A MESSAGE FROM DR. SIDLE: UPDATED 4/9/2020
Good Morning, Northeastern!
At 10:22 this morning, I received word from the Pennsylvania Department of Education that all Pennsylvania schools will be closed for the remainder of the year. Here is part of that communication:
"This morning, I issued an order under Act 13 of 2020 to close all public schools through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, as defined by the local school calendar. Additionally, Governor Wolf is ordering all K-12 schools and programs, public and private, to be closed through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Programs and Preschool Early Intervention programs will also remain closed, and institutions of higher education are prohibited from offering in-person instruction. All of these decisions were made in consultation with the Secretary of Health, based on the most recent information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to the health, safety, and welfare of students, school staff, and communities."
While we have been anxiously awaiting additional information and guidance, this is not the news we were hoping to receive. However, we realize that these decisions are made to keep all of our Bobcats safe, so we remain grateful and optimistic that all of our collective efforts will pay off as we protect our entire school community.
I am sure that for you, just like all of us, this announcement probably provokes additional questions. Please know that we are working on answering those questions, planning on ways we can continue to support our students, and looking outside the box to re-schedule or re-imagine our important and meaningful events. We love our Bobcats and will do everything we can to make the most of this situation while still following the requirements outlined by the Governor. When new information becomes available we will be sure to share it you.
I also wanted to follow up on my last communication regarding the three make up days (Monday, April 13, Monday, April 27, and Tuesday, April 28) because I have gotten a few questions. On March 13, the Governor announced the shut down of all schools in Pennsylvania for two weeks. During that time, no instruction was provided to students and the Governor and the Pennsylvania Department of Education stated that districts would not be required to make those days up. Since that time, schools have been transitioning to distance learning, and now today, we found out that they will be closed through the end of the school year. While we are not REQUIRED to make the days up, we know that our students missed 10 days of instruction and are now going to be learning from home for the remainder of the year. We remain committed to providing the best education to our students under these challenging circumstances. We had these three days available in the existing calendar to provide additional instructional time, so we converted them to student days. We will also be recouping additional instructional time through April/May since state assessments are being waived this year. Are we providing more education than is REQUIRED? Yes we are, because we love our Bobcats and want the best for them! Students - you are welcome! With great love comes great expectations - we love you and will do all we can to support you!
Despite the challenges we are all facing, I continue to be amazed at the resiliency of our students, staff, and families! I know we are all feeling a little worn down right now . . . but you are continuing to GET IT DONE!