner in education!



Dr. Tina Chekan

CEO/Superintendent

HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN UPDATES

With approximately 4,700 scholars and staff in our 13 schools and administration building, we are pleased that our COVID-19 mitigation strategies and efforts continue to be successful. Our reported positive cases have been low for several consecutive weeks.


Feedback collected from recent staff and family surveys supports the lifting of the mandatory masking requirement at Propel Schools, under conditions outlined in the recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


In light of the family/staff feedback and updated CDC guidance, Propel Schools has updated our Health and Safety Plan and will transition to voluntary masking for scholars, staff members and visitors beginning Monday, March 7, 2022. Please note that masking on school buses is no longer required unless an individual bus company has a policy in place.



We fully realize this is a major shift in how our schools have been operating and that the transition may be met with a variety of different thoughts, opinions, and responses. Everyone in our school communities has been impacted in different ways by the pandemic. We ask that everyone be respectful and sensitive to the individual needs and decisions of our families and staff members.


If your choice is for your scholar to continue to wear a mask, we support that decision. If you want your scholar to continue wearing a mask, please send them to school with a mask. Please note that:


  • Scholars who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of illness should not be sent to school, Please continue to keep your scholar home from school if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or any other illness.
  • If a scholar is exhibiting symptoms of illness while at school, a school nurse may require the scholar to wear a mask while waiting for their parent or guardian to pick them up.


Respecting Personal Choices


We offer families a choice of using masks with the expectation that individual choices will be respected.


  • Our school counselors will conduct mini-lessons with scholars to discuss the importance of respecting the decisions of others regarding the use of masks.
  • Please be respectful of anyone who requests that you remain physically distanced from them. We will continue to provide physical distancing (to the extent possible) in our classrooms.
  • For younger scholars, please let educators know if you prefer your scholar to wear a mask and educators will do their best to remind the scholar about mask usage.
  • If your scholar expresses to you any anxiety about this shift, please reach out to our school counselors for additional support as needed.


Ongoing Mitigation Efforts


  • Propel Schools' contact tracing efforts will be discontinued.

  • Propel will continue to track positive cases internally, but will discontinue updating the dashboard on our website.

  • Any individual who tests positive for the virus should report that information to the Allegheny County Health Department and to your school nurse or principal. For your convenience, we are happy to provide a link to the county’s self-reporting website. Using this link WILL NOT inform Propel Schools about the positive case, so please reach out to your school's nurse or principal.

  • If there is a noted increase in COVID-19 infections in our area or we begin to see clusters of infections in school buildings, we will review the situation carefully and take additional steps, if necessary.

  • Sanitization protocols, such as increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces and the availability of hand sanitizer stations, will remain in place as they promote the health of all scholars and staff.


If you have questions or concerns about your scholar’s specific needs, please contact your building principal.

IMPORTANT UPDATE TO THE PROPEL SCHOOLS CALENDAR

Please note that Tuesday, April 19, 2022, will now be an asynchronous learning day for all scholars, as educators will be engaged in professional development and preparation for scholar PSSA and Keystone testing. On this day, scholars will complete relevant and engaging assignments in Google classroom or in SeeSaw.


Thank you for your support as our teams fully prepare to support scholars during their PSSA or Keystone testing.