SPEC to Transition to Four Days of Instruction

SPEC to Transition to Four Days of Instruction
Posted on 01/26/2021
This is the image for the news article titled SPEC to Transition to Four Days of Instruction

South Park Elementary Center Families:

As communicated with families and staff earlier this month, the South Park School District intends to transition South Park Elementary Center to four days of in-person instruction beginning on Monday, February 1, 2021. Students in the in-person learning track for the second semester of the year will attend up to four days of in-person classes beginning on February 1. The South Park Cyber Academy will remain in place for those families who elected to keep their children in the cyber academy or enroll them in the cyber academy for the second semester.

To achieve this transition, the district needed to acquire additional equipment and supplies. We have experienced pandemic-related shipping and delivery delays. However, all the equipment and supplies are expected to be delivered by the end of this week. Any further delivery delays may cause us to make a slight modification to the elementary center operational schedule. Families will be notified of any changes if they need to occur.

Please carefully and thoroughly review the following information as it pertains to the change in the operational model at South Park Elementary Center effective February 1, 2021. 

In-Person Instruction Schedule - February 2021

Up to two additional in-person instructional days will be added for all South Park Elementary Center students enrolled in the in-person learning track. This means, during a five-day school week, elementary center students will attend in-person classes Monday through Thursday. At this time, Fridays during five-day school weeks will remain an at-home learning day for all students as our teachers focus on remediation and cyber instruction. When the school week is shortened due to a scheduled off-day, the in-person instructional calendar will be updated to maximize classroom learning. The in-person learning calendar for February can be found by clicking here.

At-Home Symptom Screening Tool

It is imperative that all students and staff use the district’s at-home symptom screening tool before leaving for school each day. We also ask families to screen their children for a fever daily. Contact elementary center nurse Mrs. Mosi (kim.mosi@sparksd.org or extension 4040) if your child develops symptoms, your child or an immediate family member tests positive for COVID-19 or your child is told to quarantine. These actions combined with public health guidelines including physical distancing, the use of face coverings and avoiding large gatherings can help to keep our schools open.

Transportation

Capacity limits on elementary center school bus routes have been increased, and students will once again share seats. Up to two elementary center students will share a seat on a school bus. Up to three elementary-aged siblings will share a seat on a school bus. This reduced physical distancing between students on school buses may result in the identification of additional close contacts should a case of COVID-19 be confirmed and the need for your child to quarantine based on requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and/or the Allegheny County Health Department. Close contacts are generally individuals within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more. Face coverings remain a requirement on school buses.

Elementary center bus routes have changed. This may result in your child having a new bus number and/or stop time for the second semester. Transportation assignments will be emailed to elementary center families on Tuesday, January 26. Families whose children were already assigned to district transportation or requested district transportation for the third quarter are asked to review the transportation assignments and contact the transportation department by Wednesday, January 27 at 10 a.m. if there is a mistake on their children’s transportation assignment. 

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing in elementary center classrooms will be reduced to approximately three feet. This reduced physical distancing between students and between students and staff may result in the identification of additional close contacts should a case of COVID-19 be confirmed in a classroom setting and the need for your child to quarantine based on requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and/or the Allegheny County Health Department. Close contacts are generally individuals within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more. Face coverings remain a requirement in all Pennsylvania schools.

Food Services

With the increased number of students now eating in the school cafeteria and to ensure our food service operations remain efficient, effective and safe, the elementary center lunch menu will be limited to one daily meal choice beginning on February 1. The February lunch menu can be found by clicking here. Accommodations for allergies and dietary restrictions will continue to be made. Please contact Brandon Smoker, food services director, by emailing brandon.smoker@sparksd.org or calling extension 2930, with any questions. Physical distancing of six feet in school cafeterias remains a requirement in order for students to remove their face coverings.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required at all times in school and on the bus except during breakfast, lunch and scheduled mask breaks. Face coverings must be secured over the nose and mouth. An update to the state’s face covering order says face shields must extend below the chin and to the ears and leave no gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece. The widely-used face shields on glasses are no longer permitted under this order as they leave a gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece. The face shields on glasses may continue to be worn if used in combination with a mask.

Further Operational Changes

At any time, the district may transition back to a hybrid instructional model or a remote instructional model due to the identification of cases or the increase in the number of identified close contacts. The number of short-term building closures may increase due to the number of cases or the identification of additional close contacts. We continue to encourage families to have a contingency plan in place in the event the district must transition a school or schools back to a remote instructional model. These changes will be swift and will take into account a number of factors including, but not limited to, the number of COVID-19 cases in the district, community and county; the impacts – educational, health, and social/emotional – on our students; the ability of the district to staff classrooms and positions; and the guidelines and recommendations from state and county health officials. Additionally, the district is required to adhere to the mandates from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding building closures following the identification of a certain number of cases in a building. The district must close a building or buildings for the time specified by the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Health following the identification of 4 or more cases in a school building over a 14-day rolling period.

These plans are subject to change and are based on factors that could change quickly. Families and staff will continue to receive updates from the district when changes to our operational plan are made. Questions or concerns should be directed to your child’s teacher or principal.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.