Back-to-School information for the 2017-18 school year
Shaler Area School District – Back to School 2017-18

Shaler Area faculty, staff, and administration have been busy this summer making preparations for this upcoming school year and are excited to welcome everyone back for the start the 2017-18 school year. The first day of school for all students is Thursday, August 24, 2017. Some of changes and highlights for this school year include:

Transportation & School Crossing Guards
Starting this school year, ABC Transit Inc. will provide transportation services to Shaler Area. The district entered into a five-year contract with ABC Transit, which started July 2017 and will continue through the 2021-22 school year. The district and ABC Transit have been working through the summer to establish the most cost-effective bus routes, assignments, and bus stops, however most families will not see any significant differences in service.

With the consolidation of local parochial schools and the rerouting of buses, three school crossing guard posts have been eliminated in Shaler Township. School crossing guards will continue to be posted at Jeffery, Burchfield, and Marzolf Primary Schools, Shaler Area Middle School, and two crossing guards will be posted at Scott Avenue. No other crossing guard changes have been made for this school year.

New Attendance Policy 
Under the Attendance Policy No. 204, revised for the 2017-18 school year, absences shall be considered unlawful until the district receives a written excuse explaining the absence, to be submitted within three days of the absence. A maximum of 10 days of lawful absences, verified by parental notification, shall be permitted during the school year. Any absences beyond 10 cumulative days will require an excuse from a state licensed practitioner of the healing arts. Students will be considered truant when they have incurred three or more days of unexcused absences during the school year, and students will be considered habitually truant when they have accumulated six or more unexcused absences, which may require the district to take legal action.

New Immunization Requirements
The state Department of Health recently updated its school vaccination requirements for the 2017-18 school year. The new requirements now include the Tdap and meningitis vaccinations for all 7th grade students and a second meningitis (MCV) vaccine for all 12th grade students. The new regulations also require all vaccinations to be administered before the first day of school. A provisional waiver may be granted if the final dose of a multiple dose vaccine series is completed by Aug. 30. Students who do not have the required vaccinations will not be admitted to school.

Grading Scale & Report Card Changes
Starting this school year, students will see some changes to the grading system across all grade levels. A review committee spent several months during the 2016-17 school year reviewing the district’s grading scale and grading system outlined in Policy No. 213 Assessment of Student Progress, and the following changes were approved by the school board.
Primary Performance Standards: The following grading format will be used in grades K-3 as an alternative to the "A+" through "F" system outlined in the policy. 
  • Kindergarten – Checklist format based on kindergarten standards
  • Grade 1 & 2 – Social studies, health, science, art, music, physical education
  • Grade 3 – Hand-writing, art, music, physical education
Kindergarten Performance Levels – Issued in semester intervals: P for Proficient, D for Developing, B for Beginning, and N for Not Yet Evident.
Grades 1-3 – Issued in semester intervals: S for Satisfactory, W for Working toward Expectations, N for Needs Improvement, Blank for Performing Successfully, and X for Area of Concern.

Grading Scale (Grades 2-12): Students in grades 2-12 will be evaluated on a more traditional 10-point scale (i.e. 90-100 percent is an A), with plus and minus letter grades. At the high school level, honors, AP, and College in High School courses will be weighted. College in High School courses will be weighted the same as AP courses. Grades will be issued in 9 week intervals.

School Lunch Menus
In an effort to cut costs and save resources, Shaler Area will no longer send home printed school lunch menus. The Nutrition Group launched an interactive menu tool that provides greater insight and information about their menus. Nutrislice is a website and free smartphone app that provides pictures, descriptions, nutritional information, special diets filters, and carb counts for each day’s menu. Nutrislice is available at sasd.nutrislice.com or through a free mobile app available on the iTunes App Store for iPhone users or on Google Play for Android-powered smartphones. 

Additional information for the start of the school year
School schedules for the upcoming school year:
  • Shaler Area High School – 7:18 a.m. to 2:25 p.m.
  • Shaler Area Middle School – 7:40 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.
  • Shaler Area Elementary School – 8:12 a.m. to 3:08 p.m.
  • Primary schools – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Important orientation & preview dates:
Orientation day for students in K, 4, 7, 9 is Wednesday, Aug. 23. For students in grades 4, 7 and 9, this is a required ½ day program and attendance will be taken.
  • Burchfield Primary Kindergarten Orientation: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Burchfield Primary Sneak Peek (grades 1-3): Wednesday, Aug. 23, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Jeffery Primary Kindergarten Orientation: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Jeffery Primary Meet & Greet (grades 1-3): Wednesday, Aug. 23, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Marzolf Primary Kindergarten Orientation: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Marzolf Primary Meet & Greet (grades 1-3): Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Reserve Primary Kindergarten Orientation: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 9-10 a.m.
  • Reserve Primary Meet & Greet (grades 1-3): Wednesday, Aug. 23, 10-11 a.m.
  • Rogers Primary New Parent Q&A: Tuesday, Aug. 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Rogers Primary Kindergarten Orientation: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Rogers Primary Sneak Peek (grades 1-3): Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Shaler Area Elementary School Open Orientation: Tuesday, Aug. 15, 1-2 p.m.
  • Shaler Area Elementary School Open Orientation: Thursday, Aug. 17, 6-7 p.m.
  • Shaler Area Elementary School Walk Your Schedule: Tuesday, Aug. 22, 3:30-4 p.m.
  • Shaler Area Middle School Open House: Wednesday, Aug. 16, 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Shaler Area Middle School Open House: Thursday, Aug. 17, 7:30a.m. - 3 p.m.
We hope you all enjoy the final days of summer break and return on Thursday, August 24, feeling rejuvenated and ready to kick off another great school year with us!
Attachments Available To Download:
Back-to-School 2017 letter