• Covid Update - Week of April 5-9

    Posted by Stephanie Kessler on 4/9/2021

    On Thursday, we had a report of a positive Covid case at the secondary complex.  The student was last in the building on Tuesday.  All individuals who need to quarantine have been contacted and the building has been cleaned and disinfected.

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  • Covid Update - Week of March 29 - April 2

    Posted by Stephanie Kessler on 4/2/2021

    On Friday, we had a report of a positive Covid case at the secondary complex.  All individuals who need to quarantine have been contacted.  The building has been cleaned and disinfected and will be ready to open as scheduled on Tuesday morning.

    Comments (-1)
  • Covid Update - Week of March 22-26

    Posted by Stephanie Kessler on 3/26/2021

    We have no Covid cases to report this week.

    Comments (-1)
  • Covid Update - Week of March 15-19

    Posted by Stephanie Kessler on 3/19/2021

    We have no Covid cases to report this week.

    Comments (-1)
  • Virtual Friday Schedule to Continue Through School Year

    Posted by Stephanie Kessler on 3/16/2021

    Rationale for Continued Implementation of the Virtual Friday Schedule

    Routine and Structure: Our weekly schedule of being in person Monday through Thursday with a virtual learning day on Friday provides our kids and our community with a clear rhythm and routine to the school year.  With the exception of one virtual Monday at the secondary complex, we have been able to provide structure to the daily and weekly schedules of our school community.  We believe the reliability of this model provides the guideposts and concrete expectations that benefit our community, our kids, and our faculty and staff. We believe predictability and structure are the most valuable assets we can provide in this context.

    Return to Normal v. Stability:  Covid fatigue has many wishing that we could return to normal.  Across the Commonwealth and the nation, schools are at the forefront of this often-pointed conversation.  For the past seven months, “normal” for the Bloomsburg Area School District has consisted of a highly effective schedule that balances community support, student mental health, building health and safety, and student growth and achievement.  The stability and predictability of our work this year has been as close to normal as we could hope for in the midst of a pandemic.  To change focus and approach for the last two months of the school year actually threatens this sense of stability and structure.

    Students who are At-Risk:  As presented several meetings ago, our data reflects that the learning loss reported across the Commonwealth and the nation is not occurring on a macro-level in Bloomsburg.  The opportunity for our teachers and administrators to meet weekly to review and discuss students who have been disengaged from either in-person or Blended learning has been a key factor in mitigating the number of students who are falling behind.

    • We have proposed the addition of a security and truancy coordinator who can connect with the kids who either have or who are beginning to show signs of disconnecting as the weather turns and the school year draws to a close. Our child study work on these Fridays would allow this person to “get up to speed” with each of our teams and begin to make the necessary connections to re-initiate student engagement.
    • Additionally, our virtual Fridays allow our teachers provide opportunity and access for kids who are engaged, but who may have fallen behind due to quarantine or other life events. Rather than consider how to eliminate this important time, one of our key administrative priorities is figuring out how to replicate the success of our current model in a five-day school week when we return in the fall.

    Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum/Block Schedule:  We have been able to address in substantive ways, through professional development and teacher team work, our noted concerns regarding our K-8 curriculum and our shift to the Block Schedule.  The effectiveness of our adoption of core reading and math programs K-8 has been accelerated by the opportunity for our teachers to work together, with our external partners and on their own, to make the curriculum their own.  At the secondary level, our teachers have done an amazing job adjusting their traditional 40-minute curriculum to the 80-minute block.  The opportunity for both groups to complete this work within our current schedule will not only allow for a strong finish for this school year, but will create the conditions for an accelerated start next fall.

    Perception:  For those who watch the national news, there is a perception that teachers have it easy, that they are not in school, they are prioritized for the vaccine, and they should have to share the struggles of everyone else. When I talk with my colleagues across the Commonwealth regarding their instructional models, we do not share the same lived experience.

    • Our teachers are in school Monday through Friday. They do not work from home unless we need to close a building or the weather will not allow on a virtual Friday. 
    • While it is accurate we were among the first in the state to receive mass vaccinations, we are also one of only a handful of school districts who have been in session as planned since the start of the school year.

    Coupled with the curriculum changes and the everyday stresses of living and working in a pandemic, our teachers should not be painted with the same brush national commentators use to portray their profession.  The diligence, grace, and patience of our faculty and staff should be the headlines.

    Click here to access our revised 2020-2021 school calendar: School Calendar 2020-2021.

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  • Covid Update - Week of March 8-12

    Posted by Stephanie Kessler on 3/12/2021

    This week, we do not have any reported positive or presumed positive cases in any of our school buildings.  Thank you for your continued support in following our Health and Safety Plan.

    Please join us in wishing our Varsity Girls' Basketball team good luck in the District IV Playoffs tomorrow.  The game will be broadcast on SECV 8 tomorrow (3/13/21) at noon.

    Thank you.

    Comments (-1)
  • Covid Update - Week of March 1-5

    Posted by Stephanie Kessler on 3/5/2021

    March 5, 2021

    This week, we received reports of two positive Covid tests, one being from a student at Memorial Elementary School and the second being from a student at the secondary complex.  In both cases, the student had not been in the building since February 25 and therefore was not added to the Covid tracker.

    Our ability to maintain our in-person schedule with minimal interruptions this year would not be possible without the cooperation and support of our community.  We very much appreciate the collective diligence and persistence in self-quarantining and taking the necessary precautions to allow us to remain open.

    We wish you all a great weekend.  The weather forecast calls for warmer weather and some sun for next week, just in time for the official start of spring sports on Monday, March 8.  We hope both the forecast and the coming of spring bring hope and optimism for all!

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  • Covid Update - Week of February 22-26

    Posted by Stephanie Kessler on 2/26/2021

    Week of February 22-26

    This week, the secondary complex received a report of one positive case at the secondary complex on Friday.  The student was last on campus on Tuesday.  All contact tracing is complete. 

    We have no other positive cases reported to us this week.

    We encourage anyone with questions about our Covid Tracker or our procedures regarding pre-emptive closures to review our updated Covid Tracker page and the community letters from December 14, 2020 and the most recent from Monday February 22, 2021.

    At our last board meeting, we had preliminary discussion with our school board about keeping a running record of quarantine cases, but have since learned of substantive HIPPA and potential legal consequences for doing so.  To adjust, we will post a narrative overview of our week in review on Fridays each week here to provide as much information as we can.

    We hope you all had a great week and have a wonderful weekend.  We also hope you enjoy the sunshine!!

    Comments (-1)

A Message from Dr. Wheeler

  • February 4, 2021

    At the February 1 school board meeting, a revised 2020-2021 school calendar was approved.  This revision included the addition of Tuesday, February 16; Wednesday, February 17; and Thursday, February 18 as scheduled days off for students.  Friday, February 19 will remain a virtual learning day.

    With the newly revised calendar, our current last day of school is Wednesday, June 2.  Both June 3 and June 4 are emergency make-up days to be used if needed.  Graduation is tentatively scheduled for Friday, June 4.

    The reason we added February 16-18 as days off for students and staff is because our staff was granted the good fortune of being able to receive the first COVID-19 vaccination on January 18.  The second dose is scheduled for February 15-17 for the approximately 75% of our staff who received the first vaccination.  The window for individuals to receive the second vaccination is very limited, and we foresaw significant staffing issues during this week.  By coming back on February 22, we will be well positioned for a positive beginning to the end of the school year.

    We ask that in the months ahead, you continue to assist us in adhering to our health and safety plan, and that you help us by keeping your children home from school when they are sick.  The district’s health and safety plan, as well as other COVID-19-related materials, may be found on this Community Connection web page.

    We are grateful to have the ongoing opportunity for our students to attend school on campus, and are proud to have kept our schools open during the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year and beyond.  As always, we appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we navigate these challenging times.

    Thank you. 

  • December 14 Update

    Posted by Donald Wheeler on 12/14/2020 11:15:00 AM

    December 14, 2020

    At the end of this message, please find a link to our December 14, 2020 Community Update. In this document, we address three essential items as we work through our Health and Safety Plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic in our community.  The three essential items include: 

    1. Instructional Model Status: Why we are remaining open
    2. Resetting Building Case Counts: Virtual Friday Schedule
    3. Introduction of COVID-19 Daily Dashboard: Updated daily to allow for broad community tracking

    The document will be sent home today in hard copy with all of our students in grades K-5. We will send the document home with all 6-12 students tomorrow, when they return from closure.

    Our framework for keeping schools open reflects our current understanding of community sentiment regarding our instructional model. As our context and situation evolves and changes, it will be important for our processes and frameworks to evolve and change as well.

    We have been very fortunate to avoid a significant volume of positive cases or presumed positive cases in any of our buildings thus far this year. The willingness of our entire community to self-isolate, quarantine and follow our health and safety plan has provided our kids with a great opportunity to learn in-person.  We are truly grateful and beyond appreciative of our community’s diligence over the last for months of school.

     

    December 14 Community Update

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Secondary Complex, Fall 2020

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