Avonworth School District News

Return to School News and Updates - August 2020

We are Almost Back!

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope this message finds you doing well. It is hard to believe but we are almost ready to begin the 2020-2021 school year. Thank you for your patience and support while we have worked hard to put together an operational and academic plan focused on both student/staff safety and the best academic program possible given the current circumstances.

In this newsletter, we would like to share updates and information related to the start of the school year. As we have mentioned in previous communications, circumstances around COVID-19 are very fluid and changes occur on an almost daily basis. Therefore, we want to provide you with the most current information related to the start of the 2020-2021 school year all in one place.

We are very excited to get this school year underway and to see our students learning whether they are coming to school in-person or attending virtually. Our teachers will be participating in professional development over the next week and preparing to get this school year started with your children on September 1 or 2.

This is going to be a different school year but that doesn't mean it won't be amazing. The one thing that never wavers is our effort and desire to provide the best for Avonworth students. We look forward to working together to make 2020-2021 a successful school year for all Avonworth students!

Please take a moment to review the following information prior to the start of the school year.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Avonworth School District!

School Calendar Updated

Updates Made to the 2020-2021 Avonworth School District Calendar

At the August 10th School Board meeting, the Avonworth Board of School Directors voted in favor of an adjustment to the 2020-2021 school calendar. The most immediate change impacts the start date for school. The first day of school for students in grades 1-12 will be September 1, 2020. The first day of school for students in kindergarten will be September 2, 2020.

The updated 2020-2021 Avonworth School Calendar can be accessed HERE.

Please make note of the additional changes to the 2020-2021 school calendar:

  • There will be no scheduled 2-hour delays in the revised 2020-2021 school calendar.
  • March 5 will be a day off for students and staff.
  • March 15 and April 5 will now be school days.
  • There will be no spring conferences. However, parents can request a conference with a teacher at any time.
  • Please note the changes to curriculum nights and that they will be held virtually. These dates are also listed at the end of this newsletter.

Returning to School - Important Information

Face Coverings Requirement and Update from the Pennsylvania Department of Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Executive Order requires universal face coverings for all individuals age 2 or older, including school entities. This order is for the safety of students and staff, as well as the greater community, to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings are defined as coverings of the nose and mouth that are secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears, or wrapped around the lower face. For the purpose of this order, it can include a plastic face shield that covers the nose and mouth.

The Avonworth School District expects all staff and students to adhere to this order regarding universal face coverings. The only exception to this expectation is for those with restrictions due to a mental or medical condition. These instances should be rare, as those with respiratory conditions should be able to wear a face shield as opposed to a mask. The face-covering requirement will be noted in the student handbook under the dress code.

On August 17, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) made an update to the requirements regarding face coverings. The update made was in regard to when face coverings must be worn and when breaks from face coverings are allowed. PDE is requiring that face coverings be worn at all times by staff and students. However, face-covering breaks, up to ten minutes in length, can be taken when students are at a minimum of 6 feet apart.

The full PDE FAQ regarding Universal Face Coverings can be found HERE.

Face Covering Exemption Request

The only exemption to the Pennsylvania Department of Health Executive Order requiring a face covering is for those with restrictions due to a mental or medical condition.

Documentation of the mental or medical condition must be provided in alignment with the Pennsylvania Department of Health Executive Order and in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA.

If you are requesting an exemption from a face covering for your child due to a mental or medical condition, please use the following link to complete a form informing the District of this request.

If you are making a request, please complete this form by August 28, 2020.

Face Covering Exemption Form

Daily Health Monitoring Before School

The District asks that parents/guardians closely monitor the health of their children every day prior to sending children to school. Temperatures should be taken prior to reporting to school. Any child with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit needs to remain at home. Children should also be monitored for COVID-related symptoms. However, please keep in mind that many of the COVID-related symptoms are also found in other common illnesses.

Please refer to this CDC website for additional information.

Screening K-12 Students for Symptoms of COVID-19: Limitations and Considerations

District School Bus Cleaning and Disinfecting Information

The Avonworth School District contracts our busing services to Frist Student. First Student has developed a thorough protocol for keeping our buses clean and sanitized for our students.

The following documents will provide you with information regarding the First Student cleaning and sanitizing protocols.

Traveling Outside the Area

The District asks that families act responsibly if the family or anyone in the family travels outside the immediate area. This is an area that the District cannot monitor and will need the honesty of members of our school community to ensure the safety of others.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has provided guidance for travelers. Please review this guidance if you or any member of your household has traveled and please act accordingly with regard to sending a child back to school.

PA Department of Health COVID-19 Information for Travelers

Stopping the Spread

Together, we can help to stop the spread of COVID-19. The following illustration outlines the four most important actions we can all take to stop the spread. These actions are at the heart of the District's Health and Safety Plan. Students will be reminded of these actions by our teachers, administrators, and also via signs that have been placed around our buildings.

Please review these actions with your child before the start of school. Thank you for your cooperation and support!

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Resources for Parents

We understand that this time has been challenging for all of us as we try to balance life, work, school, etc. We are also concerned about how the circumstances around the pandemic have impacted our children. The District does not endorse the following resources; however, the following resources have been gathered simply to share with and provide support for our families.

Staying Informed

COVID-19 District Webpage

Keep up to date with District communication and information related to COVID-19 by visiting our COVID-19 webpage.


Important Documents & Information

Avonworth Virtual Academy

The Avonworth School District is proud to be able to offer our families the choice of full remote learning. We understand that some families may not be comfortable sending their children back to school at this time due to concerns about COVID-19.

The most important consideration in developing the Avonworth Virtual Academy was the quality of education our students would receive in the virtual environment. With that consideration in mind, it was clear that the best option was to provide our students with the Avonworth curriculum and programming delivered by Avonworth teachers. This will enable Avonworth students to stay on track with their peers attending school in-person and also make transitions to or from the Avonworth Virtual Academy as smooth as possible.

Below is the Avonworth Virtual Academy Guide. Please note that this document has also been updated since it was originally shared.

Important Dates!

  • 8/25 Grade 3 Virtual Curriculum Night from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • 8/25 Grade 4 Virtual Curriculum Night from 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • 8/26 Grade 5 Virtual Curriculum Night from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • 8/26 Grade 6 Virtual Curriculum Night from 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • 8/27 Grade 7 Virtual Curriculum Night from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • 8/27 Grades 1 & 2 Virtual Curriculum Night from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • 9/1 First Day of School for Grades 1-12
  • 9/2 First Day of School for Kindergarten
  • 9/7 Schools Closed - Labor Day
  • 9/10 Grade 8 Virtual Curriculum Night from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • 9/15 Virtual Open House Grades 9-12