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Letter to Parents and Guardians March 29, 2020

Dear Charleroi Learning Community,

 

We look forward to working with you and your children once again in order to provide our students with a continuity of education plan beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020.

This is a new way of learning for us all, and we will work with you to help make this a successful experience. Naturally, with any new initiative, there may be questions from students and parents. Some terminology and procedures may seem new and unfamiliar, but please be assured that this initial difficulty will pass with practice. Please familiarize yourself with our webpage @ www.charleroisd.org and particularly the CASD Quick Start and Learning Resource guide weblinks which provides contact information for various questions about online instruction.   

Sincerely,

Ed

 
cougar Charleroi Area School District Continuity of Education Through Planned Instruction

In light of the continued closure of schools in Pennsylvania due to the crisis caused by the corona virus, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) suggests that school districts revisit decisions related to continuity of education.  Guidance from Intermediate Unit One on March 24, 2020, indicates that the schools pursuing continuity of education may offer “Planned Instruction” or “Enrichment and Review” to their students.  Planned Instruction refers to formal teaching and learning, while Enrichment and Review refers to informal activities to support prior knowledge.  Charleroi Area School District (CASD) seeks to provide Planned Instruction, as described in more detail below, during the corona virus crisis.  As a result, district leadership has developed this planned instruction model which will ensure the continuation of learning plan for students of the District.

The primary method for delivery of Planned Instruction will occur through Google Classroom, a platform through which students are accustomed to receiving instruction.  Google Classroom allows teachers to create learning experiences and communicate with students, but as detailed below, alternatives to the use of such technology may be necessary in some cases.

Information below will address Devices & Internet Access, Content Delivery, and Resources.

 

 

DEVICES & INTERNET ACCESS

 

=         If needed, approval to purchased 100 additional AC power adapters for district Google Chromebooks.

=         Approval for purchasing of 100 additional Chromebooks.  These will be used to supplement the handing out of Chromebooks for students in grades K-12 that need technology assistance.

=         Approval to purchase up to 25 Jetpack wireless for families in the community that need assistance with internet connections.

=         Created a CASD Technology Survey to send out to Charleroi Parents/Guardians to identify if Charleroi students have access to the internet and a web-based device to do remote learning.

=         Created a phone number whereas parents/guardians without access to the internet can call in to take the survey.

=         Prepared 400 Chromebooks for possible distribution.

=         Chromebook distribution to the students will be held on Friday, March 27, 2020 to parents that requested technology assistance.

=         Created an IT helpdesk email address of https://sites.google.com/charleroisd.org/casd-virtual-learning/home

=         Researched the possible purchase of Wi-Fi hotspots.

=         Research how parents currently without internet access can receive low cost internet access.

=         Created a database of all Chromebooks that will be possibly distributed

=         Obtained student roster information for the distribution database.

=         Existing Chromebooks are being cleaned and sanitized in preparation of distribution.

=         Students and family’s grades K-12 may use technology at home, if available to access Google Classroom.

=         Each teacher and administrator have been provided a computer by Charleroi Area School District to work from home. 

CONTENT DELIVERY

 

CASD teachers have created Google Classrooms for each course/class they teach, through which teachers can post classroom content and instructional activities.  Teachers will plan instruction from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and work with students from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.  All staff will have a lunch break from 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.  This schedule will be followed Monday through Friday.

Providing teachers with this time at the start of the day allows them to adjust weekly instructional activities as needed, given that students will be working at home rather than at school.  It ensures such plans consists of meaningful learning activities, as Charleroi teachers design instruction using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, personalizing activities and assessments for learner variability.  This time also provides building administration an opportunity to verify that every teacher’s assignments have been uploaded to Google Classroom for students to access at home.  The building administrator will check each teacher’s Google Classroom/s to ensure all instructional activities are uploaded.  Students will be able to communicate with their assigned teachers via Google hangout or email, and administrators will be available via email or telephone during school hours.  Additionally, school nurses and counselors will also be available to students and families, through email.

Special Education, ELL, 504 Services, and Gifted Services

 

We recommend that all regular and special education staff that serve students with disabilities virtually review every child’s plan to determine the extent to which planning instruction moving forward can meet each child’s needs.  At the same time, staff can consider alternatives, if any, for those accommodations that may not be effectively implemented in a virtual or other setting as contemplated in this plan.  IEP revisions can be completed, if the Charleroi Area School District Board approves the continuity of instruction plan.  This process may also provide information that is useful to the Board of School Directors on this matter.

It should also be noted that district staff are working diligently to comply with special education timelines throughout the period of school closure.

Special education teachers will offer students support by way of a Google Classroom which will be utilized for individual and/or small group assistance.

While we anticipate that some students will not be provided FAPE through Planned Instruction based on Google Classroom, the majority of students with special needs can be provided appropriate supports in a virtual setting.  For children where FAPE cannot be provided, all services possible will be delivered.  Furthermore, CASD is committed to continuous, open communication and collaboration with families to anticipate and address concerns with Planned Instruction. 

IU1 Services for English Language students will continue to use i-Ready, with lessons focusing on areas of need, as well as using resources from Reading a-z for elementary students and Scholastic Action for secondary students through Google Classroom.  The EL teacher will support students in content areas as needed and work with classroom/content teachers to assist Els with online learning.

Additionally, all related services will be provided virtually, unless otherwise agreed upon by the team.

Special Education Resources

=         Best Practices for Teachers of Students with Disabilities Online

=         Assistive Technology

=         Autism

=         Behavior

=         Blind-Visual Impairment

=         Deaf and Hard of Hearing

=         Deaf-Blind

=         English Learners

=         Family Engagement

=         Graduation/Post Secondary

=         Inclusive Practices

=         Literacy

=         Mathematics

=         MTSS

=         Paraprofessionals

=         Secondary Transition

=         Special Education Leadership

=         Speech Language

=         STEM and Computer Science

=         Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Attendance

 

Student attendance will be taken by homeroom teachers.

If parents have attendance questions during throughout this educational continuity instructional plan, they may contact the school attendance office via email to the attendance officer in the building where the student attends.

            Elementary Center      [email protected]

            Middle/High School    [email protected]

Technology Issues and/or Other Issues

 

The district is working to determine which students have access to technology and the internet.  Typically, students will complete instructional activities as outlined in Google Classroom for each course.  Assignments through Google Classroom can include options for completing the work online and may include other options for completing work if technology access is not available, for example, via pencil and paper, then sending a phono of the work via email or text message if agreeable among teachers and families.  Students without access to technology at home, but who may have access to email via a cell phone, may receive assignments via email from their classroom teacher/s and complete those assignments via paper and pencil.  All such work will be submitted digitally to comply with social distancing requirements.

Students are expected to engage in the learning experiences provided by their teachers each week.  Students and families have the opportunity to reach out to teachers via email and by way of Google Classroom for support, and teachers will provide feedback on student work as they would in a traditional classroom, but perhaps in a different format.

At the same time, CASD recognizes that for some student populations, learning through a virtual platform may provide challenges or barriers for any number of reasons.  Technology access may fail or prove unreliable or students may struggle to process content through an online lesson.  The reality is that any continuity of education plan is unlikely to work for every child, every day.  As teachers, administrator, and/or other district leaders learn of such barriers, CASD is committed to working with students and families in a professional, collaborative, and flexible manner to determine alternative ways to educate all children.

Teachers will continue to plan based on CASD curriculum and applicable standards, with the understanding and pacing, methods, and learning strategies cannot be identical to those within a traditional classroom.  As such, teachers will utilize the time remaining in the school year to prioritize teaching of essential content specific to their respective grade level and course(s).

RESOURCES

Teachers will benefit from the opportunity to explore resources and tools that support virtual learning.  Like our students, our teachers have vastly different experiences with technology and will require distinct professional learning opportunities.  District leadership has shared remote learning resources with teachers to assist them through this transition and plans for teachers to have the opportunity to collaborate with common grade level and/or content area colleagues on March 17 through 20th.  Moving forward, teachers will continue to receive access to and support with implementing supplemental materials which are reviewed over time.

Getting Started with Google Classroom. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCNImsWUxZA

 Google Classroom Tips and Tricks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOUEP29MX58 

A Parent’s Guide to Google Classroom

SUMMARY

We request that the CASD Board of School Directors approve the “Continuity of Education Plan” to move forward with students beginning Monday, March 30, 2020. Teachers utilized March, 17th through 20th as preparation work days for the purposes of conducting an audit of student services and exploring best practices and resources related to virtual teaching and learning, in anticipation of the return of students on a date yet to be determined.

Subject to the receipt of sufficient information from the Information Technology Department and administrative staff regarding devices and internet access, we further request that the Board of School Directors accept this document as the recommendation of all appropriate administrators as to what educational services are to be provided by the CASD beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020

 
3/25/2020 Letter to the Charleroi Learning Community

Dear Charleroi Learning Community,

As anticipated, PA Governor Tom Wolf extended mandatory school closures in the Commonwealth for an additional week, through at least April 6, 2020.  Our plan is to work with recently-refined guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, therefore we are poised to move to distance learning based on our district’s curriculum. 

As a result of our districtwide technology survey, we have identified families in need of technology support. Our central office staff will be calling families that replied to the survey to inform them of our plans to distribute Chromebooks on Friday March 27, 2020 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. Deliveries of Chromebooks will take place during lunch/food distributions at your nearest firehall.  If you have any additional questions regarding Chromebook deliveries, please contact your child’s school office via telephone and leave a message. Someone from the school will get back to you in a timely manner. 

Beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020 our teachers will start to deliver distance learning for all students. In accordance with the governor’s message, we are planning for the next two weeks and we will adjust as we receive additional directives. We ask for and need your patience as we are attempting to implement this approach to schooling, without sacrificing the quality education that our students deserve.  This will not be without challenges – both for the district as a whole, our teaching staff, and for our families. But we assure you, despite the difficulties, we will not waiver in our ongoing dedication to doing the very best we can for students.

Be on the lookout for more detailed information regarding assignments and learning opportunities from your children’s building principal and/or classroom teachers.

Here are some other things you need to know:

  • On March 19, the Department of Education cancelled all standardized testing originally scheduled for this spring. This cancellation includes the PSSA, PASA, and Keystone Exams. With testing originally scheduled to begin shortly, this provides much-needed relief for families concerned their students would return to school only to face days of testing.

  • Third marking period for secondary students is now completed. Students will have the opportunity to complete and submit outstanding third nine-week assignments that would have been due after March 12, 2020. 

  • In keeping with the Board-approved CASD academic calendar, although the Governor advised that students may return to school on April 9, the District recognizes that Spring Break is scheduled during the annual observance of religious holidays such as Passover and Easter, and we want to respect the fact that school has historically not been in session on Good Friday. Therefore, the earliest that CASD students would return to school is Tuesday, April 14

  • The District plans to have the Operations Department thoroughly clean and sanitize all District schools on April 7, 8 and 9, and 13 in preparation for teachers’ and students’ return the following week.

  • Special education teachers have the most challenging role in providing services to their students in an online capacity, but CASD is committed to doing whatever it can to provide continuity of education to its special needs’ students during this extraordinary time. Your child’s special education teacher will reach out to all parents or guardians. Teachers and other related service providers will be reaching out to parents and students to talk about how continuity of education can be facilitated using available technology. Teachers will also be in touch with parents regarding upcoming IEP meetings that may be conducted virtually.

  • The focus for the next two weeks of the school closure is on educational continuity. Our goal is to not add to the stress levels of our students, parents or teachers during this unusual situation. We simply want our students to keep learning and stay engaged in meaningful ways.

In closing, we are grateful for all of your support and patience as we continue to work through these issues together. We know there will be more questions that arise, and we will do our best to provide you answers in a timely manner.



Be well, we are in this together,


Ed

 
Home Technology Questionnaire
Dear Parents, 

We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are planning to prepare for future instruction in case schools remain closed for a long period of time.  With that in mind, we are asking that you please complete this survey regarding technology access for your children at home. The survey can be found by visiting: https://forms.gle/dYe8hURE133bnhcs5

If you are unable to complete this electronic survey form for any reason, please feel free to call your child’s school to provide the requested information via telephone.  


Please be safe. 

 
School Closure Lunch Information
 
As we navigate through these next few weeks, CASD will be providing a Grab and Go lunch for any child 2-18 years old.

If you would like to use this service, please CLICK HERE to complete the order form.   Please complete form by 11pm the night before.

 

Lunches will be available for pick up, starting Monday, March 16, 2020 from 11am-12pm, weekdays only, at the Charleroi High School (outside Auditorium Lobby), Fallowfield Volunteer Fire Department (rear entrance), Charleroi Volunteer Fire Department Annex (beside Fire Department), Stockdale Fire Department, and Lock No. 4 Volunteer Fire Department (in front of Garage doors). Unfortunately, with the state closures of libraries, John K Tener library will no longer be a site for picking up lunch as previously communicated. 


When picking up lunches, there will be no congregating or hanging around the Food Pickup locations. Also, there is no access to the buildings at this time.

In the days to follow, we will reassess the needs and provide more information.


Order Form Link: https://forms.gle/H4AiDPPw75bmdwLV7

 
School Closure Letter

School Closure Letter

March 13, 2020

 

Dear Charleroi Area School District Learning Community,

 

I am writing to provide an update regarding the Charleroi Area School District plans for the COVID-19 pandemic.  Currently, we are navigating unchartered waters as we try to prepare a coordinated and systematic response to this pandemic. Our overall goal is to help contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the virus. More cases of the COVID-19 are expected in our state in the coming days.

 

In response to a report from Center for Disease Control, school closures are recommended for a minimum of two weeks.  Out of an abundance of caution, the Charleroi Area School District will be closed beginning at the end of the school day on Friday, March 13, 2020, and classes will be cancelled through Friday, March 27, 2020.  Classes are expected to resume Monday, March 30, 2020.  The mainlines of communication will be through the Charleroi Area School District website www.charleroisd.org and via the district-wide phone messaging system. Again, tentative plans are to resume school on Monday, March 30, 2020.  Please be advised, the duration of closure depends solely on an assessment of COVID-19 risk. 

During district closure, we will be suspending all activities for the duration of the two-week period. All district facilities, including athletic facilities will be unavailable for use until further notice.

In an effort to continue support for our students and families, the district will have free take-out lunches available on the weekdays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Monday, March 16, 2020-Friday, March 27, 2020.  Meals may be picked up at either Charleroi Area High School Cafeteria or at the J.K. Tenner Library.  Please follow signs at each location directing where to pick up meals.  Please note that this service will not be available on weekends. To help with meal count, we would appreciate if you would kindly call into your child’s building by 12:00 p.m. the day prior to your child receiving a take-out lunch. Please watch the website for further updates and information on intended food services. 

It is our sincere hope as a district that you will continue to talk with your children about their questions and concerns regarding the risks of COVID-19. These are trying times, even for the youngest in our school community. This is not the school year we envisioned for our children, but we must continue to support one another and take the appropriate preventative actions to maintain the health and safety of our students, families, and community members. If we can show compassion for those who are ill or caring for sick family members, empathy for each other, and patience during this strenuous time, we will end up stronger. 



Yours in Education,

Edward J. Zelich, Ed. D.

Superintendent of Schools


 
CASD Special Education Plan Report
Charleroi SD Special Education Plan Report 7/1/2020 - 6/30/2023 - 28 day public review 
Coronavirus: A Letter from the Superintendent
March 9, 2020
 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

To date, there are 7 presumptive positive cases of COVID•19 in Pennsylvania. Counties impacted to date include:

  • Delaware (1)
  • Montgomery (5)
  • Wayne (1)

The purpose of this communication is to provide resources and information regarding the coronavirus disease

(COVID-19), which has become an issue of concern in the medical community. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) have issued a number of informational pieces to the public, and the CDC believes the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is low at this time.

What we know about the coronavirus disease is that it is a flu and respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The Charleroi Area School District has implemented the following preventative measures:

  • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces (desks, doorknobs, and cafeteria tables).
  • Encouraging student handwashing or use of hand sanitizers.
  • Encouraging students to avoid sharing items such as drinks, unpackaged food, and eating utensils.

Our staff will remain vigilant in helping to identify any student who appears to be exhibiting symptoms of this virus and send the student to the school nurse for evaluation. The school nurse will contact you if a physician follow-up should be recommended.

If you feel your son/daughter is exhibiting any signs of the coronavirus disease, please keep your child home from school and immediately contact your physician.

For more information about the coronavirus and the steps to help prevent illness, please view the following website:

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus%20Education.aspx

 
The Charleroi Area School District is accepting applications for Substitute Cafeteria workers
Now Hiring!!
Want to work the same hours as your children?
Want weekends off?
The Charleroi Area School District Cafeteria is the place for you!
The Charleroi Area School District is accepting applications for Substitute Cafeteria workers for the the 2019-2020 School Year, with a possibility of permanent employment. Substitute pay rate is $10 per hour.  The positions available vary in start times. 
Mandatory clearances and trainings include Act 126 – Mandated Reporter Training, Act 151 – PA Child Abuse Clearance, Act 34 – PA Criminal Clearance, and Act 114 – Federal Fingerprint Clearance.  
Applications can be found online at charleroisd.org or in the Administrative Office located on campus.  If you have any questions, please contact Rob Lenhart at 724-483-3573 extension 3028.


 
A Letter from the Superintendent
February 27, 2020

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Clearly preventing school threats and violence is better than reacting to them. With this famous quote in mind, the most preventive measure our learning community can employ is to obtain information about potential threats before an individual decides or begins to take action. We continue to encourage and ask our students, staff, and community for their support by reporting concerns to an administrator or through our Safe2Say School Hotline.

As with every incident or questionable conversation reported to us, our administrative team and school resource police officers have been working intently since yesterday regarding an Instagram page that shows videos of students fighting both inside the school and off campus. While the page was just created yesterday, some of the incidents that were videotaped had occurred weeks or even months ago, and those students had already been disciplined for their conduct. This afternoon, we were able to determine who was responsible for the Instagram page; the page has now been deleted and the videos are no longer available to be seen. While we cannot explain student discipline issues further than that, we can assure you that all appropriate steps to investigate and stop this matter were taken immediately. As with every decision we make, the health, safety, and welfare of our students, faculty, and staff was our primary concern.

Students, parents and community members should use the Safe2Say Hotline to report threats of violence, suicide, bullying and illegal activity that could harm children in our schools. The hotline is administered by an independent, outside company. All communications are PRIVATE, CONFIDENTIAL, and ANONYMOUS. The Safe2Say Hotline can be accessed at 1-844-SAF2SAY, or online at www.safe2saypa.org

Our staff members at Charleroi continue to set aside time with students to listen and encourage them to be a part of the solution. We want to encourage parents and families to have these conversations at home as well. The National Association of School Psychologists published a helpful resource on Talking to Children about Violence. You can find that here.

These are certainly tough times for our schools and communities, and we know that students will follow the examples set by adults. We continue to work with our staff to assist them in doing what they can to maintain a sense of calm and reason in our schools. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me or your building principal.

Sincerely,

Superintendent of Schools  

Ed Zelich 
 
Safe2Say
Dear Charleroi Area Learning Community:

The Charleroi Area School District is committed to creating and sustaining a comprehensive, coordinated effort to improve the overall safety and well-being of our students, educators, and administrators

We believe this effort must involve community-wide programs and initiatives involving parents, teachers, administrators, local law enforcement, mental health and wellness professionals, and elected officials to take meaningful action to protect our students.

The “Safe2Say Something” (S2SS) anonymous reporting system has been implemented in our district. This program is mandated under PA state law/Act 44.  It teaches students, teachers, and administrators how to recognize potential warning signs and signals, especially on social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others. It encourages students to Say Something to a trusted adult OR use its anonymous reporting system. Specifically, the program educates participants to:



Recognize the signs and signals of at-risk behaviors – including on social media
Take every sign and signal seriously and act quickly to get help by talking to a trusted adult OR
Report it anonymously through the S2SS Office of the Attorney General 24/7 Crisis Center, mobile app, or website
Respond to and manage the submitted tip via school-based multi-disciplinary educator and administrator teams
Sustain the curriculum and awareness via student clubs, in-school activities, and call-to-action weeks


Our students are our most important resource in keeping our students safe because they are often aware of the problems their peers are facing. S2SS teaches our students how to recognize danger signs in their surroundings and on social media, and empowers them to act quickly with the assistance of trained and caring adults.

In order to keep the channels of communications open and clear, we want to inform our families about the required training that is scheduled for the week of February 4, 2019. Students in grades 5-12 will be trained on how to report concerns to a trusted adult or use the anonymous reporting system. Our goal is to provide families with an opportunity to preview the content prior to the training. Copies of the S2SS brochure and training video are listed below for your review.  



S2SS Brochure
S2SS Training Video (Grades 5-8)
S2SS Training Video (Grades 9-12)

The S2SS program is provided by Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to keeping our students safe. SHP’s programs are used in all 50 states, with 10,000+ schools and over 5.5 million students and adults trained. They have the track record, reputation, and knowledge to work effectively with kids, parents, and teachers to improve school safety and culture. They also have the funding to provide and sustain a research-based and age-appropriate program at NO COST to school districts across the state.

We anticipate that S2SS will help stop school shootings, suicides, and gun threats; help identify bullying and cyber bullying; and help mitigate cutting, drug use, racial conflicts, and other acts of violence and victimization.

Sincerely,

Dr. Edward J Zelich

Superintendent, Charleroi Area School District
 
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 Support Charleroi Area School District Education Foundation by shopping at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to CASDEF.... 
Harvest's Bounty is a Weekend Food Program image Harvest's Bounty is a Weekend Food Program
Harvest’s Bounty is a weekend food program for students in grades K-8. It is designed to help provide a little more to insure students have nutritious food that prepares them to be academically successful in the Charleroi Area School District. Applications are available through the schools and here on the website at http://www.charleroisd.org/harvestsbounty.aspx  
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Updated information for volunteers at Charleroi Area School District. 
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Sign up to stay connected and receive the latest information from the district such as special alerts, reminders of special events and news from individual schools.
 
 
CASDEF Stadium Walk Buy A Brick Program
Charleroi Area School District Education Foundation Buy A Brick Program helps provide classroom programs and materials, new technology and scholarships for students of the Charleroi Area School District. 
Distance Learning Help Desk
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CASD Open Records Officer:

Elaina Zitney
125 Fecsen Drive
Charleroi, PA 15022

Phone: (724) 483-3509
Fax: (724) 483-3776
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District Office 125 Fecsen Drive, Charleroi, PA 15022 Phone: 724.483.3509 | Fax: 724.483.3776
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District Office
125 Fecsen Drive, Charleroi, PA 15022
Phone: 724.483.3509 | Fax: 724.483.3776
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