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A Message from the School Nurse

Welcome back! We are really looking forward to welcoming our students back to classes this week. In moving forward reopening our schools will require everyone’s cooperation. Everyone is “essential” in this next step! Therefore, we are asking for your assistance in helping to keep our students and staff stay healthy and safe this school year.

Below are some guidelines from the School Nurse’s Office for the 2020-2021 School Year.

Asthma and Seasonal Allergies: Students with asthma and/or seasonal allergies are encouraged to see their primary care physician or allergist to receive optimum treatment, so as to decrease confusion of symptoms of Covid-19. Please provide physician documentation of normal baseline for students with allergies and asthma. Please note, ** we are unable to administer nebulizer treatments inside of the school building during the pandemic. Please be sure your child has their Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) for any asthma treatments during the school day. **

Masks: Wearing a face mask is a big change for all of us! Please write your child’s name in permanent marker somewhere on the mask. You will find some helpful information regarding, “How to Safely Wear and Take Off a Face Covering,” on our website. It is important when removing your mask to avoid touching the outside to prevent germ transmission. After removing masks, please either wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. We would also like to remind parents to wash face masks daily to prevent the spread of germs.

Student Personal Supplies: If you would like to send your child to school with their own tissues, hand sanitizer (made of at least 60% alcohol), and/or gloves, you are welcome to do so! MUST BE LATEX-FREE GLOVES (ex. Powder-Free Nitrile or Vinyl are acceptable).

The School Nurse’s Office will be a “HOT SPOT” for any potential Covid-19 cases. Therefore, we are trying to limit non-emergent visits to the Nurse’s Office in effort to mitigate the potential spread of Covid-19 in our community. This year, we are permitting and encouraging students to carry their own contact solution, cough drops, and lip balm (roll on or Chapstick type only). Student’s own supplies are not permitted to be shared with other students.

The following are a few of the CDC Guidelines which Union School District will follow as it pertains to School Health.

Parents will be asked to complete a health screening for their children each morning prior to leaving the home. Please follow the “Parent Screening Tool” guidelines. If your child has symptoms, please keep them home from school and follow the recommendations.

Please do not send your child to school if you have given him/her Tylenol or Motrin to reduce a fever of 100.4 or greater.

Union School District follows the CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines. Since guidelines may change, based on current data, please check our website frequently for the latest information.

If a student is sent home for school due to symptoms of Covid-19, the student will be isolated in a quarantine room until parent or designated person is able to pick the student up. It is very important to keep the school updated on any changes to phone numbers or alternate contact information. We are asking that you have someone who is able to pick up your child immediately to avoid any potential spread to students and staff. Siblings/close contacts will also be dismissed home at that time. Once you pick them up, please take them directly home. Contact primary care physician for instruction. Follow the same guidelines for return to school that are listed on the “Parent Screening Tool”.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the nurse in your child’s building.

Sincerely,

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CSN                         Megan Corle, LPN

Certified School Nurse                                     Sligo Elementary School

Union School District                                       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                 814-745-2152 Ext. 3

814-473-3121 Ext. 3                                        

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Download this file (How To Safely Wear and Take Off a Mask.pdf)How To Safely Wear and Take Off a Mask.pdf743 kB08-26-2020 14:44
Download this file (Parent Screening Tool 082320.pdf)Parent Screening Tool 082320.pdf115 kB08-26-2020 14:43

Return to School FAQs


What will the school day look like for my child?

The school day will be as close to a regular day as possible.  At the High School students will move to all classes and at the Elementary students will remain in their homeroom and teachers will come to them.


Will my child be required to wear a mask?

Yes, but only in areas that cannot be socially distanced.  Examples of when your child would need to wear a mask would be morning and afternoon transportation on the school bus and in hallways at the High School.


Will my child wear a mask the entire school day?

No, when students are in areas that are able to be socially distanced, they can take their mask off.


Do I need to buy masks for my child?

No, the school will provide 2 masks for each student.  Masks must/should be washed between each daily use.


I do not want my child to wear a mask, what do I do?

Any individualized personal needs should be addressed and discussed with your child’s building principal.  Contact the respective school office to schedule an appointment with the principal.


What do I need to do if an immediate family member or my child contracts the CoVid virus?

Notification should be made to the School District immediately so that contact tracing can begin and individuals can be notified that they have been exposed to the virus.


What will happen if a student or staff member is infected with the CoVid virus?

Immediately upon notification of an infected student or staff member, the school will be in contact with the PA Department of Health and they will determine the school’s course of action.


Can school be closed if there is a confirmed positive case of CoVid in the School District?

Each situation will be evaluated and the best course of action will be taken with guidance from the health care professionals.  Should the school building be closed, distance learning will begin immediately with all students using the online platforms of the District.


How will I know if there is a positive CoVid case and school is moved to distance learning?

The School District will maintain active communication with parents and students at all times through the School Social Media sites, the School Website, personal communications, and mass communication.  Due to HIPAA laws, individual names will not be released.


I do not have internet access at my home, how can my child do distance learning?

Contact your building principal so that arrangements can be for your child.


I do not want to send my child to school for fear they will bring the virus home.  What are my options?

Union School District can provide multiple options to you and your child.  Can and make an appointment to speak with your child’s building principal to make the necessary arrangements.


How will parent meetings take place with the CoVid restrictions that are inplace?

Telephone conferences and Google Meet Meetings will be highly recommended and encouraged in lieu of face to face meetings.


The inside maximum number of people in one area is 25.  How is school able to be held?

All Pennsylvania schools do not fall under these guidelines.  All schools must follow the school guidelines set forth by the PA Department of Education.


Will Fall sports be held?

Union School District will comply and follow all regulations set forth by the PA Department of Education and PIAA.  When we are given more information, we will pass that information to players and family members.


Will my child still receive a hot lunch?

Yes.  At the Elementary students will receive their lunch and then eat in their classrooms, at the High School students will receive their lunch and then eat in the cafeteria which has been outfitted with plexiglass barriers to maintain social distancing.


Will my child have gym and music classes?

Students will still participate in physical education classes as well as all music classes.  Instructors have adapted lessons and classrooms to CoVid safety protocols.


What if my child becomes ill during the school day?

The School District Nurse and Nurse Assistant are ready to attend to all situations that may occur during the school day.  If a student shows any symptoms of CoVid during the day, they will be sent home immediately.  Parents should provide two emergency contact numbers in case you cannot be reached to pick up your child from school.


If the county is moved to the yellow or red phase, will school be held?

School will be held without interruption if the county is moved to either the yellow or red phase.  Schooling during these phases will be determined based upon current data and recommendations.  Distance learning platforms with no on site instruction will be in place if in-person education is not feasible.


At the end of last year, school work could be done on my child’s own time frame.  Will that be the same this year?

No.  Last year the PA Department of Education waived the required number of hours required for a complete school year.  At this time, those hours have not been waived.  Through distance learning platforms, all classes will be live streamed and students will be expected to be present virtually throughout the school day. 

Attachments:
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Download this file (CoVid Question and Answer.pdf)CoVid Question and Answer.pdf62 kB08-13-2020 12:52
July 17, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students, and Community Members,

As we prepare for students to return to school this August, we all face many challenges which have been presented due to the introduction of CoVID19. It is clear that not all people have the same opinions of the severity of the virus, and its possible effects upon our students and community. However, we realize that due to our current situation, our return to school will look different than it does under normal conditions. As presented last evening at our July Board Meeting, Union School District’s main goal is to provide quality educational services in a manner which is as close to our normal mode of operation as possible, without sacrificing the safety of our students. We plan to follow all mandates, laws, and regulations put upon us as an educationa entity, by our governing institutions. We do not however, plan to impose additional restrictions upon our students and community as we work with students and families to provide the best educational services possible through all allowable means.

Our board of directors approved the initial version of our “Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan” which is now posted on the Union School District Website. I realize that the plan may not answer all questions related to how reopening the school may look in August and that it is likely to change several times before our first day of instruction, as new guidance and regulations are presented by our governing agencies. It is meant to be a flexible plan which is able to be adapted to the current conditions at the time in which we reopen for the school year.

Some key questions as well:
  1. Will students need to wear masks in school?
    1. As per order of the governor and secretary of health, students are to wear masks at all times with mask breaks permitted as staff see fit.
  2. Will students attend school every day, on a rotation, or be instructed in the home?
    1. Since Clarion County is currently in the Green Phase, we plan to provide student instruction in our school buildings for all students. If the state moves to a different phase, this is likely to change.
  3. What if my child has medical issues which are of concern?
    1. Please contact either the high school or elementary office to schedule an appointment with your child’s principal to work on an individualized plan to meet your child’s needs
  4. If I am concerned about my child’s health due to attending school with other children, may he/she participate in classes remotely?
    1. USD is currently purchasing equipment through the CARES Grant to allow teachers to stream their lessons to students who must receive instruction within the home. This mode of delivery is preferred to cyber programming, as we have personal contact with you and your child and they still are able to interact with their classmates.
  5. What will the school do if they have a confirmed case of CoVID19?
    1. In following best practices, the school district will consult with the Department of Health in making decisions for the school. Current guidance is for closure of areas in which that individual attended to provide sufficient time for sanitation as well as contact tracing and notification of individuals who have been exposed (defined as exposure of 15 minutes or longer at a distance less than 6 feet).
  6. If my child exhibits symptoms of CoVID19, will they be able to return to school?
    1. As per guidance from the CDC, students and staff who exhibit symptoms of CoVID19 will need to quarantine/not report to school/work for a period of 10 school days or until released by a physician.
  7. Will my child be provided transportation services as they have in the past?
    1. We currently plan to run our buses and vans as we have in the past (in the Green Phase), although students will be mandated as per the order of the governor, to wear a face covering while in transport. I understand that some parents may not agree with this order, however it comes from our governing agencies and therefore must be followed by the school district (not a local decision).
  8. If I choose to sign my child into cyber education rather than using district educational services, how does this impact the district and my community?
    1. Choosing to utilize cyber educational services harms your local school district as well as
      community as the district which is funded through federal, state, and local taxes (property and occupational taxes, etc.) must pay approximately $18,000 per student and $36,000 for each child with an individual education plan. These are funds which are necessary to continue to operate your local school system. Rising costs due to increased cyber enrollment often results in the need to raise local taxes to meet financial obligations.
It is my hope that you are all able to enjoy the remainder of the summer and students are ready to
return to school on August 26 th . Union School District wishes to provide your child with the best educational services within the boundaries of the law while also keeping your child’s experience as close to normal as we can. With your help and support, we hope to make the 2020-2021 school year a positive and productive experience for all. Thank you for your support and partnership with our district as we must work together as
a cohesive community as we return to school.

Sincerely,


John Kimmel, Supt.
Union School District
Public Broadcasting Partnership

Additionally, PDE has partnered in recent weeks with the statewide leads for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) to offer communities with limited internet access use of instructional programming that is being broadcast by all of Pennsylvania’s PBS affiliates. Each PBS affiliate is providing instructional blocks of programming targeted to different grade spans, varying by region, and began March 30: https://www.learningathomepa.org

Good afternoon Parents, Students, and Community Members,

We at Union School District miss our students and hope that we can return to our normal routines and schedules sometime very soon.  However, in the meantime, we are preparing and planning to provide for our students’ educational needs to the best of our ability and given all available resources.  Over the past week, we have provided materials and resources for use within the home to help students stay current with their educational skills.  The same process is planned to continue for students through April 26th.  Starting on April 27th, we will plan to transition our educational program to one which offers new instruction for students for a grade which will make up student scores for the fourth grading period.  We will still plan to have our last student day on June 3rd, as has been on our school calendar this year.

Students who have Internet capabilities will access their education through online means for the 27 instructional days between April 27th and June 3rd.  Each student is expected to log in daily.  Students without Internet capabilities will be provided alternate forms of instructional materials which will cover the same material and topics.  Teachers will have three hours of office time available for communication and questions from students daily.  The available times may vary by individual teacher.  Union School District will also be providing additional educational services for students with specialized learning needs between June 8th and June 19th.  Parents of students who are eligible will receive notice and have the option to opt into such services if so desired.  The mode of instruction may vary depending on whether schools are allowed to reopen or not in the month of June.

We are aware that spring events such as graduation and prom are of high importance to our students and parents.  As of the current date, no decisions have been made to cancel these events, as we do not have guidance from our state government indicating what may be allowed.  Since the state is on a “Stay at Home” order through the month of April, prom is postponed until further notice.  Once we have further guidance on these items, we will share with the community. 
Thank you for your continued patience as we work through these stressful and uncertain times.  Please stay healthy and safe!

Sincerely,



John Kimmel, Superintendent   

Dear Parents, Students, and Community Members,

Today, April 1, 2020, Governor Wolf has issued a stay at home order for Pennsylvania until April 30th. The same restrictions now are put in place for the entire state, which were in place for specified counties for the past several days. Only essential employees will be working within school buildings, as has been occurring over the past several weeks, so communication will be best facilitated through email. Food service will remain operational, as it is deemed an essential/ life-sustaining program.

Union School District will be continuing to provide for continuity of education through an enrichment/review platform for the current time period. As developments or changes occur with this process, more information will be provided via the district’s website. We are currently exploring additional educational options as well as participating in newly available grants which may provide for equitable access to online educational resources. As we have no clear direction as to when or if we may return to physical attendance at our buildings, school operations remain in flux and decisions regarding provision of education, how we conclude the school year, district calendar, etc., will be made over the next several weeks. We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we move forward through such uncertain times. I wish you all well, stay safe, and hopefully we may return to our normal routines sometime in the near future.


Sincerely,

John Kimmel, Superintendent
Union School District
Attachments:
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Download this file (April 1 CoVID19.pdf)April 1 CoVID19.pdf303 kB04-01-2020 19:48
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

On Friday, March 13, 2020 Governor Wolf announced that all school districts across the commonwealth would be closed for a period of no less than 10 school days. Currently, we are operating under the assumption that school will resume on March 30, 2020, although there is speculation that the closure may last for a longer duration of time. The purpose of this communication is to provide some clarity to current processes within the district, as current functions are very limited.

Some parents have asked if Union School District will be providing distance education during the closure period. Guidance from PDE, local leaders, and our legal representatives have advised against utilizing distance education as a method of educating our students during this time. This is because most local school districts do not have sufficient infrastructure and resources to offer the same quality of education in the home as they do within our buildings.

Most people are asking if we will need to make-up the days missed due to closure. We are still awaiting guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If we experience an extended closure, schools will apply for a 180 day 990/900 hour exemption from the state, but yet no guidance has been given in relation to making days if able.

Union School District has decided to provide meals to students in need during the closure. Currently, we have meal drive-thru service set up for Thursday March 19, 2020 at 2:30 and Tuesday March 24, 2020 at the same time. Delivery service will be provided only for students who do not have adequate transportation to pick up meals directly from Union High School.

Building access has been closed for the duration of this shutdown to all people other than those deemed essential employees. To facilitate social distancing to the greatest degree possible, only essential functions which must occur on-site will done within district buildings. Otherwise, all buildings are closed for deep cleaning by our custodial staff.

All schools are still awaiting guidance from PDE in relation to PSSA and Keystone Exams. No information has yet been released on this subject.

All extracurricular activities have been suspended until such time that alternate guidance has been provided from the state.

If schools are to make up days missed for the current 10 day closure, our tentative last day of school for students would be June 15, 2020.

As more information is released from our state and area leaders it will be shared via our website. Thank you for your time, as I know our current situation is unique and stressful for everyone. If you have any questions or concerns which need to be addressed during this time of closure, the best form of communication will be through email which is listed on our district’s website, as some personnel may be working from an alternate site than the school building. We wish you all well and please stay healthy! 

Sincerely,




John Kimmel
Superintendent
Union School District
Attachments:
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Download this file (USDCovidInfo.pdf)USDCovidInfo.pdf207 kB03-17-2020 11:56

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