COVID19-03-25-20

Updated: March 25, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

First and foremost, I hope that you and your families are safe and healthy physically and emotionally during this pandemic. We are concerned about you as we travel down this ambiguous path.

On Friday, March 13, after 3:00 p.m. Governor Wolf mandated the closure of all K-12 public schools, cyber schools and charter schools for ten days. Therefore, GASD based its decisions upon the premise that no learning or instruction was to take place with our students. The administrative team has been meeting frequently to work through many different problems, scenarios, etc. Governor Wolf’s announcement on Monday, March 23, mandating the closure of schools to students until April 9, changed the outlook for our students and our teachers.

Currently, GASD is not technologically equipped as a 1:1 district K-12. Our K-8 students do not have a technology device to take home; therefore, this creates some additional challenges for teachers and students regarding access. The district was on a journey of 1:1 specifically for students in grades 6-12; however, we have only completed the first phase of the vision. Students in grades 9-12 were issued an iPad in mid-January.

This pandemic has forced us to look at online learning sooner rather than later. Some of our teachers have already moved in this direction, but additional training is needed. Realizing that some school districts in PA are not ready for online learning, the Pennsylvania Department of Education charged all PA Intermediate Units (which provide services to school districts) with the task of supporting this training.

The Lincoln Intermediate Unit, which supports GASD, will be ready by Monday, March 30, to provide teacher training. Therefore, our teachers will receive training in online learning beginning Monday, March 30.

Beginning April 2, teachers may begin to push out review and enrichment activities to their students electronically.

On Monday, April 6, the following will occur:

  • Students K-5 will receive expectations in math and language arts as per teacher direction.

  • Students in grades 6-8 will receive expectations in math, language arts, science and social studies as per teacher direction.

  • Students who are enrolled in high school courses will begin online course work in their scheduled courses and should plan to set aside an hour a day per course. Coursework will be provided for four days per week. Students will be expected to complete daily coursework. Fridays will be used as a make-up day for any missed assignments during this week.


Families will begin receiving recommended activities, projects, resources from our K-8 special subject teachers as well as our K-12 guidance department. In the meantime, please visit the district’s website at www.gcasd.org and click on the student tab at the top and then click on technology. There is a list of valuable educational resources with which your child can now engage.

All parents will be receiving a phone call today regarding a five-question survey. It is important that you take time to complete the survey so that we have data regarding internet access and devices currently available in your home. This information will be used as we continue to plan for online learning as well as become more knowledgeable about those of you who may need different types of educational resources.

Currently, according to Governor Wolf, students can begin school again on Thursday, April 9; however, our students are now scheduled to return to school on Monday, April 13, although originally part of spring break. We are preparing to continue education for our students even if decisions are made to continue school closures across the state, which could become a reality.


Here are a few Q’s and A’s that may be helpful:

Q - What about third marking period grades for K-8 students?
A - No decision has been made as we are waiting to see if schools will be closed further.

Q - Will my child’s teacher be teaching via livestreaming?
A - Students will be able to access educational resources 24/7.

Q - What about grades for assignments?
A - Students enrolled in high school courses will receive grades for the work they are completing during this time in an effort to ensure collection of high school credit. The work assigned to students in grades K-8, will be monitored with the expectation to keep students engaged in the learning process. At this time, grades will not be collected, but that will change if the closure is extended.

Q - Will breakfast and lunch continue to be provided during this extended closure?
A - Yes, breakfast and lunch are provided to children under the age of 18 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30 – 1:00 at the Antrim Township Building.

This is not a perfect system or plan as there will be bumps along the road, but we are making a good faith effort to help our students during this trying time. I encourage you to keep in communication with your child’s teacher(s) during this journey.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to work through this situation and provide the best education possible to our students.

Sincerely,

Kendra K. Trail
Superintendent