Back-to-School Task Force
Back-to-School Task Force est. 2020 around Titan Head logo

The Shaler Area School District created its Back-to-School 2020 Task Force to discuss and develop options for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. While it is unclear when and how school buildings will be fully open, the district is committed to exploring innovative and effective solutions to help provide a full and well-rounded curriculum in environments that are safe and compliant with current health guidelines.  Our mission is to fully prepare for a safe return of our school community.

The District has been and will rely on the guidance and lead of experts including our local and state public health officials, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Governor.

The Task Force is divided into seven subcommittees which identified existing challenges and needs in each of the committee focus areas and developed multiple plans and scenarios for the reopening of schools.

  • Health & Wellness
  • Curriculum, Instruction & Assesessment
  • Special Education & Mental Health Services
  • School Operations
  • Technology
  • Transportation
  • Community Relations

Each subcommittee is made up of district administrators, teachers, parents, school board representatives, community members, and health and safety professionals. These groups worked over the summer to develop a complete Back-to-School Plan.

The Task Force focused on planning for three main scenarios for the reopening of school.
  • Traditional Model — This scenario will enable students to attend school Monday-Friday. Our schools will follow traditional hours unless directed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or a localized emergency occurs that would prevent the normal operation of school.
  • Hybrid Model — This scenario will enable students to take classes both in person at school as well as online. We recognize that some families may have certain health-related issues that present some obvious concerns. As such, we will do everything in our power to provide an option that will maximize safety protocols with a balance of personal support for all children, including those with elevated health risks.
  • Virtual Model — This scenario will enable students to learn online via our Virtual Learning model either 100 percent or during sporadic school closures as necessary. Students will not be expected to attend school in person. All of their classes will take place remotely with constant access and support from district staff.

Task Force Report and Health & Safety Plan
On August 6, 2020, the Shaler Area School Board of Directors approved the district’s Back-to-School Task Force Report and Health & Safety Plan for the 2020-2021 school year. As part of the district’s reopening plan, the board approved the following for the start of next school year:
  • All Shaler Area students will begin the first four weeks of school (through Friday, October 9, 2020) in a 100% virtual model (all at-home learning).
  • Additionally, the start of the school year will be delayed until Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The school board will approve a revised school calendar during its August 19 voting meeting. The last day of school will be Friday, June 11, 2021.
The 100% virtual instruction model provides the best option for staff to safely educate all 4,200 students, better assess remediation needs with all students on the same platform, and build and design a high-quality online program that can meet the needs of our students for the long-term. Delaying the start of the school year will provide our staff with additional time for professional development focusing on the virtual and hybrid learning models, 1:1 technology distribution and training for our students and families, and back-to-school orientation events for students. 

A copy of the Back-to-School Task Force Report and Health & Safety Plan is available in the link to the right.

School Breakfast & Lunch

Shaler Area will continue to provide student breakfast and lunch service while the district is in the 100% virtual model. Breakfast and lunch will be packaged together and available for free to all school-aged children.
There will be three locations to pick up breakfast and lunch while we are in the 100% virtual model:
  • Shaler Area High School, 381 Wible Run Road, (dock area on Paul Schweiger Way behind the school)
    • 11:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m.
  • Christ Lutheran Church, 917 Evergreen Avenue, Millvale
    •  11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 66 Grant Avenue, Etna
    •  11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

So Now What? back-to-school series for parents

You and your family are in the middle of what is already an unprecedented start to the school year, not to mention all we experienced last spring. You’re processing lessons already learned, adjusting to new ways of preparing your kids and often figuring it out for yourselves. A lot of us are asking...So Now What?

The So Now What? virtual series brings the country’s leading experts in education and childhood development, including PBS Kids, Common Sense Media, Learning Heroes and UPMC Children’s Hospital, together with parents and caregivers to share and learn from one another. We will cover a range of topics specific to this moment in time, including social emotional wellness, mental health, learning resources, communication, tech safety and much more.

Together we will navigate the start to this new, uncharted school year, and make plans for what comes next, no matter what tomorrow brings.
Every Wednesday evening in September 2020

Series schedule:
WED, SEPTEMBER 2, 7:00-7:30PM EST 
COVID-19 and Kids Health: An evidence-based practical guide & FAQ

Supporting young children’s social and emotional wellness as we return to school

WED, SEPTEMBER 9, 8:00-8:30PM EST (SPECIAL TIME!) Tweens, teens and mental health 

WED, SEPTEMBER 16, 7:00-7:30PM EST 
Ready to Partner: 5 Steps for a different kind of school year for families and schools 

WED, SEPTEMBER 23, 7:00-7:30PM EST 
How to be safe online and balance tech usage in a world of virtual learning 

WED, SEPTEMBER 30, 7:00-7:30PM EST 
Learning resources for families

Health & Safety Plan
Child Care
FAQ Submission
Athletic Plan
Marching Band Plan
Video Messages
1800 Mt. Royal Boulevard     Glenshaw, PA. 15116     P 412-492-1200     F 412-492-1236
1800 Mt. Royal Boulevard Glenshaw, PA. 15116 P 412-492-1200 F 412-492-1236
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