March 25, 2020
Dear Lakeland Parents/Guardians:
I hope this communication finds all of you doing well. This past week or so has been quite challenging for all of us as we deal with trying to quarantine, social distance ourselves, constantly wash our hands and absorb the constant barrage of breaking news on the massive spread of Coronavirus across our country.
Our District, like the majority of public school districts in Pennsylvania and across the nation continues to work through the implications of this COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for our schools, family and community. The impact of the Coronavirus in Northeastern PA as well as the guidance we are receiving from PDE is changing daily. We are working as an educational community and with continued guidance from PDE, to develop a plan to meet the educational needs of our students as we deal with this ever evolving crisis.
Governor Wolf has extended the statewide school closures through Monday, April 6, 2020. If we are permitted to return later that week, we will have teachers report back for two days on Tuesday, April 7th and Wednesday, April 8th to prepare classrooms and lessons for students to return on Thursday, April 9th. This, however, is a best case scenario and there are no guarantees that students will be able to return on Thursday, April 9th. This plan will be dependent upon whether this virus continues to spread or if we begin to see containment of the spread of this deadly Coronavirus.
As you know, our district motto is #LakelandLeads, and that is exactly what we and our education community are coming together to do during this pandemic. Listed below you will find district updates and plans we have put into place to support our students and families. Please understand that, as public school entities, we are subject to many federal and state mandates that we all must take into account when devising these plans.
Free Grab n Go Meals
The Lakeland School District is providing free grab and go breakfast and lunch for any child Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Mayfield Campus. This is available to students ages 18 and under.
Children’s Produce Market
We had 45 families sign up for the Children's Produce Market and we will be doing curbside distribution on Thursday, March 26th from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the front of the Mayfield Campus.
As of March 19, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has canceled all state assessments for the 2019-2020 school year, including the PSSAs, Keystones, and PASA Assessments.
Since the Governor closed our schools on Friday, March 13th, as a result of the spread of COVID-19, our dedicated maintenance staff has been working tirelessly to deep clean and sanitize all of our schools.
Continuity of Instruction
We can not replicate the engaging and rigorous instruction that takes place in our classrooms on a daily basis, and therefore we will not be teaching any new curricular material during our closure. Our teachers are highly skilled and trained to deliver personalized in classroom instruction, and replicating this in a virtual environment poses many challenges. Additionally, there are both equity and technological concerns associated with this option.
Despite our inability to provide direct instruction, we are committed to ensuring our students have the opportunity to remain engaged in learning during this time. We, in concert with all of our regional NEIU19 school districts, will be implementing the Pennsylvania Department of Education recommended “Enrichment and Review” activities. These suggested activities, are not mandatory, will not be graded and are designed to help students maintain or extend current academic skills. We believe these plans to be the most appropriate and reasonable way to keep our students engaged at this time. These plans may change as we receive further guidance on implementation from our State and Federal leadership.
A compilation of resources you can use at home for enrichment and review are located on our district website www.lakelandsd.org, under the Curriculum and Instruction Tab - Instructional Resources for Families.
Special Education/Gifted Education/Other Services
All schools are closed by order of the Governor until April 6th. We can not offer to provide educational services to any students during this closure, and therefore are not offering specially designed instruction or other services.
The Lakeland School District will be implementing the Pennsylvania Department of Education recommended “Enrichment and Review” activities. As we assemble resources on our district website, we are doing our best to ensure there are resources that are accessible and appropriate for all students.
- Evaluations and/Reevaluations for Special Education Students: During this time as noted above, your child may be due for an initial evaluation or bi-annual or tri-annual reevaluation. Due to the closures, school staff are unable to complete the required assessments or have access to the materials needed to review and report your child’s skills, progress, and needs which are required to reach a conclusion regarding your child’s eligibility or continued eligibility for special education supports and services. Please accept this notification as an indication that the evaluation process has been extended to accommodate the current school closure. Your child’s evaluation/reevaluation will be completed following the reinstatement of traditional school programming.
- Student Services: For the safety of our students, families, and educators, we are not offering to provide services in student homes. We are also upholding the Public Health directives that include social distancing, avoiding group gatherings, and limiting exposure with at-risk populations. Students cannot receive services at school at this time either, as buildings are closed by order of the Governor until April 6th.
- Students with Individual Education Plans (IEP’s): As you know, schools in Pennsylvania are closed from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Monday April 6, 2020. Due to the closures, the mandated IEP team members are unable to participate in the discussion and development of a new IEP for your child. If you child’s annual IEP is past due and/or due during this closure, please accept this notification as an indication that the IEP implemented prior to the school closure will remain in effect until school returns and the IEP team is able to reconvene.
CTC is preparing to offer informal online content in all programs with about 80% of them using Google classroom to make some content available. Most CTC instructors are prepared to align their offerings with their Program of Study Task List (curriculum guide).
They plan to begin to offer informal resources to seniors that will revolve around NOCTI preparation. Although the governor has cancelled NOCTI testing, the protocol offers a good review of the three year curriculum for seniors. Cosmetology Licensing Board has given approval for 250 of the 1250 hours to be provided in an online (distance) format although they have limited the content that can be included in the online hours. Most seniors are either complete with their hours or very close and the instructors believe they can meet the hour requirements that qualify for the licensing exam.
Xifinity is offering free internet access to families for 60 days.
How do I get free Xfinity WiFi?
Xfinity Wifi On Demand Passes
- Enable WiFi access on your laptop, tablet, phone, or other WiFi-enabled device.
- Select “xfinitywifi” from your list of available wifi networks.
- Select “Get Started” and pick the WiFi pass that meets your needs.
xFinity | Wifi On Demand Passes
https://wifi.xfinity.com › xwod
To conclude, please know that our primary concern is for the health, safety and well-being of all of you. We understand that while many of you are now at home, there are also many of you who are still working and have several children to help, financial concerns, health issues, etc. We are here to patiently support our students and you throughout this challenging time. Please do not stress over the enrichment and review work being provided. Frustrations are high due to circumstances beyond our control, and we don’t want to increase the stress on our families. Our goal is to do our best to provide optional enrichment and review resources to keep our students engaged, but you are the parents and know what is best for your child/children during this time.
Thank you for your patience and understanding at this difficult time. Stay safe and healthy and I will be in touch as soon as I have more information.
William F. KingSuperintenden