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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

  • June 5, 2020 4:30 p.m.

    Dear Gettysburg Area School District Community:

    As the 2019-2020 school year draws to a close, I wanted to send a letter to communicate some thoughts and share several acknowledgments.  It has been a year with unique challenges, but it has also been one of growth, success, and achievement.  

    First, to all of you, I would like to say “Thank You” for your ongoing support, understanding, resolve, and efforts over the past year, especially during the district closure this spring.  It has been a privilege to meet the challenges of 2019-2020 with all of you, and I am excited to be a part of a district that places the needs of students at the forefront of our work.  

    To the district faculty and staff, your efforts to provide meaningful instruction are greatly appreciated by everyone; especially the students in your charge...connecting with them both educationally and in many meaningful ways to build/maintain relationships over the past months are the catalyst by which all of our successes will be realized for each student.  May the experiences this spring promote learning, reflection, and professional growth moving forward for each of you.

    To our district families, your flexibility, support and trust in our efforts enabled us to move quickly to a remote learning model for our students.  Your assistance through care, support with learning activities, and unwavering focus on your children enabled us to provide experiences for students that will enable them to meet future challenges with grit and determination.

    I would like to thank our Board of School Directors for their steadfast support of our efforts.  

    Their most common question during the past few months has been “what do you need?”.  Our Board remains committed to the work of our district and the experiences of our students.

    To the 2020 Graduates of Gettysburg Area High School, we are very proud of you!  You will each undoubtedly be great ambassadors of our high school and community as you continue your journey.  While you may begin to build a resume, I would ask that you also remember to build a life.  Find where your talents and passions meet and attack your future with great purpose.

    As we close the 2019-2020 school year, we begin to look ahead to the 2020-2021 school year.  The next school year will undoubtedly present its own set of challenges and opportunities.  Over the next several weeks, district administration will work to utilize guidance from the PA Department of Education, PA Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, to begin plans for the opening of school.  We will work to create the best possible educational approach to meet the needs of ALL students. As our planning develops we will be seeking input from our families. You may be asked to participate in that process through surveys or focus groups; please continue to watch your email for those opportunities. Our goal is to have a comprehensive list of plans to share with the community by the end of July.

    In closing, as I reflect on my role as Superintendent and as an individual member of the community, I often think about the unique journey of each student.  This has been especially true as I have watched events unfold nationally over the past week.  We are fortunate to live in a community with friends and neighbors representing diverse backgrounds.  It is my expectation, and that of our district, that each student feels safe and able to pursue learning in an environment that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusivity.  This expectation is supported through policy, equal access to programs and experiences, and through the positive classroom environments built by our teachers and students on a daily basis.  Let’s continue to show each child and member of our community that they are valued.  Though our society still has challenges and goals to meet,  we can model this for our children daily, simply by treating each other well.

    May each of you and your families be healthy and safe.  I hope that you all find time this summer to relax, get outside, and enjoy a well-deserved break.

    Most Sincerely,

    Jason Perrin, D.Ed.
    Superintendent


    April 28, 2020, 10 a.m. 

    Dear Gettysburg Area School District Community:

    I hope that you and your family are well.  This communication is specific to several year-end dates; and processes that will be communicated in the coming weeks.  Thank you in advance for your support and patience as we navigate plans for the end of the school year during the current closure.

    Calendar Items to Note:

    May 25: Remains a Holiday (No Instruction)
    May 29: Final day of remote learning for Seniors
    June 5: Final day of remote learning for Students (K-11)
    The student meals program will operate through the end of June 2020.

    There are a couple of other events/processes that are currently being planned which will be communicated in the coming weeks.  These include:

    -Pick Up/Drop off procedures for items remaining at school/home
    -Return of technology items (devices, chargers, hotspots, etc) currently on loan to Students during remote learning
    -Graduation/Commencement plans for our current Seniors

    Direct communication from your child’s/children’s building principal(s) will be sent with regards to the collection/return of materials that may still be at school or home.  A schedule will be created by each building that will include the ability to both pick-up/drop off materials prior to June 5th.

    The technology department will communicate collection procedures for technology items that need to be returned once remote learning concludes.

    High School Administration will communicate directly with parents, guardians, and students of our Senior Class regarding plans for graduation/commencement prior to May 12th.  They are working diligently to try to create an experience that recognizes this important milestone for our Seniors; while following safety guidelines that have been communicated by our Governor, State Department of Health, and Center for Disease Control.  Part of the delay in this decision is to make sure that these efforts can take advantage of the latest information communicated by the agencies referenced above.  

    Thank you for your continued support through the district closure.  We hope that your family remains safe and healthy in the coming weeks/months.

    Regards,

    Jason Perrin, D.Ed.
    Superintendent of Schools


    April 9, 2020, 2:15 p.m. 

    Dear Gettysburg Area School District Community:

    I hope that you and your family are healthy and safe.  I am sending you an update regarding the latest closure information as we continue to move forward with education while our community does its part to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

    The Governor and Secretary of Education have made the decision to close schools for the remainder of the academic year (through June 2020).  All district activities and outside use of district facilities also remain closed/canceled until further notice. 

    Reminders/Notes:
    - April 10 and 13 Remain Holidays (No Instruction)
    - The student meals program will continue during the extended closure.

    The entire staff at Gettysburg Area School District remains committed to providing remote learning opportunities for our students through the remainder of the year.  Please know that seniors will graduate on time, and further communication will occur once decisions are made in the coming weeks regarding end of year activities such as graduation, commencement, and the district calendar with regards to instruction.

    We know that challenges will continue to arise as we move through the coming weeks.  We are committed to doing everything within our power to support and assist our students, staff and families.  We appreciate your assistance and support in our continued efforts.  

    I know travel and gatherings may be limited over the holiday weekend, but hope at the very least that everyone has a chance to unplug for a few days and get some rest.  Remote learning will resume on Tuesday, April 14.

    Stay Healthy!

    Sincerely,

    Jason Perrin, D.Ed.
    Superintendent of Schools


    March 31, 2020, 4:15 p.m. 

    Dear Gettysburg Area School District Community:

    We hope that this note finds everyone healthy and safe.  The information in this note is specific to accessing “remote learning” resources as we do our best as a district to provide continuity of education during the district closure.  On Monday, the Governor closed Pennsylvania public schools “indefinitely”, thus we will continue to offer remote learning until that order has been lifted/re-visited.

    Continuity of education through remote learning will include review and enrichment as we get started and everyone becomes acclimated to the sites and resources.  Depending on the length of closure experiences may also include planned instruction in the future. Remote learning experiences will begin on Wednesday, April 1.

    Remote learning access:

    www.gettysburg.k12.pa.us/remote 

    Grades K-5

    • Students will access grade-level Google Slides for the entire week. The beginning slides will have messages from your principals, counselors, and teachers. Then the slides will be broken into days with ELA, Math, STEM and one special (art, music, P.E., Library) per day.

    Grades 6 - 8

    • Students will access grade-level Google Slides for the entire week like above. In order to submit materials, middle school students and teachers will also be using Google Classroom.   

    Grades 9-12

    • Students will access materials through their teacher's regular mode of communication (the same way they have accessed materials since the beginning of the second semester).  This could include Its Learning, Canvas or Google Classroom (depending on the teacher).

    In order for students to be able to access all of their resources, they will need to log in to  “My Dashboard/Classlink” just like they did at school. K-2 students use a Quick Card to easily log in. These have been provided via email from their teachers. 

    The GASD Remote Learning  K-12 site was created to house all of the above information and resources in one place to make it easier for students and families. Information is provided for each grade span, information for parents/caregivers, tips to make remote learning successful, technical support, brain breaks and additional resources to support the continuity of education.

    A quick tutorial was created to give an overview of the site. This will show how to navigate the site and highlight each grade span as described above, as well as the other resources mentioned.  

    Like many school districts, this will be a new endeavor for GASD on this scale, and we appreciate your continued patience and support as our staff works to do their very best for our students. 

    Once remote learning begins, if questions arise along the way, please contact your child’s teacher for questions regarding content. Contact the technology help desk if your question is specific to technology at helpdesk@gasd-pa.org or 717-334-6254 ext. 6428.

    Sincerely,

    Jason Perrin, D.Ed.
    Superintendent


    March 30, 2020, 9:00 a.m. 

    Dear Gettysburg Area School District Community:

    Thank you for your patience as we work to roll-out remote learning for our student(s) on Wednesday. Additional details not included in this letter will be emailed to you tomorrow (Tuesday). That email will include the link to GASD’s remote learning website as well as other important details.

    Many teachers may offer optional virtual office hours via Zoom to connect with students and answer questions as remote learning begins. Students do not need to attend the entire length of the optional office hours.

    Teachers will email you a Zoom link sometime today. To familiarize yourself with the Zoom platform, click here. Some teachers may offer practice Zoom sessions on Tuesday and will include that info in their email. 

    If you do not have the ability to connect via Zoom, you may still contact teachers via email. 

    In preparation for the roll-out, we kindly ask you to review the following information with your child prior to Wednesday: 

    Additionally, the district will use your current media release on file for your student(s) to either include or exclude your student(s) from participating in the video portion.

    Once again, thank you for your patience as we begin to roll out remote learning. 

    Stay safe,

    GASD Communications


    March 25, 2020 2:15 p.m. 

    Dear Gettysburg Area School District Community:

    I hope that you and your family are well.  As indicated on Friday, I am sending you an update regarding the latest closure information and district plans as we continue to move forward with education while our community does our part to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

    While the governor has mandated that schools close through April 6, we have decided to extend our closure through Monday, April 13.  This is consistent with other districts in our county and region.  The first day back for students would be Tuesday, April 14. We will continue to keep in touch with other districts in our Intermediate Unit (York, Adams, and Franklin Counties), and will make further decisions as April 14 approaches; based on collaboration with the PA Dept of Education, PA Department of Health, and the Governor’s office.  All district activities and use of district facilities remain canceled through April 13.

    Other Calendar Items to Note:
    April 10 and April 13 will remain Holidays (no school/instruction)
    April 9 (originally a snow make-up day) will now be a “remote instructional day”
    April 14, 15, 16, 30 Elementary and MS STEM Nights have been canceled
    April 21 The Community Conversations & Wellness Resources event has been postponed to a date to be determined

    As a district, we will do our very best to provide continuity of education for our students during the ongoing closure through “remote learning” opportunities, which may include review, enrichment, and other learning activities. Remote learning will begin for all students on Wednesday, April 1.  Over the next several days, we will be engaged in professional development with our staff to assist in preparation for this effort.  This will be new for many of us on this scale, and we appreciate your continued understanding, patience, and support as our staff works to do their very best for our students.  

    We are currently working to assist families with access to technology needs that were indicated through the technology survey last week.  If you do not have a device for student use in your home, and you did not complete the technology survey, please email communications@gasd-pa.org and notify us of your need.  

    Further direction regarding accessing learning opportunities will be provided to all parents/students on March 31-April 1.

    Our student meals program will move to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule beginning the week of March 30, while still supplying the same amount of meals as we have been already. Details of the schedule will be shared in a separate communication tomorrow.  

    We know that challenges will arise as we embark on this journey, and will do everything in our power to support and assist you.  We will continue to face the current challenges posed by COVID-19 as a community and district. We appreciate your assistance and support in our continued efforts.  

    Be healthy and safe!

    Most Sincerely,

    Jason Perrin, D.Ed.
    Superintendent of Schools


    March 20, 2020 5:00 p.m. 

    Dear Gettysburg Area District Community:

    It has been one week since the Governor closed public schools across Pennsylvania, and I wanted to continue to communicate by providing a “status update” as we continue to meet the challenges that we face as a community.

    My young niece asked my brother this week, why they were eating at the “kitchen table” every day; as it was neither Thanksgiving nor Christmas.  An honest question from a child who was used to eating in the car between childcare and activities such as dance classes… Maybe this conversation has become a common one.  It was a reminder of the patience, sacrifices, and accommodations made by all of you during steps taken to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout our region.

    Our district remains in close contact with the PA Dept of Education, the PA Department of Health, and with the many school districts across our intermediate unit (IU) area; including York, Adams, and Franklin counties.  The collaboration has been fantastic as we share resources, ideas, and common challenges; I am both thankful and reminded daily, that we not only have a phenomenal community, but we have pretty great neighbors also.

    The PA Department of Education has canceled state assessments this year (PSSA, PASA, and Keystone Exams).  This will be helpful to schools and limit interruptions to instruction once it resumes.

    Our student meals program has been extremely successful.  We have provided lunch/breakfast to an average of 173 students per day.  Kudos to Sandy Weikert, food services director, her staff, administrators/teachers, and community partners who continue to assist with this program that is vital to many of our children/families.

    A special thank you to everyone for participating in the Technology Survey.  The responses were overwhelming and helpful as we continue to plan for instruction in the event of an extended closure.  The information gathered through the survey will allow us to continue to plan and support families with access in the event of online instructional delivery.

    We receive many questions regarding our district’s senior class.  To these students and families, please know that the seniors will graduate on time and that no one will be put at a disadvantage as they prepare for the next phase of their work or educational journey.  We will take the necessary steps within our control to be sure that this happens.

    We continue to plan, as we await further direction from the Governor and the PA Dept of Education.  Regardless of when we may receive an update, please plan to hear from my office again on Wednesday evening, March 25th.  At that time, we will share more details and plans either in response to further direction or based on decisions made by our local districts.

    We will continue to meet the challenges ahead as a district, with a caring and professional staff, supported by a strong community.  Please know that the challenges that you, our kids and the district face are at the forefront of my thoughts, and perhaps one silver lining for our kids, will be several more evenings at the “kitchen table”...

    Sincerely,

    Jason C. Perrin, D.Ed.
    Superintendent of Schools


    March 16, 2020 6:00 p.m

    Dear Gettysburg Area School District Community:

    In an effort to continue providing nutritious meals to our students during the district closure, GASD is implementing a free Grab-and-Go food program. Here are the details:

    WHO: ALL children 18-years and younger
    WHAT: Includes one (1) free grab-and-go lunch and one (1) free grab-and-go breakfast for each child present
    WHERE: Lincoln Elementary School Campus, please follow signs
    WHEN: Begins Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. weekdays only. On Fridays, receive an additional bag of food for each child for the weekend. 
    HOW: Walk-up or drive-thru. No advanced sign-up

    We kindly ask that you maintain 6-feet of distance between you and others. Please do not gather.

    If you have any questions, please submit a question to our FAQ form.

    Thank you,

    Dr. Christine Lay
    Assistant Superintendent

    Sandra Weikert
    Food Services Director

    Andrew P. Robinson
    Communications Coordinator


    March 13, 2020 2:00 p.m

    Dear Gettysburg Area School District Community:

    Gettysburg Area School District administration, along with health and government officials continue to monitor the latest developments regarding COVID-19, known as the coronavirus. Though we are unaware of any confirmed cases in our district, it is important for the district to maintain open communication with you regarding our ongoing measures to ensure the safety and security of our students, staff and community. 

    To ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff, and to do our part in trying to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the District community and region, all Gettysburg Area School District schools will be closed from March 16, 2020, through March 27, 2020. 

    The closure affects all programming at the school, including before- and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, weekend events, and all facility use by outside groups. We understand that this closure may cause an inconvenience, but trust that you will support our efforts on behalf of the wellness of our community.

    In order to promote instructional equity for all of our students, the district will make up the days through the use of “snow make-up” days, and other days available to us through communication with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  These methods will be determined once we realize the full scope of impact that closures may have in the coming weeks. We are not asking students to complete schoolwork while the district is closed. 

    We understand that you may have questions regarding the effects of this closure. We have established this form to fill out with your questions and concerns. Answers to many of these questions will be posted on our website in the coming days.

    All official District updates and information regarding COVID-19 will be sent to you via our Blackboard Connect platform by email or phone. District updates will not be distributed via social media platforms so please exercise caution and remain vigilant regarding the source and accuracy of information you may encounter on social media. The district recommends downloading its mobile app and turning on push notifications in order to receive alerts. Click here to view directions on downloading our mobile app. 

    As always, protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our utmost concern, and we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and communicate as appropriate.

    Sincerely, 

    Jason C. Perrin, D.Ed.
    Superintendent of Schools


  • March 12, 2020, 8:00 p.m. - Gettysburg Area School District officials will send a letter with more information to its district community on 3/13/20 at the end of the school day.


  • March 6, 2020

    Dear Gettysburg Area District Community:

    As the COVID-19 coronavirus is discussed prominently throughout news broadcasts and information is being widely communicated, we wanted to share how this virus relates to our district and what we are doing to be prepared. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised school districts to review their emergency preparedness plans, which includes responding to potential pandemic outbreaks, which we have done.

    Additional measures include: 

    • Monitoring daily attendance for students, faculty and staff
    • Monitoring various resource outlets including CDC, PDE and PA and County Departments of Health 
    • Reminders of appropriate hygiene
    • Increased focus in facilities on disinfecting surfaces during flu season
    • Reminder of when to “stay home from school” during illness; found with other information on our Health Services Page

    For your reference, the PA Department of Health has a coronavirus resource page that includes valuable information. Additionally, the latest information on the coronavirus in the U.S. and worldwide can be found on the CDC website.

    Because we are at the height of cold and flu season, please remember the importance of frequent hand washing, healthy eating, and the proper use and disposal of tissues at all times. For families planning to travel abroad, the school district recommends referencing the CDC Information for travel website

    As always, protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our utmost concern, and we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and communicate as appropriate.

    Sincerely,


    Jason C. Perrin, D.Ed.
    Superintendent of Schools

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