Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Last update - 3/31/2020

Updates from the superintendent concerning the closure of schools:

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

The past few weeks have been a trying time for all of us. Our Board, administration, teachers, and support staff have been diligently working to navigate through the conditions presented to us. Our first goal was to make sure our students and staff were safe. We are now embarking on the goal of educational continuity. Please understand that this a monumental task restructuring the facilitation of learning. We know that there will be obstacles in front of us; however, we will deal with them as they present themselves.

 

Our elementary teachers are preparing instructional packets and activities. Mr. Berdar will be sending more details on the dissemination and collection of these activities before the week is over. Our middle school and high school teachers are being trained this week to deliver instruction online to students. Later next week our students’ grades (6-12) will begin their learning remotely online. We understand that every family has various levels of technology in their home. We are asking any family who does not have internet access and/or technology devices to notify the building principal. Atlantic Broad Band is offering service for $9.99 a month for the next 60 days https://atlanticbb.com/keeping-customers-safe-and-connected-covid-19. We have also contacted local companies to see if they would allow us to use their internet as potential hot spots for our students. The following companies have agreed to keep their internet service open: Brownsville Library, Dairy Queen, Dollar General, Jackson Farms, and McDonalds. The school parking lot will also an option for internet services.

Tentative Instructional Start Dates

 

Elementary instructional packets are being prepared for dissemination on Wednesday April 1, 2020. Instructions will be forthcoming from the principal.

 

On Friday April 3, 2020 middle school and high school students are to complete an orientation course to become acclimated to the online learning platform. Online instruction will begin on Monday, April 6, 2020. Students will not be able to access their academic courses until the orientation course is completed. Building principals will be sending out login information and instructions within the next the next few days.

 

 

Sincerely,

Keith Hartbauer

March 25, 2020 at 7PM

Updates from the superintendent concerning the closure of schools:

 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

 

Today the Governor and the Department of Education issued a two week extension to school closures. With that mandate we are preparing for instructional activities to start next week. You will be receiving more information from your child’s principal in the next few days regarding the delivery of the instruction and expectations.

Thank you again for your understanding and patience.

 

Sincerely,

Keith Hartbauer

March 23, 2020 at 4PM

Dear Students, Families, and other Members of the BASD Community:

 

At Brownsville Area Schools, we care deeply about our students and about the greater good. For this reason, our local and State leadership has made the difficult decision to close our schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we must ask our students, faculty and most staff to remain home, we understand that this may be with limited resources, stimulation, or social contact.  This can certainly take its toll on mental and physical well-being.  We want our students, families and other concerned community members to know that we are here to help during this difficult time.
Please read the letter below on how to cope with social distancing (and quarantine or isolation), as many have been asked to take such measures:

 

Coping With Social Distance

March 20, 2020 at 9PM

Updates from Superintendent concerning the closure of the schools 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As this week comes to a close, I want to provide an update of information we received from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and how we intend to meet the recommendations they have given. The PDE has encouraged districts to adjust their calendars to meet the 180 day threshold. However, districts are permitted to submit proposals requesting flexibility in meeting the total number of required days. Our district will submit a proposal asking PDE to waive the current 10 day school closure. In order for PDE to approve our proposal, we must justify that instruction was maintained and that our students successfully participated in the learning process.

 

Understanding the complexities of this unprecedented time, our administrative team and the Brownsville Education Association have been working diligently to provide an avenue for remote instruction to begin. We have partnered with Intermediate Unit 1 to use their online platform. Our teachers will be trained next week on how to utilize this cyber program to deliver content and instruction for the 4th nine weeks to students in grades 6-12, beginning on Monday March 30, 2020. Grades K-5 will further their learning through instructional packets. We will send more information next week regarding how students are to participate in both of these remote learning options.

The Commonwealth also canceled the PSSA, PASA, and Keystone exams for this school year. Advanced Placement tests for high school students will still take place; however, they have been adjusted. Please go to this AP link for important information on the administration of these tests: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update. Students will be able to discuss specific details regarding the adjusted AP exams with their counselor next week.

 

On behalf of all stakeholders in the Brownsville Area School District, thank you for your continued support. Please continue to monitor our website for updates.

Sincerely,

Dr. Keith Hartbauer

March 20, 2020 at 9PM

Updates from Superintendent concerning Coronavirus 

Dear Parents/Guardians

 

In an effort to maintain clear and succinct communication with all constituents, I would like to share our most recent actions.  This week our administrative team has met numerous times with the administrative teams from the surrounding counties to continually plan our response to the current Coronavirus pandemic.  Our first priority is to follow the recommendations of the CDC and County Health Agencies to act in the best interest of public health.

 

Last Friday, prior to the Governor shutting down schools we had our teachers start preparing instructional plans for their students as a preemptive measure to maintain continuity.  This was before the confusion of making up days.  If you picked up materials/work for your child, please know that the assignments are VOLUNTARY and will NOT count against them in anyway.  However, I am concerned about our students’ cognitive regression and strongly encourage all families to have their children read and participate in voluntary resources on a daily basis to maximize intellectual growth. 

 

With regard to the Governor’s statement on not having to make up the missed days, the confusion is centered on the actual PDE school waiver form where it clearly states that districts must attempt to get their days in prior to June 30, 2020 before a waiver can be filed.  Until this discrepancy is reconciled we must proceed as if the missed days will be made up by June 30, 2020.

 

As stated in previous correspondence, this situation is very fluid.  We reassess our situation and responses multiple times a day.  In our district the ability to provide instruction from an online format with integrity is not a simple task.  While we are making great strides with our technology, we do not have the capability to supply every student with the necessary services.  We also have to consider how we can offer related services to students with individual education plans (IEPs) that are required by law, such as speech, hearing, vision, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and emotional support services.  Finally, we have bargaining units that contractually work 182 days. If we begin online learning and the State requires us to go to June 30th, we may not have our teachers available.

 

One last scenario that we are trying to prepare for is the strong possibility that school closures may exceed the two week mandate.  As information becomes available and our plans become clearer, we will continue to do our best to keep you informed.  Thank you for your anticipated understanding and support as we remain committed to the health, safety, and education of your children.

 

Sincerely,

Keith Hartbauer 

March 18, 2020 at 1PM

Additional Meal Pick Up Site

We are adding an additional meal pick up site beginning Wednesday. Meals may be picked up at Fort Burd United Presbyterian Church on Thornton Road OR at Brownsville Middle School. Call 724-785-2155 extension 2507, by 9:30 a.m. and let the cafeteria know how many meals needed and which location you will pick them up from.

March 16, 2020 at 11AM

Updates from Superintendent concerning Coronavirus 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

 

As a result of the Governor closing sc­hools and the Coronavirus entering into a mitigation phase where it no longer can be contained, we find ourselves looking for answers.  Unfortunately, the situation is very fluid and changes by the hour.  It is understandable that our community is worried about the well-being of all people as this pandemic issue continues.

 

The educational agencies are concerned as well.  On Sunday afternoon I received an update from the Pennsylvania Department of Education on their suggested response efforts.  As a result of this update and collaboration with other superintendents we will be temporarily suspending all instruction during this 10 day mandated closure.  Even though there have been announcements that the State will grant relief for the required 180 days of instruction; this is only if the days can’t be made up before June 30th.   Therefore, the current 10 days we are closed will be added to the end of this year’s school calendar.  As new information becomes available we will update our website accordingly. 

 

Thank you in advance for your anticipated patience and understanding as we all try to navigate through this very difficult time.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Keith Hartbauer

March 16, 2020 at 11AM

Free Student Meals During Shutdown 
For free student meals during the shutdown call 724-785-2155 extension 2507, by 9:30 a.m. and let the cafeteria know how many meals needed. Drive by pick up between 11:30 and 12:30 at the middle school kitchen door, located at the back of the building. 

March 15, 2020 at 8PM

Updates from Superintendent concerning Coronavirus
Dear Parent/Guardian:

 

As a result of the Governor’s mandate our school district will be closed for two weeks, March 16th through March 27th.  Your child’s teacher/s should have already established a procedure for them to correspond regarding their instruction during this time away from school.  If you should have any questions regarding the instructional activities, please email your child’s teacher at their BASD email address. All activities and athletic events are also canceled during this time period.

 

The district will provide a grab and go breakfast and lunch for any child in our district during the two weeks off of school.  This breakfast/lunch can be picked up behind the Middle School from 11:30-12:30 p.m.  

 

During the two week closure all buildings, rooms, and hallways will be disinfected as per the Centers of Disease Control guidelines.  County superintendents along with the County Health Agencies will be meeting to determine the course of action in the days to come.

 

Please check the District website for any updated information.  Thank you in advance for your understanding during these unprecedented times.

Thank you

Dr. Keith Hartbauer

March 13, 2020 at 4PM

Governor Wolf Announces Closure of Pennsylvania Schools 
Press Release March 13,  2020
Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16. The administration has been working with school districts as well as state and local officials to gather input on this decision. The Wolf Administration will continue to monitor Covid-19 in the commonwealth, and at the end of 10 days will reevaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed.
 
Governor Wolf made the following statement:
 
We understand that these are trying times and recognize the impact of the coronavirus on our students and communities.
 
First and foremost, my top priority as governor – and that of our education leaders – must be to ensure the health and safety of our students and school communities.
 
As such, I am ordering that all schools in the commonwealth close for the next two weeks.
 
Be aware that no school district will be penalized if it fails to meet the 180 day or school hours requirements.
 
The Department of Education will work with intermediate units and other stakeholders to support school districts with any continuity of learning plans they may be pursuing.
 
Also, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced today that it received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow eligible schools to serve meals to low income students in a non-congregate setting, such as a drive-through or grab and go, during this closure. We will also work with schools to assist them with those plans.
 
We appreciate your collaboration as we work together to deal with this difficult issue. 
 

March 13, 2020 at 4PM

No school for students Monday March 16th. All staff should report to HS auditorium at 8:00 am. Please refer to our website for all future updates.

 

Thank you

Dr. Keith Hartbauer

March 13, 2020 at 4PM

Updates from Superintendent concerning Coronavirus

 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

 

As per our commitment to keep the public informed, we continue to closely monitor the Coronavirus situation and are taking guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We have also created a special link on our website www.basd.org for you to reference and review any current changes in the district’s plans.  At the present time there are no reported cases of this virus in our school or any county schools.  Thus, there is currently no recommendation in our area to close schools.

 

For additional information concerning the Coronavirus, please see the CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines at the links below:

https://www.cdc.gov/

PA Department of Health:

https://padepartmentofhealth.com

 

Please know that our custodial staff is making every effort to maintain a clean and healthy learning environment for our students and staff.  We are also asking parents to help minimize the spread of this type of virus by having your family follow the CDC recommendations, which are the same as everyone should practice during cold and flu season:

  • Wash hands frequently

  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or using your sleeve or elbow

  • Avoid touching eyes nose, or mouth

  • Stay home when sick and don’t return to school for at least 24 hours of being fever-free without the use of medication

We are also encouraging parents to report to their school nurse if their child has a confirmed case of this virus. Any child or staff member leaving the State is being asked to inform their building level administrator.  This will help us track viral infections and to better target our sanitizing efforts.

  

As we continue to take our direction from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding any potential decisions regarding school closures, we encourage you to view our website for additional information.

 

We will continue to monitor the situation and will send updates and additional information as needed.  In everything we do, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority.

Thank you

Dr. Keith Hartbauer

March 12, 2020 at 4PM

Updates from Superintendent concerning Coronavirus

 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

 

This letter is in regard to the recent concerns centered on the Coronavirus. As of this letter, there have not
been any reported cases of this virus in our district. However, we as a district are trying to be pro-active in
our approach to any potential situations. We have ordered equipment and medical disinfectant for our
buildings. Our evening custodial staff will be using this disinfectant on a weekly basis in all of our buildings
to minimize and/or eliminate any potential spread of the cold, flu, and any other viruses. Our nurses are
preparing and monitoring the health and well-being of our students on a daily basis. We have listed below
a few more facts and strategies for you to assist us during this flu season:

BACKGROUND
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. These viruses can live in
animals, such as camels, cats and bats, and at times, evolve and infect people, before spreading through
human to human contact. Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold—through the air by coughing
or sneezing; through close personal contact, like touching or shaking hands; by touching an object or surface
with the viruses on it; and occasionally, through fecal contamination. This has occurred previously with the
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreaks.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES
Continue to protect yourself and your children from illnesses such as the cold, flu and also the coronavirus:

  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, do not use your hands!

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched areas. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcoholbased hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

  • Contain- if your child is sick, please keep them home until they are feeling better.

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information, visit https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx. For more
information on what to do if you are sick, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf.

February 27, 2020 at 10am

Pennsylvania Dept of Health
COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR K-12 SCHOOLS
BACKGROUND
To slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) into Pennsylvania, the Department of Health (DOH) is working with local public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions. There are currently four countries that have a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. Additional countries may be added as the global situation continues to evolve. An updated list of countries can be found here
 
It is important to call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room after coming back from traveling. If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing, seek medical care; tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms, avoid contact with others. If you need medical care for other reasons, call ahead to 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) and to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
 
WHAT SHOULD SCHOOLS DO?
If a student, teacher or faculty member have returned from Iran or China:
 
1. The health department will be alerted by CDC and will contact the individual(s)
2. Stay home and self-isolate yourself for 14 days after travel
If a student, teacher or faculty member have returned from Italy or South Korea:
1. They need to call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) to let the health department know about their travel
2. Stay home and self-isolate yourself for 14 days after travel
 
Any travelers returning from Iran, China, Italy and South Korea should self-monitor for symptoms like fever, cough, or trouble breathing. If you become sick, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) and the doctor’s office or emergency room before visiting.
 
For information on how to self-monitor and practice social distancing, visit https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus%20Travelers.aspx
 
WHAT IF WE HAVE A STUDENT WHOSE HEALTH IS BEING MONITORED?
If a student becomes a patient under investigation, schools should continue to follow usual procedures for notification of parents/guardians whose children are ill at school. Schools should also work with their local health department regarding notification.
 
PREVENTIVE MEASURES
The department encourages schools to increase education on ways to protect yourself from illnesses such as the cold, flu and also the coronavirus:
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, do not use your hands!
• Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched areas.
• Contain- if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
 
RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information, visit https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
Date Created: 2/3/2020 Date Updated: 3/6/2020

February 3, 2020 at 11am

Brownsville Area School District

BAES Phone: 724.785.9600

BAMS Phone: 724.785.2155

BAHS Phone: 724.785.8200

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District Office:

Phone:  724.785.2021

Fax: 724.785.4333

5 Falcon Drive

Brownsville, PA  15417

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Phone: 724.785.2021

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Brownsville, PA 15417