PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION
April 3, 2020 Update:
Dear UDASD Families,
Today UDASD issued our Continuity of Education Plan. Please take the time to visit our remote education page at https://udasd.org/remote-education/. Here you can find a schedule for educational programming and expectations for the coming weeks.
Several reminders for next week. In an effort to limit travel, meals will be provided on Monday’s and Friday’s (11:30-1:30) at our middle school and high school. Third marking period report cards will be made available on the Sapphire parent portal, Tuesday April 7th. Middle school and High School material, band instruments, and technology will be available for pick up on Wednesday April 8th. We will provide details on times and locations early next week.
In today’s message I also wanted to take a minute to make sure that we recognize our senior class. Class of 2020, although you have been dealt a hand that none of us could anticipate, I want you to know that we are thinking of you and you have not been forgotten. I know you have many feelings of disappointment, and I empathize with you. It’s okay to be disappointed. I encourage you to focus your energies on all of your accomplishments that got you this far. Your school family will always be your family, even if they aren’t walking the halls, in the classroom, or on the fields with you each day. The memories and friends you made and the education you received here can never be lost. And your teachers are here and will continue to be here to support and educate you, even if done so remotely.
I believe that the graduating class of 2020 will continue to shine through this unprecedented time, in spite of the obstacles that you are facing. I want to assure you that we remain committed to making your last moments at Upper Dauphin Area special. While there are too many uncertainties at this moment, such as prom, extra-curricular activities, and graduation ceremonies, we vow to celebrate you in the future.
If there is anything we can do to support you, your classmates, or your families, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Jared W. Shade, Acting Superintendent.
April 1, 2020 Update:
Dear Families and Staff,
We hope that our students are getting accustomed to accessing some of the online tools that we are using as part of our remote education program. Our staff is working hard behind the scenes to provide equity in education as it relates to technology needs. If you have not done so already, please visit our remote education page at www.udasd.org/remote-education for more information about current Continuity of Education enrichment and review activities.
Please be aware that we will not be conducting any remote educational activities on April 10, 2020 or April 13, 2020. The UDASD was originally scheduled to be closed to students and staff those days, and we will observe those days off for the Easter holiday. Planned instruction will begin April 14, 2020, and we will provide more details about what that means over the next week.
Food Service Changes
Please note that effective April 6, 2020, the UDASD will only provide meal pick-up on Mondays and Fridays. On Mondays, students will receive meals for 4 days and on Friday, students will receive meals for 3 days. This will help limit contact between individuals and reduce the travel burden on families to pick up meals. Meals will still be provided on April 10, 2020 even though the school is closed.
Once again, I say thank you. We continue to work together as a school community during these very challenging times. Thank you for your patience and please know, we will continue to do our best to educate your children.
Jared W. Shade
March 30, 2020 Update:
Please read the March 30, 2020 letter from Acting Superintendent Jared W. Shade regarding the extension of the closure period, the UDASD’s Continuity of Education Plan, and introduction of the UDASD’s remote education page.
March 26, 2020 Update:
Dear UDASD Families,
We hope that this message finds you well. We understand the pressures you are facing and recognize the impact COVID-19 has on our students and families. During these unprecedented times, I assure you that we continue to work to put plans in place to provide your child with forms of remote instruction during the weeks ahead. This process is taking time because we want to do it right. Consequently, you will start to hear from our teachers as they check in with your children, and obtain important information about technology access. We intend this information will be used to help us create a plan that meets the needs of all families. More information will be coming about our Continuity of Education Plan in the very near future.
On March 23, the Governor of Pennsylvania announced new timelines for school closures. As a result, this is our calendar for the near future. These dates are subject to change if new direction is given by Governor Wolf or if information changes that requires us to modify our plans.
- We will close out the third marking period March 30th.
- Students will return to school buildings on April 9, 2020.
- School will still be closed for students on Friday, April 10, 2020 and Monday, April 13, 2020.
- School will be open for students on April 14, 2020.
Please note that information related to COVID-19 changes daily. If Governor Wolf or other government authorities announce new closures or restrictions, the UDASD will communicate those changes to its families. We have also updated our FAQs. Please take the time to read these updates.
Please stay safe in the weeks ahead. We look forward to begin educating your children again in the weeks ahead.
Jared W. Shade
March 23, 2020 Update:
Dear Families and Staff,
Today, the Governor of Pennsylvania announced new timeframes for school closures in Pennsylvania. According to the official notification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, school staff will return on April 7th and 8th and students will return on April 9th. As stated in prior communications, the Upper Dauphin Area School District will take the time needed to evaluate this decision and provide additional details specific to our school district over the next few days. Please continue to check our website and Facebook pages during that time. Thank you for your continued patience. Please stay safe!
March 20, 2020 Update:
Dear Parents and Families,
The past few months have been extremely challenging for our District. I never would have thought that within the first year serving as Superintendent at Upper Dauphin Area that we would be going through such a challenging time for our local communities, our State, and our Nation as a whole. With every challenge we have faced during this first year, I have witnessed the families and staff members of the UDASD work together to help one another. I am so proud to be part of the Trojan community! Thank you for all of your support during this time. There are a lot of questions not yet answered. However, what I do know is that we will get through this and we will do it together as a community. Thank you to all of the adults who are working at home to keep their children educationally engaged. Your efforts during this incredibly difficult time are commendable.
We have had several significant changes related to our COVID-19 response, and we have updated the Frequently Asked Questions document to reflect those modifications. Changes are highlighted in yellow. Please be aware that the UDASD is one of the organizations affected by the Governor’s latest closure order for non-life sustaining organizations. However, as of now, we will still be providing the grab and go meals to our families. We expect additional information to come next week about the next steps for schools across the Commonwealth. Please continue to check the Public Health Information Page on our website throughout the week for updates.
Again, I am encouraged by the response from our communities. Today we distributed 375 meals for 125 children. This work will resume Monday. We hope that families are able to continue to benefit from the current system that is in place. Please continue to support each other. Our school district is filled with a dedicated faculty, and I assure you that our staff will do what we can within the boundaries of the Governor’s orders to help your children and students. We are working diligently to prepare for those next steps and will keep you informed as we learn additional information in the forthcoming days.
Jared W. Shade
Reference: ABC Mouse Parent Letter
March 18, 2020 Update:
Dear UDASD Families,
Thank you for remaining patient during this closure. We understand that this is a challenging time, and we continue to make decisions and share information that we hope will help families during this closure period.
First, the Upper Dauphin Area School District will continue to provide food service to students during the mandatory school closure due to the COVID-19 virus. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s national school lunch program guidelines (https://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp) will be followed to ensure nutritious meals are available throughout this closure. Families can pick up meals for their child each weekday between 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM during the closure period. The child must be present to pick up the meal. The first day that meals may be picked up is Friday, March 20, 2020. Drive through meal pick-up will occur at the Upper Dauphin Area High School cafeteria entrance and Upper Dauphin Area Middle School main entrance/bus circle. Please remain in your vehicle as you wait in the line to receive your meal(s). Lunch and breakfast for the following day will be included in each bag. Friday bags will include meals for the weekend. You can go to either of the locations regardless of where your child attends school. If you are experiencing barriers, such as transportation issues, to accessing this program please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (717) 362-6555.
Second, as of this time, any extra school assignments sent home with children at the start of the closure or any of the educational resources listed as part of our COVID-19 FAQs are voluntary and optional. If the closure period is extended, we will collaborate with other districts and work to receive guidance from the PA Department of Education and PA Department of Health on educating our students. The educational resources are being provided to help parents keep students engaged in education during the closure period, but are not part of our formal education program.
Finally, you may have heard that at least one state has already announced the closure of K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. As of 2:00 PM on March 18, 2020, the Governor of Pennsylvania has not made any such announcement for PA Schools. However, the UDASD will prepare for that possibility, and will also prepare for the possibility of bringing students back to the classroom at the end of March. We understand that this uncertainty is challenging for families. We also understand that many families may have personal impacts from the COVID-19 Pandemic such as reduced income, illness, or difficulties with childcare. Our thoughts are with all of our families during these challenging times. It is encouraging to watch our small communities support one another through this pandemic. We especially would like to thank our secretarial, custodial, and maintenance staff who continue to work diligently.
We continually monitor the situation, and as the Federal and state government make announcements, we will provide updated guidance for families. Please note that after announcements are made, we take the time needed to confirm the details of the announcement and determine the specific impact to the UDASD prior to informing families. This process takes time. Please be patient as we try to bring the best possible outcome for UDASD students and their families.
Jared W. Shade
March 16, 2020 Update:
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions identified by the UDASD related to the COVID-19 Pandemic based on the information available as of 4:00 PM on March 16, 2020.
March 13, 2020 Update:
Dear Upper Dauphin Area Families:
The COVID-19 virus and pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to activities within the United States including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Upper Dauphin Area School District (UDASD) has been in communication with the PA Department of Health, PA Department of Education, and Dauphin County Department of Public Safety. Based on those discussions and guidance provided by those agencies, the UDASD has decided to close its schools for a period of 10 school days beginning March 16, 2020 and continuing through March 27, 2020. Throughout the closure period, the UDASD will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation, and will provide periodic communication on its website, Facebook, and via email to those parents/guardians who have email addresses on file with the District.
During this closure period, the following activities are cancelled:
- Core educational services,
- Food services for students, and
- All extracurricular activities including contests, practices, and any type of organized activity.
The press release form the Governor’s Office included language about no penalties. We are awaiting definition regarding no penalties by the state. We will update when our questions are answered. While some schools may be using flexible instructional days and other cyber options, the UDASD does not believe that those options will be an effective method for delivering quality education for our students in the short term. The UDASD recognizes that the education of its students is extremely important to their future endeavors, and the Administration Team does not believe that the UDASD will be able to provide effective education remotely during the closure period. Other essential functions will continue on a case-by-case basis.
The UDASD understands that this action is challenging for families across our school district. However, the Administration Team believes that we must make this decision to protect our students and staff, and to help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on our local communities.
Jared W. Shade
March 12, 2020 Update:
Please see the letter from Mr. Jared Shade, Acting Superintendent that includes information for families and community members.
The CDC has issued guidance for families, workplaces, and schools. We encourage all families to review this information.
March 7, 2020 Update:
As news related to the Coronavirus continues to evolve, the UDASD felt that it was important to explain some of the things that the district is doing related to monitoring the situation. At this point, it does appear that there are some preliminary verified cases within PA, and that some schools in the eastern portion of the state were closed yesterday due to potential exposure to persons with the virus.
The UDASD continues to monitor the situation. We receive daily situation reports from the PA Department of Health, multiple daily updates from Dauphin County Department of Public Safety and information through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. The UDASD Acting Superintendent and School Safety and Security Coordinator will be attending multiple briefings and presentations by Federal, state, and local officials on Monday, March 9, 2020. These meetings are intended to discuss a regional approach to responding to the Coronavirus if the need arises.
As information continues to be updated, the UDASD will continually evaluate its position and make decisions regarding the status of its schools. We ask everyone to remain calm as we monitor the Coronavirus situation. We will make decisions based on factual and verified information, and will continue to take direction from the county, state, and Federal public health officials.
Upper Dauphin Area School District is committed to the health and safety of our students and staff. The District’s response to the emergence of public health concerns such as the coronavirus is based on guidance or directives issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At this time, those agencies have provided the following information about corona virus:
- Coronavirus Information for K-12 Schools
- General Coronavirus Information
- Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus
Please check at www.udasd.org for updates.