Return to Headlines

July 14, 2020 - CASD Updated 2020-2021 Proposed Reopening Plans

Dear CASD Families,

Over the past several weeks, District staff have been hard at work preparing plans to safely return students to school in the fall. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are investigating and collecting information and creative ideas from our administrators, teachers, and local health experts to provide a plan that provides a safe environment for students and teachers, while allowing opportunities for in-person instruction.

Updated Reopening Plan: On July 1st, PA Governor Wolf released an updated order requiring face coverings and social distances: Face Coverings Order

In response to this order, the District has made the following changes to our proposed Health and Safety plan for the 2020-2021 school year:

  • All K-12 schools will open for in-person instruction on an alternating schedule, with families with last names A-K attending school on Mondays and Thursdays and families with last names L-Z attending school on Tuesdays and Fridays.
    • Class sizes and numbers of students on buses would be reduced by approximately one-half. On days not attending in-person, children will receive remote instruction using District provided technology. Teachers would provide additional support virtually on Wednesdays. 
    • To keep families together, where there may be different last names of students in any given household, the last name of the oldest sibling would be used.
    • Face coverings: A face covering can be a variety of materials, factory or homemade, and includes face shields. All students, teachers, and staff in District schools and buildings will be required to wear face coverings. However, due to much fewer children in school buildings on any given day, the proposed plan would allow students, when stationary in classrooms separated by 6 feet, to not have to wear masks.
    • Laptops for each student will be distributed later this summer.

District Cyber Program: Parents/guardians who are uncomfortable with in-person instruction will have the option of enrolling their child in Chambersburg Area Virtual Education (CAVE). This program allows students to receive full-time online learning using District provided technology. To enroll and for more information, visit the CAVE website at www.casdonline.org/cave. Due to the extreme costs (millions) associated with the district needing to reimburse cyber charter programs outside of Chambersburg and the financial burden that enrollment of our children in such programs has on our district and the community, we are asking that parents register for CAVE. Every dollar sent to cyber charter programs outside of the district are dollars taken away from our own programs and services. In 19-20, the District expended over $3,000,000 for 257 students enrolled in cyber charter schools. Each regular education student cost over $10,000 per student with special education students costing just under $24,000. 

Public Forum: These updated plans are pending board approval and public input. On July 21st at 6:30 PM, a virtual public forum will be held to present the 2020-2021 Health and Safety Reopening Plan with a regular school board meeting at 8:00 PM. We will by joined by physicians from Keystone Health. We encourage all parents/guardians, staff, and community members to attend this meeting to hear the full details of our plan, as well as to submit questions prior. For more information, visit http://ow.ly/6OUJ50Ax15Y

School Reopening Sessions: Additionally, each principal will share information about parent reopening related specifically to each school. You will hear from your principal in the near future.

Frequently Asked Questions: We understand that parents/guardians and the community have many questions regarding reopening. To gather those questions and provide answers, the District has created a new reopening hub that includes a Q&A form, frequently asked questions, and the most recent updates regarding reopening. The hub can be found at www.casdonline.org/reopening.

Internet Access Survey: Additionally, the district is conducting an important survey regarding internet availability for students and their families. Please have one person complete this survey in your household.  Note that the survey will close on Monday, July 20th. If you have already completed the survey that was previously sent to secondary student families regarding technology, you do not need to fill it out a second time.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents profound challenges for educators in our District and across the nation. As such, our plans must be fluid as we respond to changing conditions at the local and state level. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work out the necessary details to ensure that students and staff remain safe. While our plans may be altered further before the beginning of school, our commitment to providing the highest quality education to Chambersburg area children will remain unchanged.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Dion Betts
Superintendent of Schools
Chambersburg Area School District