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Shaler Area's 2021-2022 School Year

Shaler Area will kick off the 2021-2022 school year with an orientation day on Tuesday, August 24, for students in Kindergarten and grades 4, 7, and 9. The first day of school for all students is Wednesday, August 25. Bus assignments will be released the week of August 16. Additional information will be posted on the district website in the month of August.
 
A.W. Beattie alternate schedules will be available the week of October 4.
 
 

PA Department of Health — Universal Masking Order

On August 28, the Wolf Administration and the state Department of Health announced that all students and staff in K-12 schools are required to wear a mask or face covering when indoors, effective September 7, 2021. A full copy of the order is available online. Shaler Area plans to abide by the Department of Health’s order. 
 

Health and Safety Plan

The Shaler Area School Board voted to amend the district’s Health and Safety Plan to require universal masking for all K-12 students and staff when in an indoor setting, regardless of vaccination status, starting on Monday, Aug. 16. The district will reevaluate this decision in mid-September based on the transmission rates in Allegheny County and any updated guidance from health officials. The full Health and Safety Plan is available on the right-hand side of this webpage. Additional information about this decision is available in the August 12 communication sent to all district families and posted on this webpage. 
 
For the purposes of this amendment, a mask will be defined as follows:
  • A mask or “face covering” is a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face.
  • A mask or "face covering" can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen, and, for the purposes of the order, can include a plastic face shield that covers the nose and mouth. A plastic face shield is considered an alternative face covering and should only be worn when all other options have been exhausted.
  • Masks and face coverings fall under the same requirements outlined in the student dress code and may not promote sexual activity, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, hate messages, or violence. Please see your building’s student handbook for additional restrictions. Students wearing a face covering that is determined by administration to be unsafe, inappropriate, or disruptive to the educational process will be given an alternative face covering.
This amendment will extend to all visitors to our district buildings and facilities. Visitors will be required to wear a mask or face covering when indoors at any district building or facility for any reason, including to attend meetings, events, or athletic activities.
 
Any student with a disability who cannot wear a mask or face shield due to a medical condition is not required to wear face coverings as per guidance received from the state Department of Education, however, this must be recommended by the student's medical doctor and documentation is to be provided to the student’s school nurse.
 
Additional health and safety strategies will remain in place for the start of the 2021-22 school year based on the district’s Health and Safety Plan, including but not limited to:
  • Masking being required on all district transportation, including after-school team and activities buses;
  • Reinforcement of regular and proper handwashing;
  • Hand sanitizer placed in all classrooms and high traffic areas; 
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols; 
  • Contact tracing and isolation/quarantine protocols for all non-vaccinated individuals as directed by state and local health departments;
  • Seating during meal times and in the cafeteria will remain 3-6 feet, as feasible;
  • Staff will continue to provide mask breaks throughout the school day.
 

School Closing and Delay Information

The safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance to us, so we take the decision to delay or cancel classes very seriously. During a winter weather event, we take into account the current road and weather conditions, temperature and wind chill as well as the day’s forecast. We also consult with the safety coordinators of our contracted bus companies who travel the roads in the district to assess their safety. Please be aware, school delays or cancellations also can occur for other unexpected reasons, such as an area water main break, power outage, or other significant event. Be sure that you have appropriate plans in place in the event the district should need to delay, cancel, or dismiss students early.
 
While many Shaler Area families are familiar with the procedures and notifications in place for delays and cancellations, please find the information below for your convenience:
  • The decision to delay or cancel school will be made and communicated whenever possible before 6 a.m. and if possible, the night before. However, there are occasions that changing road and weather conditions will necessitate a later decision.
  • Families should call the district’s main phone number, 412-492-1200, as the primary source for information. The district’s phone message will be updated to reflect any changes in the district’s schedule, such as a delay or cancellation. Shaler Area School District website, www.sasd.k12.pa.us, also is used to communicate important information such as delays and closings, as well as the district’s social media.
  • Families also can choose to receive texts and/or emails through the www.sasd.k12.pa.us website by signing up for the “Email Newsletter” on the main webpage, adding a cell phone number and/or email address and choosing “school closings.”
  • In addition to the main phone number and website, Shaler Area notifies three local news stations: KDKA, WPXI, WTAE. Please note that the school district does not control how quickly the information is updated on-air. You may consider signing up for the electronic alerts through the respective television stations.
  • Early Dismissal Plans: In the event that Shaler Area would need to dismiss school early, please make sure your family has appropriate childcare arrangements and/or dismissal plans in place. It also is important to be sure that your emergency contact information is current. If the contact information needs to be updated, please log in to Infinite Campus to make any necessary changes or contact your student’s school.
 
Please remember that parents/guardians always have the final determination as to whether or not to send their student to school on any given day. While we strive to make the best possible decisions in the timeframe we are given, unexpected winter weather issues may occur. 

Using Flexible Instruction Days

NEW for the 2021-2022 school year:  Starting this school year, Shaler Area will utilize Flexible Instruction Days (FID) in place of unexpected, emergency school closures to eliminate the need to make-up that day. Specifically, Shaler Area will use these days in place of cancellations for inclement weather for the 2021-2022 school year.
 
In the event that the district needs to cancel in-person instruction, all students will participate in remote instruction through their district-issued device. 
  • The transition to a Flexible Instruction Day will be announced on the district website.
  • Flexible Instruction Days will operate on a one-hour delay schedule to provide students and staff the opportunity to transition to remote instruction. The class start times will be as follows:
    • High School:                            8:18 a.m.
    • Middle School:                        8:40 a.m.
    • Elementary School:                 9:12 a.m.
    • Primary Schools:                     10:00 a.m.
  • All classes will require synchronous instruction (in real time with live instruction).
  • All teachers will take attendance, and there will be minimum requirements for instructional minutes.
  • Students not present during FID remote instruction will be marked with an unexcused absence unless a note is provided by a parent/guardian—the same procedures as a typical school day. Technical difficulties or connectivity issues should be reported to the classroom teacher.
 
Logging in during a Flexible Instruction Day: 
  • Students will use platforms such as Seesaw, Google Classroom, Google Meet and/or Zoom online video meeting to participate in synchronous instruction. 
  • Classroom teachers will share specific directions with students and families on how to connect to their class.

Virtual Instruction Options

The SASD virtual offerings provide all families K-12 with the option of full-time online instruction for the 2021-22 school year as an alternative to returning to a physical school building. 
 
Enrollment for the Second Semester (January 19, 2022 – June 3, 2022) 
Families and students must commit to the virtual option for the full second semester with an option to return to in-person instruction at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Students will complete a separate enrollment to participate in the virtual option. All other students will default to in-person instruction.
 
If you have additional questions about Shaler Area’s virtual options for the 2021-22 school year or enrollment, please contact either Dr. Shannon Howard at [email protected] or Mrs. Eloise Milligan at [email protected].
 
 
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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