March 13, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians of Farrell Area School District Students,
I am writing to you today to share the steps that have been taken and the plans being made as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic that our country is experiencing. Let me start by saying that our children's safety is our first priority. All of our district actions to this point and going forward are guided by the desire to protect our children.
To date, we have taken steps recommended by the CDC to deter the spread of the virus and other illnesses. We are daily encouraging our children to wash their hands thoroughly. We are daily cleaning all of the desktops, handles, doorknobs, and water fountains, with an approved, environmentally friendly cleaner that kills all viruses. While our buildings are cleaned daily, last weekend, our buildings underwent a very thorough cleaning and sanitizing process by our custodial department. Our buses and vans also undergo daily cleaning and disinfecting.
There is the potential that our school district, as others across the Commonwealth, may be required in the future to close for an undetermined length of time. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is the governmental body that would make any potential decision to close. Likewise, they would also determine when the school could re-open.
In our schools, we are planning for the potential of a school closing. To summarize our planning, we anticipate doing everything reasonable to continue the learning process while our children are at home. We would make arrangements to send all available learning materials home if asked to close. Families will be informed of grade level and content specific expectations through regular communication from the assigned teachers. Our faculty would communicate with students with a variety of methods available in each home. Examples of this would include phone calls, emails, and technology platforms such as Google Classroom, Class Dojo, and numerous others. We will strive to work with each child to monitor progress and provide as much assistance as possible during the school day. Our focus will be learning first. Assessment and grading of the learning will take a secondary role.
Below are some recommendations for a potential school closing:
- If your contact information (phone number and email) has changed and not been updated since the beginning of the school year, please contact the main office of your child's school to update that information on the next school day.
- Consider what arrangements may be needed in planning for your child to be home for an extended period of time.
- If a school closing becomes necessary, reassure your child that all of this is being done to protect their safety and that the closing is only a temporary step.
If asked to close by the Department of Health, it would be new territory for all of us as parents, students, and school staff. If notified, we will contact all parents immediately and begin implementation of our planning. Patience, flexibility, communication and overall cooperation during this potential event will all be incredibly important. I am confident that our community can rise to this significant challenge if called upon to do so.
Lora Adams-King, Ed.D