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Charleroi Area Middle School

Mr. Adam Brewer - Principal
100 Fecsen Drive
Charleroi, PA  15022 
 (724) 483-3600 x3089
 
Middle School Main:  (724) 483-3600
Fax: (724) 489-9128
 
Attendance: (724) 483-3600 x3111
Front Desk Receptionist:  (724) 483-3600 x3207
Nurse: (724) 483-3509 x3022
 

Grade 6 – 7– 8

                  Bus Drop Off                       7:15 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.

School Starts                      7:33 a.m.

School Dismissal               2:16 p.m.

                 Teachers                              7:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
 
 
 
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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

 
A Message from the Nurse for Students Entering 7th Grade
 
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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.... 
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Register your Giant Eagle Advantage Card and use it every time you shop at Giant Eagle to raise funds for our school!  Giant Eagle Apples for Students supports Harvest Bounty.  Click here for more information.       
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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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District Office
125 Fecsen Drive, Charleroi, PA 15022
Phone: 724.483.3509 | Fax: 724.483.3776
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