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Superintendent: ‘This is not the school year we envisioned’
South Allegheny School District has joined a growing list of Pennsylvania school districts that are closing for four weeks during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is not the school year we envisioned for our children,” said Lisa N. Duval, district superintendent. “I hope you will talk to your children about their concerns and listen to their disappointment.
“If we can show sympathy for those who are ill or caring for sick family members, empathy for each other and patience during an extraordinary time, we will end up stronger,” she said.
In a letter to parents, students and staff, Duval said that all use of school district facilities is suspended, and all activities — including field trips and student travel, athletic team practices and other gatherings — also is suspended until further notice.
Updates will be made based on the risk of spreading COVID-19, Duval said.
Elementary school students have received “flexible instruction packets” that contain one week’s worth of activities for students, she said. The district will provide a plan for collecting student work and providing additional assignments, Duval said.
Students in grades 6 through 12 will be required to use online instruction through Google Classroom. Students who do not have access to Google Classroom will get a plan for work as soon as possible, Duval said.
Online instruction is not designed to replicate the in-school experience, she said, but the district wants to continue education and keep pupils engaged in their lessons.
”We have been listening to student concerns and answering their questions,“ Duval said.
”While some students seemed to make light of the potential for flexible instruction and ‘not having to come to school,’ many also expressed concern about the virus (particularly for grandparents), disappointment about not being able to see friends and partake in athletic events, field trips, school activities, etc.,” she said.
Originally published March 13, 2020.