Below are the most recent communications to parents regarding COVID-19.
COVID-19 Update: March 30
Sent March 30, 2020, 7 p.m.
In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in our community, and “keep Pennsylvanians safe,” Governor Wolf announced today that Pennsylvania schools will be closed until further notice, with no set date to return. He also extended the stay-at-home directive through April 30, 2020. This closure will continue to affect all CV programming, including before- and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, and all weekend events.
Prior to this indefinite closure, and while April 14 was given as an “at the earliest return date,” we have been planning for the possibility of an extended closure. In fact, just today we moved into Phase II of our Continuity of Education (COE) Plan, with teachers working directly with students to provide them learning opportunities specific to their subject and grade level. Over the past few days, we have distributed devices to students K-12 to allow them to engage in these online learning opportunities. And each week since the closure, our food service team has been hard at work to provide lunches and breakfasts to students using a drive-through service at the High School, Leola Elementary and the Bridgeport Plaza.
Moving forward to next week and beyond, we will enter Phase III of our COE Plan. This means educators will continue to create learning opportunities specific to grade level/subject that students can access on a daily basis, and will provide feedback to ensure that learning is personalized for the student. This will continue to require patience and flexibility as this becomes our new way of doing school.
As we look at the April calendar, we will continue to have online “school” every day this week. Next week, our Spring Break was scheduled from Thursday (3/9) through Monday (3/13). We will use Thursday (3/9) as a “make-up” day, but will keep the break from Friday (3/10) through Monday (3/13), with “school” resuming online on Tuesday (3/14). For the weeks of April 20 and April 27, we will have online “school” each of the days that week.
One thing that is consistent about CV in times of crisis, we all are in this together. Please know that our entire team is committed to doing the best we can for our students, staff and community in these challenging times. We know that with the announcement of the extended closure come many more questions (how will students graduate, what will online learning look like, when can we come back to school) – please understand that we are working through these questions (and more), and are awaiting additional guidance from the State. When we have more clarification, we will be sure to share that information with you.
As always, thank you again for your patience, grace, flexibility and understanding during this trying time. We will continue to communicate regularly and encourage you to stay connected on our social media and the CV website. Stay healthy!
An Open Letter to Parents, Guardians, Educators and Students
Sent March 29, 2020, 12:30 p.m.
Dear CV Family,
WE’VE GOT THIS!
There are tons of inspirational sayings, quotes and stories as we face this terrible virus. Our health professionals are the true heroes in this battle. We can help them by maintaining our social distance and heeding the Governor’s “stay at home” directive. What that means for us, is that school will look and feel very different than just 16 days ago!
I know that people are feeling anxious, excited, nervous, and even a little bit afraid, but I know “we got this!” That phrase made me remember when I was watching the Phoenix Open golf tournament last year, there was a remarkable young lady named Amy Bockerstette who played the raucous par 3, 16th hole with three professional golfers, namely Gary Woodland (past champion of the event). The 16th hole at Phoenix is notorious for the thousands of fans who will unmercifully boo an errant shot, but just as enthusiastically cheer for a good one. Amy, who did not warm up, and in fact, did not even have her golf shoes on, nonetheless agreed to take Gary up on his offer to play the hole with them. Anxious? Excited? Nervous? A little bit afraid? Imagine given the opportunity to perform side-by-side with any of your professional idols – athlete, musician, dancer, scientist, author, chef, carpenter, gamer, you name it – and then to do it in front of thousands of spectators! I don’t think anxious, excited, nervous and afraid do the feelings justice at all.
BUT . . . through it all, Amy just kept reminding herself, “I’ve got this!” Take a moment to watch this YouTube video, and see what I mean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYSjFvCNP7Q Go ahead, I’ll wait . . .
Now I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself. Oh, I forgot to mention that Amy (@AmyGolfsNDances) is a young lady with Down’s syndrome (but as you saw, it really doesn’t matter). Amy believes in herself. I believe in you. We believe in you.
Tomorrow, Monday, March 30, as we start a new chapter in the CV learning process, know that it will be far from perfect on all sides. This is like the very first day of teaching for our educators. It will be like sending our children to the first day of kindergarten, or middle school or twelfth grade for the parents and guardians. For students it will be like riding a bike for the first time, or driving your parent’s car without them in the passenger seat for the first time. We’ve got this!
As I’ve experienced over these past two weeks, every answer begs seven more questions. There will be many questions over the next five days. What I know, is that our educators are professionals – even though they did not go into this year planning for this type of learning, they have been amazingly supportive of each other and will continue to be so for our families and students. I know that our parents and guardians will do everything they can for their children – but, parents and guardians, you are not in this alone! Our teachers, counselors, principals and others will be with you, guiding your child in his/her learning. I know that our students are the most resilient of the group, and they are most adept at navigating an online world. Focus that resiliency by being responsible and taking advantage of the learning opportunities (whether that includes reading a picture book with mom or dad, or solving an integral equation in Schoology).
To all, PATIENCE – online learning opportunities will be messy; they will take time to prepare and master; frequent communication will calm the soul; GRACE – we all will make mistakes; we all have lives outside of the learning opportunities that have been turned upside-down; we will continue to show empathy and support for each other; FLEXIBILITY – given the unknown impact this virus continues to have, change will be the norm; plans will be adjusted; this will not be school as we once knew it; and UNDERSTANDING – understand that we are all doing the best that we can in the best interest of our children (whether they are 5 or 18). Don’t get caught up in what we can’t do, rather focus on what WE CAN DO!
Take a breath. Tomorrow is an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of our students, our families, our educators and ourselves. I know “we got this!” For the last two weeks I’ve been talking with and working with educators not only in CV, but all over Lancaster and Lebanon counties; I’ve seen what our educators are doing in the community and online; I talk with neighbors who are walking outside now more than ever; and I see the celebrations of life on social media. I call myself an optimistic realist; I choose to see the best in an opportunity with the understanding that when people come together for a noble purpose, “we got this!” As a dad, and as your superintendent, I’m very proud to be part of the CV Family!
Update to the Meal Distribution Program
Sent March 27, 2020, 5 p.m.
CV Families - This message is to inform you of an update to our meal distribution program.
In order to reduce the risk of exposure and increase social distancing during meal distribution, CV food services will be distributing multiple meals in its grab and go bags beginning Monday, March 30. Monday’s meal bag will contain both breakfasts and lunches for Monday and Tuesday. The schedule for the rest of the week will be announced Tuesday evening.
Meal bags are available for pick-up at Bridgeport Plaza (1643 Lincoln Highway East), as well as at Leola Elementary and CV High School from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 30. The Bridgeport Plaza location is accessible from both Route 340/Old Philadelphia Pike (enter between Little Caesar’s Pizza and Dollar General) and from Route 462/Lincoln Highway East. The grab and go meal station will be in the parking lot between the Wells Fargo Bank and Alice’s Diner. Families must show a student ID for each meal.
We thank you for your patience as we implement these changes for the safety of both our students and staff.
COVID-19 Update: Our Continuity of Education Plan
Sent March 27, 2020, 1 p.m.
Parents and Guardians –
First and foremost, THANK YOU! Thank you for your patience as we work to create a more cohesive learning experience for your child; thank you for your grace as we navigate this new way of doing school, knowing that there will be bumps and bruises along the way; thank you for your flexibility as it seems we adapt to this ever-changing environment; thank you for your understanding that as a CV family, we are doing everything we can, to the best of our ability, for your child; and most importantly, thank you for reconnecting with your child. In this time of social distancing, family connections are tested (I know, I have a 12-year-old daughter!) and strengthened. I’ve always believed that a successful educational experience must include the schools, the family and the community. I can say, without question, that CV should be proud of the way that all three parts have come together in this time of crisis.
Since the Governor made his declaration on March 13 at 3:00 pm to close school buildings, we have been working diligently to try and provide resources for our students in preparation for the unknown (our Continuity of Education Plan – posted on our website). During the first week, numerous resources for elementary and secondary levels were posted on our website. This past week (yes, it’s only been two weeks so far), our educational professionals have been compiling a more comprehensive and more focused set of resources.
Though our school buildings won’t open to students until April 14 (at the earliest), school as we now know it, will start back up in earnest online/virtually on Monday, March 30! This will not be school as we once knew it. Neither our teachers, nor our students signed up for this type of learning, so we will maintain our “growth mindset” and appreciate a “yet” mentality (we may not know the answer YET . . .). Your teachers and principals will be reaching out to you by Monday to get you set up with the resources, and to inform you of their “office hours” – those times during the day when you can get more immediate feedback and even face-to-face interaction via apps like Zoom.
As we move into the Week of April 6, you’ll see a continuation of skills and resources at the elementary level, with a focus from a review of what we’ve have learned so far this year, to a logical progression of age-appropriate and developmentally-appropriate resources. At the secondary level, our teachers will conceptually move from the “Enrichment Courses” in Schoology to more targeted resources focused on educational experiences that will continue the curriculum for each course or discipline (to include curriculum from 4th marking period/2nd semester courses at the high school). Throughout this process, all teachers will be providing feedback to ensure a more personalized learning occurs (remember, we all don’t learn at the same pace).
Our expectations are that ALL STUDENTS go online to access the learning opportunities beginning March 30! In order for us to continue the learning process through our TENTATIVE return date of April 14 (and beyond), we need the support of the parents and guardians, and the commitment by our students. Our teachers and other educational professionals are ready to help every student be successful. It’s truly time for all of us to continue working together for the betterment of our children. Please contact your child(ren)’s teachers, school counselors, or building principals for more information.
In closing, let me say again, THANK YOU! These are difficult times, but I am confident that we will continue to be CV Strong!
COVID-19 Update: March 23
Sent March 23, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Parents - First and foremost, I hope everyone is healthy! We have been inundated with information about COVID-19 and its dramatic effect on our way of life. We must continue to follow the state’s and CDC’s guidelines of personal hygiene, social distancing and safety mandates in order to mitigate the spread of this dangerous and disruptive virus.
Today the Governor gave another address on the issue. With regard to education, he alluded to a two-week extension of school closures. While there was some confusion over which counties were affected and when the additional two weeks actually were to begin, I can tell you that ALL schools are closed for additional time, with CV’s doors being opened at the earliest on Tuesday, April 14.
So, you may be asking yourself, what does that mean for my son or daughter?! What I do know is that it will not be school as normal for anyone, students included. Students will not receive the same type of instruction as they were used to; they will not have the same experiences; they will not have immediate face-to-face instruction with teachers; assessments will consist of personalized feedback to our students; however, learning will take place. Our educators (teachers and administrators) are working this week to tailor optional resources for our students that go above and beyond the list of resources previously provided. Those initial resources are great resources, especially when addressing a “brain drain” that may occur over a relatively short period of time. What our educators are now developing are resources targeted to specific subjects and/or grade levels. They will be working hard this week to make sure they are available in a user-friendly manner. This development and distribution will be ongoing for the length of the school closures. (I know as much as you about when this will end, but we will continue to be prepared no matter how long it takes to get through the COVID-19 crisis.)
More importantly than the content and resources are the connections our teachers, counselors, librarians, psychologists, social workers, other professional staff and administrators will be making (and will continue to make) with every student. Building on established relationships is essential as we continue to navigate the unknown.
Speaking of the unknowns, here are some answers without the details:
- Our seniors will graduate (what “graduation” looks like is unknown at this time)
- Students will be promoted (as recommended as usual)
- We will develop resources for parents to help with their child(ren)’s learning, no matter the age or subject matter
Your child’s teacher and principal will be reaching out to you, and together we will get through this once in a lifetime crisis. Please, have patience (as we find the answers), show grace (when we make a mistake), demonstrate flexibility (as we travel the unknown together), and develop an understanding (as we approach this with our children’s social, emotional and academic well-being at the forefront). Stay healthy!
Grab and Go Meals Available Next Week
Sent March 20, 2020, 4:30 p.m.
Beginning on Monday, March 23, grab and go meal bags for students will be available for pick-up Monday-Friday at Bridgeport Plaza (1643 Lincoln Highway East), as well as at Leola Elementary and CV High School from 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Grab and go meal bags will include both a lunch for that day and a breakfast for the following morning. Families must show a student ID for each meal.
The Bridgeport Plaza location is accessible from both Route 340/Old Philadelphia Pike (enter between Little Caesar’s Pizza and Dollar General) and from Route 462/Lincoln Highway East. The grab and go meal station will be in the parking lot between the Wells Fargo Bank and Alice’s Diner.
Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to work through this unique situation.
COVID-19 Update: March 20
Sent March 20, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
First and foremost, I hope everyone is healthy, and that you are taking care of one another.
The COVID-19 virus has disrupted every aspect of our lives, to include education. With the closure of schools for two weeks, as directed by the Governor, all instruction has stopped. What hasn’t stopped is the work by our educators to develop resources for learning. In fact, our teachers and administrators will be working virtually next week to help design those very same resources.
In order for us to ensure equitable learning, and IF school does not reopen on March 30, I have directed our educators to look at March 30 as a brand new way of “doing school!” We will essentially put a hold on the traditional model with grades, dates, and deadlines, and will now offer resources across the grade levels and content areas. These resources will not be graded, nor assigned; in fact, according to PDE, they will not count as instructional days. HOWEVER, I cannot stress enough that our students need to continue learning. It is our responsibility as educators to ensure those opportunities exist, and we are counting on the families to continue working with their child(ren)’s teachers in supporting their child(ren)’s learning.
Like I have said many times, sometimes a valid answer is “I don’t know,” and for every answer given, more questions arise. Some of the questions that are being put on hold until we get clarification/direction from the State include: grades, promotions and graduation; AP and SAT exams; attendance; school calendar, etc.
We are approaching this “one a week at a time,” knowing that decisions are being made hourly at all levels (from the federal to the local level). What I do know, every decision being made within the CV School District is being made with the best interest of the students, faculty and staff, families and community in mind!
What I am asking is for patience, grace, flexibility and understanding. Thank you for working together during this crisis.
Meals Available to CV Students Thursday, Friday
Sent March 18, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Grab and go meal bags for students will be available for pick-up on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20 at Leola Elementary on the parking lot side of the building (11 School Drive, Leola) and CV High School (2110 Horseshoe Road, Lancaster) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Grab ‘n go meal bags will include both a lunch for that day and a breakfast for the following morning. Families must show a student ID for each meal.
Information on next week’s meal distribution schedule will be shared on Friday. Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to work through this unique situation.
Free Learning Resources for Parents
Sent March 17, 2020, 6:00 p.m.
The Conestoga Valley School District school board, administration, faculty and staff understand that parents and caregivers are our students’ first and best teachers.
During this initial ten-day school closure, we will not be actively engaging our students in new learning or proceeding with the curriculum, even in an online format. No new assignments, readings, or assessments will be given to students for the following reasons:
- Student access to technology and the internet. Not all students at CV have access to the internet or technology in their homes.
- Students with special needs and English Learners. We have students who require accommodations in school to learn. Their team of educators and specialists are necessary to provide these supports.
- Lack of consistent daily instructional support. We cannot ensure that all kindergarten through grade 12 students would be engaged and supported in online learning for the number of hours currently required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Educating younger students 6+ hours a day online would not be developmentally appropriate.
- Lack of adult supervision during the “at-home school day”. There may not be an adult equipped to assist in K-12 schoolwork in the home during the day to support the students in their online learning.
However, we would like to provide a list of FREE resources for you to use, if you wish, to engage the minds of your children while schools are closed. Many companies that provide education products for purchase are offering FREE trial offers during the mandatory school closings.
PLEASE DO NOT ENTER ANY CREDIT CARD/FINANCIAL INFORMATION INTO THE WEBSITES.
To the extent that you are able, we encourage you to set aside some time each day to make the most of this situation by reading with and to your child(ren) and/or having children read independently, talking with your children, playing games, exercising, being creative, cooking/baking, and enjoying the unexpected time together.
Access the free resource center by clicking here.