December 18, 2020
After consulting with our local health professionals, we have decided to keep all schools in the virtual instructional model through Friday, January 8, 2021. Although we all believe that in-person learning is best for our staff and students, the steady, high rate of COVID infections that continues to exist in our counties is a contributing factor to this difficult decision. As we move into the holiday break, we know that there is a strong likelihood for family gatherings and other small social events that could continue to contribute to the spread of COVID-19 within our community. Planning for some additional time in the full virtual model will allow us to monitor cases over the break and settle into the new year with a handle on the known infections at that time.
The following chart depicts the status of the known, positive COVID-19 cases that have occurred among TASD staff and students:
As we continue in the virtual learning model, please continue to notify your child’s school nurse of any student who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone that has tested positive for the virus. This will allow us to continue to track quarantine dates and answer parent questions and concerns. Please email or call your student’s school nurse with this information. Nurses will be working in the district on December 21 & 22 from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm and will be checking their messages periodically over the break.
Tyrone Area Elementary School - Brenda Cowger / email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: (814) 684-1342, Ext. 2708 / Fax: (814) 684-2149
Tyrone Area Middle & High School - Tracy Miller / email: email@example.com Telephone: (814) 684-4240, Ext. 3710 / Fax: TAMS (814) 682-1013 & TAHS (814) 684-4245
These last ten months have been an uncertain and trying time for everyone. As we move into 2021, there is hope on the horizon and we must all hang together. We are hopeful that we are beginning to turn the corner to better days when we can begin to return to normal. While the holidays may look different this year, I hope that you find time to enjoy your families.
December 7, 2020
Message from the Superintendent
Update on Instructional Models for December 14-22, 2020
Again, this week, Blair, Huntingdon, and Centre Counties have continued in the substantial level of community transmission with steady and/or growing case counts and positivity rates. Area hospitals are experiencing increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients and the state has set new records of positive case counts over the last two weeks. Last week, TASD added approximately 100 new quarantined staff and students due to positive cases and close contact exposures to both in school and out of school scenarios. There are currently 9 known, active cases of COVID-19 among district staff and students. Given the new requirements set forth by the PA Department of Education, TASD is attempting to remain as proactive as possible in the movement between instructional models.
Therefore, we feel that it is in the best interest of staff, students, and the community to move ALL district schools (grades PreK-12) to a virtual learning model from December 14 – 22, 2020. At this time, TASD daycare will remain open to families who are currently utilizing this service.
The staff in each school will continue to communicate with its families regarding the daily schedules and other pertinent information specific to the students in each building. We will provide an update prior to Christmas break regarding our January calendar.
Meal distributions will continue for all students this week and again on Wednesday, December 16th, Friday, December 18th, and Tuesday, December 22nd. Additional information will be posted to the TASD website as it becomes available.
While in the virtual format, it is important that you continue to report to the school nurses regarding positive COVID cases in your household so that we can monitor compliance with the latest PDE and DOH requirements and ensure a safe transition back to face-to-face instruction when appropriate.
We acknowledge that moving all students to a virtual format may create a hardship for some families; however, this action is a proactive measure intended to allow the appropriate planning to occur. Please know that these decisions are not made lightly and not without a great deal of consideration for everyone’s health, safety, and well-being. We greatly appreciate your continued support as we make our way through this difficult time.
Leslie A. Estep