District Newsletter 10/25/2020
Good evening EPASD Families,
Greetings! As we are entering our 5th week in Level II the Hybrid/Blended Instructional Model, and entering the 2nd marking period, here is a brief update:
Website and COVID Dashboard
Since this past spring, we have been working with our webhost on a refresh to our outdated website. The new website was to have originally been live this past July, but due to unforeseen delays from our webhost we are still under construction. We thank you for your patience as it continues to be a work in progress.
In the meantime, we are launching a new COVID-19 Health Monitoring Dashboard, which is located in the new EPASD COVID-19 Dashboard and Archive. It is located under our Latest News and Articles on our homepage here. Our numbers will be updated as we receive information. The figures presented on the Dashboard are cumulative from the beginning of the school year to the present, and include all students and staff, whether they are Livestreaming, attending Panther Academy, or attending school. Until the confirmed positive case yesterday, the confirmed cases were all from prior to our schools reopening for in-person learning on September 28th. As with the confirmed case yesterday, we will be notifying the district should we have future instances of confirmed cases within our schools.
We are surveying all of our families, teachers, principals, and our middle school and high school students. After starting the 2020-2021 school year in Level I with all students working remotely, we moved to the Level II Hybrid Model on September 28th, ahead of our original target of the end of the first marking period. As we are now entering our 5th week of this model, we would like to gauge parents'/guardians' comfort level in the current model, as well as look towards moving to all students back in their classrooms Monday thru Thursday. In this model, students would still receive Livestreamed instruction for a half day on Fridays while teachers engage in planning Friday PM (no change from the current model). There will still be the option for students to attend Panther Academy or participate in full-time Livestreaming.
At this time, we are still in the Moderate spread, and are monitoring local cases and spread on a daily basis.
We ask that you please complete your survey(s) by Thursday, October 29th at 4:00pm. The survey links were sent out via Blackboard email on Friday, October 23rd.
In addition to surveying, we will be holding a Community Townhall meeting virtually on Wednesday, October 28th from 7:00-8:30pm. If you wish to ask a question at the townhall, you will need to register for the Zoom webinar here. If you are only viewing the Townhall, you do not need to register as it will be broadcast live on our YouTube channel. You must register by Tuesday, October 27th at 4:00pm.
Provisions for Post-Election Site Cleaning
November 3rd Election – East Pennsboro Elementary School and West Creek Hills Elementary School are polling sites on election day. We are required by the Department of Health to provide sanitation measures following the election process.
We have been in close-communication with the Cumberland County Board of Elections, and they have provided the following guidance on how the election will be run at our schools:
The county has trained the Election Judges to clean continually with the provided 80% alcohol wipes. They will be disinfecting with these wipes throughout the day. We have also been advised to place No Public Restroom signs throughout the voting area so the public does not use the bathrooms (poll workers will still use the facilities). Voting ends at 8pm and the election workers will vacate by 9pm. Aramark will implement the SpaceCarePlus cleaning protocol immediately after the area is vacated. The public will be mostly touching the voting machines and pens that are property of the election board. Additionally, the thought that this virus spreads through surfaces has been discounted now. Per the CDC website, Coronaviruses are thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging.
The 24/48 hour waiting protocol is recommended for sites such as a church that is not open to the public. A facility open to the public should immediately clean and return to normal. For more information, please visit the CDC website's page on elections here.
On behalf of the School Board and staff, thank you for your support and partnership in educating our students. Happy Halloween to all of our families! Be safe and be well.
Dr. Donna Dunar, EPASD Superintendent
District - Wide:
- 10/28: End of Marking Period 1
- 10/28: Community Virtual Townhall, 7:00-8:30pm
- 10/29: Surveys Due
- Picture Days for Livestreaming Students - Please check your student emails for updates!
- 10/28: Picture Day (Group A & C, Livestreaming students should report with their originally assigned group, schedule to be released)
- 10/29: Picture Day (Group B & C, Livestreaming students should report with their originally assigned group, schedule to be released)
- 12/8: Picture Retakes
- 12/9: Picture Retakes
- 11/17: Picture Day (Group B & C)
- 11/18: Picture Day (Group A & C)
- 11/19: Picture Day (Livestreaming students -- more information will be released closer to the date)
- 11/4: Picture Day (Group A & C, Livestreaming students should report with their originally assigned group)
- 11/5: Picture Day (Group B, Livestreaming students should report with their originally assigned group)
- 10/26: Picture Day (Group A & C, Livestreaming students from 2:10-3:00 -- more information will be released closer to the date)
- 10/27: Costume Day (Group B - please check your emails for guidelines)
- 10/28: Costume Day (Group A - please check your emails for guidelines)
- 10/29: Picture Day (Group B & C, Livestreaming students from 2:10-3:00 -- more information will be released closer to the date)
Middle School Basketball Open Gyms
Any 7th or 8th grade student interested in playing middle school basketball this winter should plan on attending our open gyms this coming week. Upon arrival, each participant will need to submit a “Re-entry Participation Waiver” (attached, or copies available in the MS Main Office). At the first open gym, the coaches will cover our “Return to Athletics & Activities Safety Guidelines” while also beginning appropriate levels of initial activity. Student-athletes are asked to arrive with their own water bottles, wear masks (except when physically active), and maintain social distancing.
The schedule will be as follows, with future dates to be communicated to the student-athletes:
Boys, Wednesday (10/28), 3:30-5:30 p.m., in the middle school gym
Girls, Thursday (10/29), 3:30-5:30 p.m., in the middle school gym
EPASD Panther Pride
Congratulations to junior Danielle Miller -- Grand Champion at the Capital Area Science and Engineering Fair (CASEF)! She is the first Grand Champion at CASEF from our district in nearly 30 years.
The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (PPSA) Journal published a profile of Danielle in their September 2020 issue (see below). Had the pandemic not occurred, Danielle and two other students would have represented 22 PA counties and EPASD at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Anaheim, CA.
Congratulations to Danielle! We look forward to your bright future!
EPASD Spirit Wear Store is Open!
Northeast Virtual College Fair
In an effort to connect students with colleges across the northeast we are hosting the Northeast Virtual College fair for high school juniors and seniors from October 25 to November 8! We ask that you please share this information with your students so that they can utilize this virtual asset to help roadmap their future from the safety of their homes.
The Northeast Virtual College Fair will connect students and parents to educational institutions throughout Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York states. please help us spread the word by sharing the attached information with your faculty and student body. For more information or to sign up for reminders and attend the virtual college fair you can visit https://necollegefair.com/! Registered students will also be eligible to win a $300 Amazon Gift Card as an added bonus!
Education Foundation Fundraiser
EPHS Mini-THON Fundraiser
Important Information from our Nursing Staff
VFW Essay Scholarship Competitions
Open to students in 6th, 7th, & 8th grades through October 31, 2020. Grand Prize - $5,000
Open to students in 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grades through October 31, 2020. Grand Prize - $30,000
Like & Follow on Facebook!
Our new Navy Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NJROTC) program now has it's own Facebook page. Like & Follow the page for updates, information, and celebration of this wonderful new program at EPASD!