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Back-to-School 2020 Task Force Town Hall meeting
July 24, 2020

Dear Shaler Area families,

As we communicated with you earlier this week, we are releasing additional details regarding the district’s Back-to-School Task Force reopening plans in the recorded Town Hall presentation linked below.

While our Back-to-School Task Force is still finalizing the details of our reopening plans, our TENTATIVE plan is for school to reopen with a hybrid model in place. The hybrid scenario provides our students with the safest option to return to school, receive in-person instruction, and have some interaction with other students and teachers in a structured and safe environment while adhering to health and safety guidelines. Additionally, Shaler Area will offer a full virtual learning option to all students who cannot participate in in-person instruction for any reason. Participation in the Shaler Area Titan Cyber Academy will provide students with virtual instruction by district and/or contracted employees following the district’s curriculum. This option will allow students to make an easy transition back to in-person instruction when appropriate. 

Again, these are our TENTATIVE plans for the reopening of the 2020-2021 school year based on the most recent information provided by the Allegheny County Health Department, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please know that this plan is subject to change as additional information becomes available or as is required by state health and safety requirements. 

Town Hall presentation:
A link to the Back-to-School Task Force Report Town Hall presentation is available here:

We recognize that you will have many questions about the specifics of each plan, and we intend to answer each of them as we finalize our reopening plans. In the coming weeks, you will have several opportunities to have your questions heard and answered.
  1. Families can submit questions via the linked form: Answers to submitted questions will be posted to the district website as answers become available. Please understand that the district is relying on guidance from local and state agencies so some questions may not be able to be immediately answered.
  2. We will host virtual grade level Town Hall meetings during the week of August 3 to address specific concerns related to those students. The dates and times for these meetings will be forthcoming. 

Important dates:
Please note the outlined schedule of important dates and deadlines in the coming weeks:
  • Grade level parent Town Hall meetings (via Zoom)
    • Week of August 3, 2020 (schedule to follow)
  • Parent Commitment Form - Selection of instructional and transportation options
    • Distributed week of July 27, 2020 via email
    • Commitment Forms are due by Friday, August 7, 2020
  • Full online learning via Titan Cyber Academy
    • Informational meeting date and time to be announced
    • Deadline for full enrollment is August 13, 2020 
  • Education Committee & School Board approval of the Health & Safety Plan
    • August 5, 2020 - 6 p.m. via a virtual meeting platform. Details will be posted on the website

Our goal throughout this entire process has been and continues to be to place the safety and welfare of our students, staff, and families first and foremost. While the hybrid model of instruction is not how we hoped to reopen our schools for the 2020-2021 school year, the Task Force determined this model to be in the best interest of the overall health and safety of our students and staff and allows students the opportunity to return to school for in-person instruction. We thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this ever-changing pandemic and for your support and cooperation as we work together to provide a healthy and safe learning environment for our students and staff.

Please take care and stay safe.

Sean C. Aiken
Bryan E. O’Black, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent