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August 17, 2020 - Reopening Update

Dear CASD families,

In just a week from today, students across the Chambersburg Area School District will log into their chromebooks and begin engaging in virtual learning facilitated by their teachers. In the last several months, CASD has purchased over 9000 chromebooks and implemented new Learning Management Systems. These investments were made to ensure that every child has equitable access to top-of-the-line technology and industry-leading online learning platforms. Below are just a few key points as we prepare to open for the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Chromebook Information & Distribution: Last Saturday, CASD staff unboxed 4000 chromebooks in preparation for secondary school distribution. Please continue to check your email, the community web portal, and School websites for pick-up information. Additionally, all students will receive sleeves for Chromebooks at a later date.
  • Internet Availability: If a family is having problems with internet access, the district has partnered with organizations to assist.
    • Xfinity has opened all hot spots for their service area coverage across the nation until Dec 30, 2020. Xfinity has a plan for struggling families called Internet Essentials.  This program requires an application through Xfinity and requirements met by the family prior to acceptance.  If Xfinity accepts, the family receives two months free internet after which the monthly charge is $9.95. Visit  Internet Essentials from Comcast for more information.
    • The district has partnered with various organizations in the community to provide internet access for students. For example, fire departments will have internet access in their parking lots and organizations are opening their doors for students to enter and use their internet during the day. We are asking each parent to please call the organizations on the list to sign up for their internet capabilities.The link below will share the name of the organization with their address and phone number. We want to thank each of our partners for being willing to provide internet access for CASD families.
    • All CASD schools now have open wifi connections and parents/guardians are encouraged to bring their child to school parking lots for internet access.
  • Tech Support: The CASD technology department has created a helpful document to assist with any issues you may have with Chromebooks and the district Learning Management Systems. Read more here: Need help with your Chromebook
  • Food Distribution: Starting on August 24th, the CASD Meal Service will open on Mondays and Wednesdays at sites across Chambersburg. Meal service will be available for all students enrolled in the Chambersburg Area School District, including students enrolled in CAVE, the Early Learning Center (Pre-K) and Head Start programs enrolled in district buildings. More information will be provided later this week directly to families.
  • Staff Investment: In addition to significant technology investments, the district is also investing in staff through a full week of Professional Development that began today. I had the privilege of visiting staff in our buildings as they utilized resources in understanding and implementing the Learning Management System, social/emotional learning, Chromebook details, technology support, health and safety information and more.

As we finish final preparations for a virtual start next week, I want to assure you that our staff is doing everything possible to ensure that your child receives the quality education that they deserve. As with any new initiative, we fully expect hiccups and a learning curve along the way. However, I believe a virtual start is the right decision for children, staff and the community to reduce the chance of the spread of COVID-19 across our schools and the community. While we certainly face many challenges heading into this school year, I truly believe that each one of our teachers and staff has the skills, passion, and tools necessary to face them.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dion Betts
Superintendent of Schools
Chambersburg Area School District