School Closure FAQ’s
Q: Should schools hold high school graduation ceremonies and traditional end of school year activities?
This response is directly from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and has been shared with all Districts. Parents can find other important information at the PDE website under their FAQ link.
A: Schools may hold virtual high school graduation and other traditional end of school year ceremonies during the COVID-19 closure. The safety and security of all students and school community are a priority for the commonwealth and all chief school administrators. Currently, restrictions on gatherings larger than ten people and aggressive social distancing recommendations are in place across the commonwealth. When closure restrictions are lifted by the Governor, LEAs may consider the appropriateness of holding such gatherings.
Q: What is the current status for students to return to school?
A: On April 9, 2020, Governor Wolf has announced that all schools will remain closed through the end of the 2019/2020 school year. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your building administration, central office administration or me. We will continue to be here to support all of you during this time.
Q: Where can I find information to answer my questions?
A: On the District web page (www.mtsd.org), a red banner labeled COVID Updates is at the top of the page. Please click on this red banner, (https://www.mtsd.org/alerts). This will link you to our District’s page that contains all information relative to the mandated closure: (a) closure information; (b) FAQs; (c) meal order process; and (d) enrichment and review. This page should be very helpful for families and the community to locate all information in one centralized location.
Q: Are we still having a Spring Break?
A: Yes. During April 9 - 15, students will not have any instructional learning expectations.
Q: Do my child(ren) have to complete schoolwork at home during this time?
A: The Millcreek Township School District is using a three phase approach during the Governor’s mandated closure. On Friday, March 27, 2020, Governor Wolf signed into law Act 13 of 2020, which mandates every public school develop a Continuity of Education Plan (CoE Plan). Our District’s CoE Plan can be found on our web page (https://www.mtsd.org/assets/documents/Our-Community/MTSD-Continuity-of-Education-March-27-2020.pdf). Our CoE Plan contains email addresses for all building level administrators to ease communications. We developed our plan to work in phases in order to ease into planned instruction for our students, staff and parents. We recognize the nuances for families in dealing with the pandemic; therefore, the District wants to be systematic in our approach for helping families. For Phase 1 (3/13/20-3/29/20) the District encouraged enrichment opportunities for all students, which are posted on the District’s website. Phase 2 (3/30/20-4/3/20) is for comprehensive enrichment and review. During this phase, teachers will be connecting with their students through a variety of methods and providing a daily enrichment or review activity to keep our students engaged in their learning. At this point in time, the activities will be submitted electronically or when students return to school. Every teacher, as the classroom expert, will design these enrichment and review activities based on where their students are as learners and where they are in the curriculum.
Phase 3, which begins on April 6th, will provide students with daily learning expectations (except for Spring Break). For more information about the specific expectations for your child, parents should visit their child’s school web page, contact your child’s teachers,or reach out to the building administrators. The conclusion of this phase will be determined by the Governor's school closure statements.
Q: What if I do not have the technology to support online learning at home?
A: For students who do not have access to devices
Contact your building principal
A: For students who do not have access to the internet
Beginning Monday, March 30th, parents who have technology concerns should contact their student’s school either by phone or by emailing the principal. Intermediate Unit 5 has provided districts a comprehensive link below to assist parents to assist them in gaining access.
In some cases, we will also begin utilizing the MTSD TV channel, 1025, to post our planned instruction work to help facilitate our students’ needs.
Q: How does my child get or reset their Google password?
A: Students in need of a password reset, should notify their teacher. Our teachers will submit an IT work ticket requesting the reset. The IT Department will notify the teacher once the password has been reset and the teacher can email the new temporary password to the student. The student will be prompted and required to use the temporary password to log in the first time, and generate a new password that is known only by the student.
Q: How does this affect my child who has a disability?
All students have the same opportunities to participate in the comprehensive enrichment and review activities. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their student’s case manager, building administrator, or special education administrator for more specific direction/information.
Q: Will they be given make-up work when they return to school?
A: No, instruction will resume where it left off via distance learning during Phase 3. Please know that we will do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth, positive transition when school resumes. Our teachers will do the best they can do to recreate what skills and content were being taught before the closure.
Q: Will my child(ren) be marked absent for these days.
A: No. However, there is an expectation for students to engage on a regular basis with the instructional plans communicated by their teacher.
Q: How will this affect grading for Quarter 3?
A: The district will be using March 30th - April 3rd to complete the 3rd Quarter. During this time students will be able to submit any missing work as well as working on enrichment and review assignments posted by their teachers.
Q. Where can I find my child’s Quarter 3 Report Card?
A: Quarter 3 report cards for all grades K-!2 are accessible on the IC parent portal
Q: Will my child(ren) receive grades for Quarter 4?
A: Yes. Work that students complete during distance learning, will be recorded on IC. The exception is grades K-2. Teachers at those grade levels will be collecting evidence on-going throughout the school closure.
Q: How will I be able to keep track of my child’s grades/progress during Quarter 4?
A: Grades/progress will continue to be posted, for grades 3 - 12, on Infinite Campus. The exception is grades K-2. The teachers at these grade levels do not use IC for grading. We encourage you to continue to keep in contact with your child’s teacher should you have any questions or concerns.
Q: Will any day care services be offered
A: No. All Child Development servicing is under the mandated closure. All invoicing for child development programs (pre-k, infant/toddler, and before/after care) was suspended on 3/13/20 and will be suspended until the mandate is lifted. Payments received for March for days not used due to the COVID closure, will result in a credit of those days when we return. Parents should not submit additional payments at this time.
Q: I’m a student teacher at Millcreek Schools. What do I do?
A: Contact your university student teaching supervisor.
Q: How can we get more information?
A: Please check www.mtsd.org frequently as all updates and information will be posted there. In addition, please contact administration and teachers directly. Their email addresses are available on the web site under the school page, staff listings. In addition, you are able to call and leave a voicemail. All phone lines are being monitored and you will get a return phone call.
Q: Are all athletic events cancelled?
A: Yes, all athletic events, including practices, are cancelled. Furthermore, the District is required to have all of our facilities closed during this time as part of the closure mandate. Therefore, community members are not able to access our fields, courts, etc. during this time for recreational purposes. When our facilities reopen and are no longer under a mandated closure, playgrounds and other District recreational facilities will reopen. They will be disinfected according to CDC guidelines prior to them reopening.
Q: Is kindergarten registration delayed? When will it occur?
A: Yes, kindergarten registration has been postponed and will be rescheduled as we move throughout the spring. We will communicate new dates when we reopen and are able. In the meantime, families can refer to the registration documents on the web page for details
Q: How are meals being distributed during the mandated closure?
A: Please refer to the following link for MTSD’s Meal DIstribution Plan
The District will be updating meal information to include a plan for the Spring Break (4/9 - 4/15/20).
Q: What about my college applications?
A: Contact your respective guidance counselor with specific questions.
Q: How will this impact the school calendar for the remainder of the year?
A: Our school calendar remains as Board approved. Regarding of our return date from the Governor’s mandated closure, our school calendar dates are firm.
Q. Do we need to make these days up?
A: No. The 180 instructional day and 900 (elementary) and 990 (secondary) instructional hour requirements have been waived by the state due to the pandemic.
Q: Will this eliminate spring break?
A: No. See the question above regarding our students’ current status to return to school.
Q: What is the plan to make parents aware that channel 1025 has additional information?
A: This has been included in written and video addresses to all staff (who are asked to share it with their families) and the parental addresses.
Q: How can I access more information about my AP courses, exams, and updates?
A: An AP tab is available on the MIHS and McDowell school page. All updates and information can be located there.
Here is the link: https://www.mtsd.org/schools/m... Please reach out to your AP teachers or AP Coordinator, Mrs. Means (email@example.com)
If you still have questions, please feel free to reach out to your building administrators.
Elementary Schools Asbury: Mr. Donald Stark firstname.lastname@example.org
Belle Valley: Dr. James Smith email@example.com
Chestnut Hill: Mrs. Kristen Boyd firstname.lastname@example.org
Grandview: Mr. Joseph Jablonski email@example.com
Tracy: Mr. Jeremiah Bull firstname.lastname@example.org
Middle Schools JS Wilson: Mr. Terry Costello email@example.com
West Lake: Mr. Martin Kaverman firstname.lastname@example.org
Walnut Creek: Mrs. Kimberly Damcott email@example.com
High Schools McDowell Intermediate High: Dr. John Cavanagh firstname.lastname@example.org
McDowell High: Mr. Brian Fuller email@example.com