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Coronavirus

Reopening 3.0 and 4.0

September 10, 2020

The North Schuylkill School District continues to evaluate the phased reopening. The District has been pleased with phase 2.0 of students in Kindergarten through Third Grade returning for five days of full instruction.

Beginning Monday, September 14, 2020, we will enter phase 3.0 of students returning for five days of full instruction. Students in Grades Fourth through Eighth Grade will return for five days. Students who are 100% virtual will remain 100% virtual. This would mean K – 8th is back full time and 9th – 12th will remain in the hybrid model. Our goal is to move to phase 4.0 on Monday, September 21, 2020, with Grades Nine through Twelve returning full time.

100% virtual students had the option to return the first of each month. The District’s plan has been committed to adjusting our approach and decided it is best to alter this plan. Beginning Tuesday, September 15, 2020, students and families looking to return sooner than October 1, 2020, can call the main office of their child’s school. You will receive a return date once requested. The return date will be approximately three days from the initial request – (example: call on Monday, return on Thursday). This would allow enough time for teachers and staff to prepare for the return of the student(s).

Again, the District will remain committed to adjusting its approach based on the virus’ spread in the community. Realizing COVID-19 will be present throughout the foreseeable future, flexibility will be an utmost priority. We have been delighted with the students’ response to the protocols. Hopefully, Schuylkill County community transmission will continue to decrease. The District continues to thank you for your patience and understanding in these unpredictable times.


Reopening 2.0

September 3, 2020

Spartan Families and Community –

The North Schuylkill School District has been evaluating the return of our students in the hybrid model with the implementation of the health and safety protocols that have been put in place, along with the level of COVID-19 community transmission in Schuylkill County. The District has been pleased with the students’ response to the protocols and the Schuylkill County community transmission continues to decrease.

North Schuylkill is ready to begin phase 2.0 of reopening. Students in Kindergarten through Third Grade will return for five days of full instruction beginning Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Many factors played into this discussion, but the overall concern is the youngest students in the District need to be in-person to learn best. Students who are 100% virtual will remain 100% virtual. This would mean K – 3 is back full time and 4 – 12 will remain in the hybrid model. Our initial goal was to reevaluate after next week, but we felt the need to be flexible and adapt.

We will reevaluate in another week to see if we can phase in other grade levels to a full reopen. The District will remain committed to adjusting its approach based on the virus’ spread in the community. Realizing COVID-19 will be present throughout the foreseeable future, flexibility will be an utmost priority. The District continues to be thankful for your patience and understanding in these unpredictable times.

With Spartan Pride,
Dr. Robert Ackell


Virtual Learning Notice – Audio Recordings Prohibited

August 24, 2020

As school classes resume at North Schuylkill School District (“NSSD”), all students shall receive virtual learning through real-time instruction, both/ either synchronous or asynchronous, and as such, all students are reminded that no student may record oral communications including by video recording, sharing, taping or saving. Lessons will be available for viewing again if necessary. Audio recordings are prohibited. Students are further reminded of Board Policies including Policy 816. Board Policies shall be in full force and effect on campus and during all remote learning instruction, as well as during extracurricular activities, and whenever using school learning platforms, school equipment, or regardless of location of student.


Hybrid Learning

August 11, 2020

The North Schuylkill School District would like to inform you that due to new guidance issued yesterday by the Pennsylvania Department of Health along with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, we will be switching to a Hybrid Learning Educational Model. Students who selected in-person education will now attend school 2 days a week and virtual 3 days a week. Please see the following PDF for more information.

PDF: North Schuylkill Hybrid Learning

Please take a moment to review the information


NSSD COVID-19 Notice

July 28, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented school administration, teachers and staff with a myriad of challenges concerning this highly contagious illness that appears to attack the upper respiratory system but which may also cause blood clots and other serious health complications. Some severe outcomes have been reported in children, and a child with a mild or even asymptomatic case of COVID-19 can spread the infection to others who may be far more vulnerable, including to other family members of the student’s household such as individuals with comorbidity/preexisting health conditions.

You and your student should be aware of the potential risks for infection of coronavirus and other pathogens. While it is not possible to eliminate all risk of furthering the spread of COVID-19, the NSSD will take precautions and comply with guidelines from the federal, state, and local governments, CDC, PA DOH, as well as the NFHS and PIAA, to reduce the risks to students, teachers, and third parties. As knowledge regarding COVID-19 is constantly changing, NSSD reserves the right to adjust and implement precautionary methods as necessary to decrease the risk of exposure for our study body.

Some precautionary protocols in the NSSD Return to School Plan may include but may not be limited to:
1. Encourage social distancing and promote healthy hygiene practices such as hand washing, using hand sanitizer, etc.
2. Mandate wearing of face coverings and masks at all times, and in particular when social distancing is not possible
3. Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation in all facilities;
4. Require Students to bring their own water bottle for hydration.
5. Health screenings prior to any entry into the building including temperature checks and inquiries

In sending your student to school, you understand and acknowledge the known and unknown risks associated with exposure to communicable diseases such as COVID-19, including possibly contracting the disease or spreading it to others in school or at home. You are further aware of the risks associated with COVID-19 and that certain vulnerable individuals may have greater health risks associated with exposure to COVID-19, including individuals with serious underlying health conditions such as, but not limited to: high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, asthma, and those whose immune systems that are compromised by chemotherapy for cancer, and other conditions requiring such therapy. While particular recommendations and personal discipline may reduce the risks associated with attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of serious illness, medical complications and possible death does exist.

Additionally, in sending your student to school, your student shall abide by and comply with the recommendations and guidelines put forth by NSSD to limit the exposure and spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.

You acknowledge that you have alternative options for remote/distance learning instruction for your student set forth in NSSD Virtual Learning Platform. If you have any questions about this home-bound option, please contact the school.

Printable PDF Version: Click Here


NSSD Health and Safety Plan Phased Reopening

July 22, 2020

Please take a moment to review the information

PDF Version: NSSD Health and Safety Plan Phased Reopening

Student Personal Items

June 11, 2020

Spartans Families -
As we approach the end of the school year, we realize the need for students to collect items and personal belongings that they left behind when remote learning was implemented for the remainder of this school year. Additionally, we recognize students may have school or district issued items that they need to return, including library books, textbooks, Chromebooks, musical instruments, etc.

We have identified the week of June 15th as an opportunity for all students to retrieve personal items and return any school or district-issued items. Please see information below for the Elementary and High School specific pick-up schedules.

NORTH SCHUYLKILL ELEMENTARY

Elementary teachers will be in their respective buildings June 5th - 12th packing and labeling student items for return. Please contact the school if you are aware of any items or personal belongings that may not be in a student cubbie or desk that you are interested in having returned to you. To minimize ongoing health risks related to the presence of Coronavirus, the elementary will have a curbside pick-up and drop off process. There will not be any student or parent access to the building. Please practice social distancing and stay in your vehicle. As you pull up to the curb, please pop your trunk and a North Schuylkill staff member will retrieve district items and place student belongings inside.

Please adhere to the following schedule according to the first letter of STUDENT'S LAST NAME:
A - F: Mon., June 15th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
G - L: Tues., June 16th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
M - S: Wed., June 17th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
T - Z:  Thurs., June 18th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Evening Opportunity:
Thurs., June 18th 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

NORTH SCHUYLKILL JUNIOR SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL

To minimize ongoing health risks related to the presence of Coronavirus, 25 students permitted in building at a time. Students will enter through the doors by the LGI- staff member will be at the door.
Students will go to their locker first to clean it out. Next students will go to the cafeteria and return textbooks/chrome books to correlating tables. Students will exit through the cafeteria door. A staff member will radio to the LGI staff member when student exits so another student may enter if there is an influx of students at the same time.

Please adhere to the following schedule according to the STUDENT'S GRADE LEVEL

12th Grade: Mon., June 1st Received Special Instructions
7th Grade: Mon., June 15th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
8th Grade: Tues., June 16th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
9th Grade: Wed., June 17th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
10th Grade: Thurs., June 18th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Evening Opportunity: Thurs., June 18th 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
11th Grade: Fri., June 19th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Last Opportunity: Fri., June 19th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

FUNDRAISING DISTRIBUTIONS

Cheerleading: Shirts & Sherpas
Envirothon: Earth Day Shirts
SADD/TAT: Easter Stuff Animal Kits
Baseball: Jaden Strong Shirts
Theatre Arts: T-shirts and collect scripts

Thank you for your patience during this process.

Robert J. Ackell, Ed.D., Superintendent
North Schuylkill School District
15 Academy Lane
Ashland, PA 17921
570-874-0466


COVID-19 Update: Grab-N-Go Meals (Update)

April 20, 2020

North Schuylkill SD Families:

NSSD in partnership with The Nutrition Group will continue to offer ALL NS students a free Grab-N-Go style bagged breakfast and lunch.

When: Monday-Wednesday-Friday

Where: Ashland, Frackville, Girardville, and NOW the High School.

Ashland
Washington Fire Company
1307 Centre Street
Ashland, PA 17921
Frackville
Goodwill Fire Company
225 South Balliet Street
Frackville, PA 17931
Girardville
Rangers Hose Company
6 East Ogden Street
Girardville, PA 17935
North Schuylkill
Junior/Senior HS
15 Academy Lane
Ashland, PA 17921

Times: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m at Ashland, Frackville, and Girardville.  11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the High School.

Cost: Free to anyone under the age of 18 – No ID is required

What: All breakfast and lunch items will follow the USDA guidelines

Important: Any student taking a Grab-N-Go must leave property immediately. You may not stay to eat, play and/or socialize.

Spartan Pride!
Robert J Ackell, Ed.D.
Superintendent


Superintendent Letter

April 14, 2020

Dear Spartan Parents –

On Thursday, April 9, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf extended his order to close Pennsylvania schools through the end of the academic year. Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera issued a proclamation, under the authority granted under Act 13 of the PA School Code, to close all schools until the threat to health and safety caused by the Pandemic of 2020 has ended. While we have been preparing for this potential outcome for several weeks now, this news is difficult to hear.

I want to begin by reassuring our families that our Continuity of Education Plan is designed to enable us to continue teaching and learning through June 3, 2020. Our teachers are prepared and committed to provide the best instruction possible as they implement our distance-learning plan. We will continue to support our families in every way we can during the challenging weeks and months ahead.

With the knowledge that schools are now closed for the duration of the school year, we turn our efforts more fully toward Phase II. These critical matters include considerations for graduation and more purposeful learning for our students. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for details.

Many parents of students have concerns about what the extended school closure means for their child’s long-term learning. Please know we have already begun discussions on plans and programs to address lost skills when school resumes, as we know this is a reality for many of our students. We realize recuperation of skills may take some time and we remain dedicated to working diligently with your child, both now within the confines of distance learning, and within in the future when we are back with your children in our schools. We are here to work with you toward the common goal of closing any additional gaps that occur in your child’s progress because of these school closures. 

Perhaps now more than ever, our attention to the social and emotional well-being of our teachers, students, and other members of our community is extremely important. As we adjust to this new normal, it is important to ask for help when we need it, monitor the emotional health of our children and loved ones, and maintain connections with those who are isolated and in need. Resources are available on our website.

Our schools are more than just buildings where students gather to learn. Within our schools, students overcome challenges, learn to make friends, and find their spark. The passion our teachers have for their craft inspires ingenuity, perseverance, and hope. However, over the past few weeks, I am more confident than ever that our students and teachers can and will find new ways to connect and celebrate the joy that comes with learning. School is a beautiful place to be – but the spirit of North Schuylkill Schools is in each of us.

We share in the disappointment that our families feel, but we also know that the most important concern we share is for the health and well-being of those we care about. As we manage this crisis together, we take comfort in the knowledge that our community is united in our support for one another and for those most vulnerable.

Spartan Pride,
Robert J Ackell, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Link: Printable PDF of this letter
Link: Continuity of Education Plan - Phase II FAQ


Watch an informational CDC video on COVID-19

April 13, 2020


Update: School Closure

April 9, 2020

Dear Spartan Parents –

This morning PA Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera issued an order under Act 13 of 2020, to close all public schools through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. The extended shutdown order affects more than 1.7 million students in public and private K-12 schools. It means children will spend the rest of the year learning remotely. The order applies through the last day of the current academic year, a date that varies among districts because calendars are set by school boards. Currently, our final day is Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Additionally, Governor Wolf is ordering all K-12 schools and programs, public and private, 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.

Please know that at this time, The North Schuylkill School District will continue with the Continuity of Education Plan found on our district website. We are currently in Phase I – Enrichment and Review of the plan. However, we will move into a more purposeful learning Phase II - Planned Instruction on April 17th. More details will be shared next week. Please encourage your children to continue checking in with their teachers. The administration will continue to work with our staff behind the scenes to provide additional tools and technology as needed during this pandemic. You will be notified by our calling system and/or email of any and all changes being made as we continue to navigate through the challenges that we all currently face.

Please know that we are all saddened by this news and all of the events and ceremonies that are lost, but we know that with your continued support we will come out of this stronger than ever. I want to thank all of you for your patience and perseverance. More details will be provided after the Spring Holiday.

Yours in Education,
Robert J. Ackell, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


Paper Packet and Chromebook Distribution

April 3, 2020

Spartan Families –

Reminder for students who requested paper packet handouts, distribution will occur today from 4PM-6PM and Monday from 9AM-11AM at the North Schuylkill Elementary School.

Due to the high demand of Chromebooks, we will not distribute Chromebooks during packet pick-ups today and Monday. Distribution of Chromebooks will be on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, from 9AM-1PM at the North Schuylkill Elementary School. Please have students name and ID number ready.

To ensure proper social distancing for all distributions, we ask that you drive up to the curb at the elementary school and pop your trunk. A North Schuylkill staff member will bring the materials to you and place them in your trunk. No one is permitted to enter the school building.

Board Policy 708 will protect the School District’s Chromebook:

Purpose
If equipment is required for use by those granted permission to use, it may be loaned in accordance with Board policy.

Delegation of Responsibility
Use of specific items of equipment, when unobtainable elsewhere, may be granted on the request of the intended user and approval by the Superintendent. The user of district-owned equipment shall be fully liable for any damage or loss occurring to the equipment during the period of its use and shall be responsible for its safe return.

Guidelines
School equipment may be removed from school property by students or staff members only when such equipment is necessary to accomplish tasks relevant to their school or job responsibilities. Prior approval of the Superintendent is required for such removal.

Stay Well,
Robert J Ackell, Ed.D.
Superintendent


Paper Packet and Chromebook Distribution

March 30, 2020

This afternoon Governor Wolf announced that schools are closed indefinitely and Schuylkill County is added to the "Stay At Home Order."

It is clear that “Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services” is allowable. 


PDF: Governor Stay at Home Order 

I want to assure you that North Schuylkill is working diligently at putting our educational plan in place for our students. Nothing has changed from the original plan that was communicated with you yesterday. If you did not receive a phone call today from your child’s homeroom teacher, you will receive one tomorrow. Remember the phone numbers will be blocked or from out of the area.

We are strongest together, and while we have overcome numerous challenges, there are certainly more to come. I ask that we continue to take this one day at a time. Continue to be gentle and kind with one another and take care of each other.

Robert J Ackell, Ed.D.
Superintendent


COVID 19 Response: Dr. Ackell's Message

March 29, 2020


Downloadable PDF of Dr. Ackell's Message
Link to Dr. Ackell's Video


Hello Spartan Families –

First, I apologize for the length of this correspondence. It does contain very important information. Please read carefully. I would like to personally thank you for your ongoing support during these unprecedented times. The COVID-19 outbreak and actions at the local and state level are continually evolving. We will continue to update our Spartan community periodically throughout this situation. At this time we have the following updates to share:

Announcement of Flexible Learning
In light of the Pennsylvania Governor Wolf-imposed school shutdown, the North Schuylkill School District maintains a commitment to our mission to provide our students with opportunities designed to meet individual needs and to ensure that every child has experiences that promote growth and excellence in all academic and social development areas. Today, we are fully engaged in such a challenge. The District is going to offer our students the opportunity to engage in Flexible Learning activities while schools remain closed.

Phone call from Homeroom teacher
Starting on Monday, March 30 and continuing Tuesday, March 31, homeroom teachers will begin making initial contact with all students and/or parents of Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade. Our goal is to provide updates, present our continuity of education plan, and ask questions regarding technology. Teachers will be calling using a Google Classroom function that may block or provide an out of the area phone number. Please answer your phone on Monday and Tuesday, expecting to receive an unknown number. Numbers could be originated from the Philadelphia or New York areas.

Enrichment and Review
The goal during this extended school closure is to ensure that everyone is successful – students, parents and teachers. Our teachers have planned weekly review and enrichment activities. It is recommended that students spend at the elementary level approximately 30-45 minutes per subject each week. At the high school level, it is recommended that students spend approximately 60 minutes per subject each week. These activities are not meant to replace daily classroom instruction. We are encouraging all students to do their best to complete the assigned material.

Teachers are providing technology (Google Classroom) and non-technology (packets) options. We ask that you choose the option that works for you. Your homeroom teacher will be able to provide you with an explanation of these options to guide you through this Flexible Instruction process. Families will be surveyed for Internet access and devices by homeroom teachers. Students who do have Internet access but not a devices will be issued a District Chromebook.

Schuylkill Technology Center (STC), Fountain Springs Cyber Academy (FSCA) and Bloomsburg Advance College Experience (ACE) students are expected to receive further clarification regarding their education in the upcoming week.

Google Classroom
Connecting to Google Classroom on your computer, iPad or smartphone will give you a direct connection to your teacher. Your child can log on using their student id number @gapps.northschuylkill.net account. If your child is not able to access Google Classroom, you can contact your child’s teacher via email. Information will be available online on a weekly basis every Friday with the exception of this week which will be on Wednesday, April 1st. All virtual review and enrichment materials/activities will be available for you through Google Classroom.

Packet Work
For student without Internet access distribution of paper handouts will occur bi-weekly on Fridays from 4PM-6PM and the following Monday from 9AM-11AM at the North Schuylkill Elementary School. The first pick up of physical materials will be Friday, April 3rd and Monday, April 6th. To ensure proper social distancing, we ask that you drive up to the curb at the elementary school and pop your trunk. A North Schuylkill staff member will bring the materials to you and place them in your trunk. No one is permitted to enter the school building. Packets will not be returned to teachers.

Communication with Teacher
Your child's classroom teacher is your best resource to help you with the work he/she is being asked to complete. Communication will occur in other platforms including Google, remind, class dojo, email, phone calls, homework blogs, etc. Feedback will be provided on activities. All teachers will be hosting office hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 1PM-3PM in Google Meet to answer questions or provide clarification on any of the material for each week.

Special Education
We understand that there may be unique challenges for students with disabilities and that this may be a stressful time for our families. Throughout the closure, your child’s special education team will work to provide access to the Flexible Learning framework while considering each child’s specific needs. For support, please reach out to your child’s teacher or therapist. You can also contact Special Education Director, Mr. Knute Brayford, kbrayford@northschuylkill.net or Assistant Director of Special Education, Mrs. Christine Greblick cgreblick@northschuylkill.net.

Student Expectations

  • Monitoring Google Classroom daily or work on packet daily
  • Establishing daily routines for engaging in the learning experiences
  • Being responsible for independent learning and maintaining a positive growth mindset
  • Engaging in all learning with academic honesty
  • Being an advocate and communicating with your teachers
  • Complying with School Internet Safety policies including expectations for online etiquette
  • Completing work by Friday at 3:00PM which will serve as evidence of completion

  • State Assessments

    All PSSA testing and Keystone exams for the 2019-20 school year have been cancelled by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Additionally, standardized testing for students in career and technical education (STC) programs for the 2019-20 school year have been cancelled.

    On March 20, The College Board posted some very important information concerning this year's AP Exams. AP Exams will not be conducted face-to-face this year and tests will be adjusted to reflect school closures.

    Technology Support
    We will communicate our plans to distribute District issued Chromebooks in the near future, if one is requested. Additionally, we are not able to repair personal devices. If you need assistance with a District issued Chromebook or Google Classroom please view the student help documents and forms located on our District website.

    End of the 3rd Marking Period
    Based on the most recent information from PDE in regards to the additional week closure, paired with the uncertainty of what may lie beyond April 7th, we will close the third marking period. Report cards will be available during the second week of April.

    Meals
    We will continue to provide Grab-and-Go Bagged Breakfast and Lunches at three locations throughout the district during the flexible learning days. In the first week we were able to provide 9,360 meals to our students. For more information visit: https://bit.ly/NSLunches

    School Calendar
    At this point, we have been granted latitude in the mandatory 180 days of school. We will continue to monitor the situation, follow guidelines provided to us by governmental agencies and determine an updated calendar as soon as possible. The last day of school has not been determined at this point. Spring break will be one day, Good Friday, April 10th. Again, we are not sure if and when we will return to normal operations.

    Prom and Graduation
    Personally, of all the many negative things that this closure has caused, I think the most negative affect has been on our 12th graders’ senior year. Please know that we will do everything possible to safe guard these events. In addition, we also realize that some of our seniors have plans shortly after the original date of graduation. Students are going to the armed forces, military academies, and post-secondary education endeavors. We will certainly consider these issues when finalizing schedules and school calendars moving forward. At this time we have been in discussion with Capriottis and are certain the prom will need to be rescheduled to a date in the summer.

    Building Level Contacts
    High School Principal, Ken Roseberry kroseberry@northschuylkill.net
    High School Assistant Principal, Liza Ulceski lulceski@northschuylkill.net
    Elementary Principal, Janice Whitaker jwhitaker@northschuylkill.net
    Elementary Assistant Principal, Janel Hansbury jhansbury@northschuylkill.net

    Resources
    Several resources have been assembled on the District website, and can be accessed by simply clicking on the grade level button that is most appropriate for your child. The resources can be found here: North Schuylkill Resource Page.

    Please note that the resources contained within this site are purely optional, and students who do not complete these activities will not fall behind, nor will they be penalized. Our primary concern is for the health and well-being of our Spartan community. This resource, as well as other resources on the website, are available to keep our students engaged in the learning process for those that desire such an opportunity.

    In addition to your child’s teacher(s), administrators, counselors, nurses, occupational therapists, behavior specialists, speech therapists, gifted teachers, English as a Second Language teacher, psychologists, special education teachers, and social workers are also available during the day via email. Feel free to contact them as needed to provide support and respond to your questions or concerns.

    Finally, the link below provides resources for mental health.
    Click Here: Mental Health Resources

    Closing
    Once again, I feel compelled to express my sincere gratitude for the support of this amazing North Schuylkill community that we are truly blessed to be a part of.

    We will continue to update all our stakeholders as appropriate. Thank you for your cooperation during this very trying time. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at rackell@northschuylkill.net

    Remember it is important as a community we STAY CALM, STAY HOME, AND STAY SAFE.

    Spartan Pride!
    Robert J Ackell, Ed.D.
    Superintendent


    School Closure Extended

    March 23, 2020

    Spartan Community -

    “The Department of Education (PDE) announced today that all schools in the commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6 as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. The closure order could be extended beyond April 6 if necessary, to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.

    Under the new timeline, school buildings would reopen on Tuesday, April 7 for two days to allow school administrators, teachers, and other staff time to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation and arrange other business operations. Students would return to school on Thursday, April 9, unless extending the closure is needed in response to the situation with the virus at that time.”

    The North Schuylkill School District will take the time needed to evaluate this decision and provide additional details specific to our school district over the next few days. We are still waiting for further clarification and direction from the state about what “continuity of learning” means and should look like. Please continue to check our web site and Facebook page during this time.

    On a final note, As each day of this pandemic passes, we are confronted with sadness and despair about what was lost or may be in jeopardy of being lost. Aside from worrying about basic needs being met, we worry about what will happen with the end of the marking period, student grades, musicals, spring sports, concerts, field trips, prom, graduation, etc. Your concerns about our ability to offer these, in some instances, once in a lifetime events, is understandable. I wish I had a definitive answer for each one of them, but I do not. However, I will leave you with this. As we continue down this uncharted path, we will do our best to postpone these moments that students looked forward to and worked to achieve and not cancel them.

    Again, I want to thank you for your support this past week and as we move forward.

    Stay healthy and be well,
    Robert J Ackell, Ed.D.
    Superintendent


    COVID-19 Update: Grab-N-Go Meals (Update)

    March 20, 2020

    North Schuylkill SD Families:

    The North Schuylkill Community had a great response to the Grab-N-Go meals. We served 495 students with 2,970 meals! We apologize if you showed up and we did not have any more meals left.

    After this large response we are adjusting our plan.

    We are going to distribute our meals on Mondays (4 meals; 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches), Wednesdays (4 meals; 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches) and Fridays (6 meals; 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches).

    A big Thank you to Kim Shatalsky, the cafeteria employees and all the staff members who volunteered today.

    Remember, we need to continue to practice social distancing at the distributions sites.

    Spartan Pride,
    -Bob Ackell

    When: Monday-Wednesday-Friday

    Where: Qualifying Eligible Areas

    Ashland
    Washington Fire Company
    1307 Centre Street
    Ashland, PA 17921
    Frackville
    Goodwill Fire Company
    225 South Balliet Street
    Frackville, PA 17931
    Girardville
    Rangers Hose Company
    6 East Ogden Street
    Girardville, PA 17935

    Times: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Cost: Free to anyone under the age of 18 – No ID is required

    What: All breakfast and lunch items will follow the USDA guidelines

    Important: Any student taking a Grab-N-Go must leave property immediately. You may not stay to eat, play and/or socialize.

    In closing, we ask you to be mindful that this is a first for us. We have never attempted anything of this nature. If we run out, we will make more! Your continued patience and support is appreciated.

    Spartan Pride!
    Robert J Ackell, Ed.D.
    Superintendent


    COVID-19 Update: Grab-N-Go Meals

    March 19, 2020

    North Schuylkill SD Families:

    PDF Version: Click Here

    The North Schuylkill School District in partnership with The Nutrition Group will be offering all North Schuylkill School District students a free Grab-N-Go style bagged breakfast and lunch beginning Friday, March 20, 2020. Students do not need to qualify for free or reduced lunch status to participate.

    The District would like to directly thank Kim Shatalsky, The Nutrition Group Food Service Manager, and all of the wonderful cafeteria employees who have done an amazing job preparing for this venture. The District would also like to thank the other civic organizations and numerous people that have offered to volunteer.

    When: Weekdays beginning Friday, March 20, 2020

    Where: Qualifying Eligible Areas

    Ashland
    Washington Fire Company
    1307 Centre Street
    Ashland, PA 17921
    Frackville
    Goodwill Fire Company
    225 South Balliet Street
    Frackville, PA 17931
    Girardville
    Rangers Hose Company
    6 East Ogden Street
    Girardville, PA 17935

    Times: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Cost: Free to anyone under the age of 18 – No ID is required

    What: All breakfast and lunch items will follow the USDA guidelines

    Important: Any student taking a Grab-N-Go must leave property immediately. You may not stay to eat, play and/or socialize.

    In closing, we ask you to be mindful that this is a first for us. We have never attempted anything of this nature. If we run out, we will make more! Your continued patience and support is appreciated.

    Spartan Pride!
    Robert J Ackell, Ed.D.
    Superintendent


    COVID-19 Update: FAQ

    March 17, 2020

    North Schuylkill SD Families:

    We continue to navigate the continued challenges associated with the social distancing that is meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We would like to provide you with a few reminders and updates.

    Governor Wolf announced a statewide two-week school district closure and has provided additional guidance to districts regarding our responsibility for the continuity of instruction. We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) to assist you.

    Click Here for the FAQ

    We know that you have many questions now and will have more in the days to come. While some of the more complex questions can’t be answered yet, we have created a page on our website to house resources and frequently asked questions associated with Coronavirus COVID-19. Visit www.northschuylkill.net

    If you have any further questions or comments during this closure, the District set up an email account that will be monitored by multiple administrators. Email concerns@northschuylkill.net

    Please know, it will take some time to consider what the impact of a prolonged closure will be for North Schuylkill. In addition, we are awaiting additional guidance on more complex matters from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania such as the 180-school day requirements, state testing and much more. We continue to be in regular contact with local, state, and federal authorities, as well as our neighboring districts.

    As a reminder, all NSSD campuses and buildings are closed and secured. The coming weeks will continue to challenge us as a community and as a nation. We have said it many times, but we are deeply grateful for the support of our families and the entire North Schuylkill District community. Please continue to care for one another and reach out to those who are vulnerable.

    Stay well,
    Robert J. Ackell, Superintendent


    Superintendent's Message on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closing

    March 13, 2020

    North Schuylkill SD Families:

    The health, safety and security of our students and staff are our highest priorities. We take very seriously our role in the protection of our most precious people. It is my hope that you believe in our commitment to your child and the well-being of all in our school community.

    The recent events surrounding the COVID-19, Coronavirus, have made for difficult decisions on the national, state and local level. While there is an abundance of information available, guidance and direction have been limited. With that being the case, we are left with trying to make the best decision possible, in areas that are not part of our expertise.

    After conferring with state officials, county superintendents and analyzing the best data available at this time, we will institute the following:

    • Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, all schools in the North Schuylkill SD will be closed for two weeks. No one is to enter without approval of the Superintendent.
    • Tentative Reopen date would be March 30, 2020.
    • At the close of schools today, all students and staff should take home all resources that they may need for instruction. These would include textbooks, workbooks and technology. These items will only be expected to be used if the closure persists longer than the two weeks.
    • During the two-week break, the buildings will be thoroughly cleaned and then closed. For those essential people who are needed to clean and secure the buildings during that time, extra protocols will be in place to ensure contamination does not occur.
    • No school events of any kind will occur. They will be postponed when possible or cancelled if that is the only other option.
    • At this time, the makeup of school days will occur through the utilization of makeup days at the Easter Holiday and days added to the end of the year. This is subject to change should the Department of Education provide relief in some way. If so, our District will seek that relief whether it is in number of required days or hours.

    During the two-week period, we highly recommend that students do not regularly leave their home, travel or place themselves in situations that promote the transmission of the virus. We ask that everyone follow the rules established for social distancing and the hygiene efforts that have been in place for some time.

    Please know that this decision does not come without knowledge of the disruption this causes for our students, staff and families. It has not been taken lightly. We recognize the burden this places on families. We are also saddened with the possible opportunities that are lost because of the closure. It is only because of the possible health risks to so many that this decision, while difficult, is being made. None of us wants to be the one whose child is sick or whose grandparent becomes gravely ill. Mitigating the number infected is our main goal.

    In a best case, the virus begins to fade, effects very few and we return to classes soon. The worst-case scenario has played out across the world. We hope to reduce that likelihood.

    Sincerely,

    Robert J Ackell, Ed.D.
    Superintendent


    Coronavirus Update

    March 12, 2020

    Spartan Community —

    We are receiving questions to the inevitable spread of COVID-19 (the “Coronavirus”). Due to the rapidly changing manner in which regional and national organizations are working to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals and factoring in recent updates from local and national governmental and health agencies, North Schuylkill School District has teamed-up with other Schuylkill County Schools and the Schuylkill County Emergency Agency to develop a joint press release and a Schuylkill County Pandemic Action Plan. Please see attached.

    In the North Schuylkill School District, students and staff will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time they left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice). China, Iran, Italy and South Korea are currently listed on the CDC Level 3 Travel Health Alert – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html.

    Closures of schools serve two purposes: (1) to prevent the ready transmission of a disease in a community where that disease is known to be prevalent and (2) to allow for building decontamination or cleaning. Again, given when the prevalence and duration of a COVID-19 outbreak in any given community is unknown.

    At this time, the North Schuylkill School District’s plan to provide instruction to our students, if we have to close suddenly due to the coronavirus or other emergency, would be the same as a cancellation due to weather. If the District would close before the scheduled Spring Break (April 9 – April 19), the District would utilize those built in snow make-up days (6 days available). Good Friday, April 10th, would not be used as a make-up day and would remain a non-school day. If the District would close after the Spring Break (April 20), the original graduation date of June 3, 2020, will be moved and make-up days will be added to the end of the year.

    At this time, there has been a small number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania. As a school district, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and take guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Remember, we all play a role in reducing the likelihood of a coronavirus outbreak in our school district community. We encourage everyone to practice good habits, including:

    ● Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Using soap and hot water, wash for about 20 seconds. Be sure to also wash your fingertips.
    ● Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.
    ● As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
    ● If children are feeling sick, please keep them home from school. Allow them some time to feel better so that they do not risk infecting others.

    As we continue to engage in planning and discussion around the impact of coronavirus, both in and around our community, please remember that the virus is unpredictable causing a very dynamic and constantly changing response.

    If you have any questions, please contact me at rackell@northschuylkill.net

    Stay Well,
    -Bob


    Coronavirus

    March 03, 2020

    Spartan Community —

    In the last few weeks, the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, has become a topic of concern nationwide. Although the virus is not widespread in Pennsylvania at this time, that status could change. Being proactive is key to prevention and mitigation.

    Please see attached Preventive Measures Memo and CDC Fact Sheet.

    Coronavirus Preventive Measures Memo

    CDC Fact Sheet

    Mission Possible,
    -Bob