July 27, 2020
Dear Shaler Area families,
We sincerely appreciate your continued patience during these trying times as we look to reopen our schools for the 2020-21 school year. As the pandemic continues to evolve in Allegheny County, it is our commitment to provide the most up-to-date information to our families regarding the start of the school year. This past Friday, the Back-to-School Task Force provided a recorded Town Hall meeting to outline the tentative options for starting the school year. These options include the Hybrid and Virtual Learning Models. As discussed in the meeting, the District is now asking each family to provide a commitment for the following:
- Select either the hybrid or 100% virtual model for each child. Students who enroll in the 100% virtual model MUST remain for a minimum of Nine Weeks.
- If possible, fully commit to providing transportation to/from school during the 2020-21 school year to help with social distancing requirements. Families who fully commit to providing transportation to/from school will not have their student rostered to a school bus for the 2020-21 school year. Please note that while this decision is for the entire school year, we can reevaluate at the semester break if circumstances change.
We understand that families may have questions regarding the Shaler Area Titan Cyber Academy, our 100% virtual offering. This option provides a full online program using a standards-based curriculum delivered by either a Shaler Area School District teacher and/or a contracted employee through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Additional information regarding this program will be forthcoming. We ask that if you are strongly considering this option, that you please select it on the Commitment Form. Enrollment in the program will have a significant impact on the delivery model selected. We ask for your patience and understanding and we work toward finalizing this unique and complex option.In order to assist with our planning, it is very important that you please fill out one commitment form per student as decisions may vary for each student. Forms should be completed no later than Friday, August 7, 2020 at 4 p.m.
The commitment form can be accessed by visiting: https://forms.gle/dsZTshEqKUfydirx9
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
- Commitment Forms are due by Friday, August 7, 2020
- Full online learning via Titan Cyber Academy
- Additional information forthcoming
- 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
Finally, the District is currently developing an FAQ document based on the questions submitted during the Town Hall meetings. We will notify you once that document is available on the District website. Please understand that due to the evolving nature of research, guidance and community input, these FAQs are subject to change.
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.
Sean C. Aiken
Superintendent of Schools
Bryan E. O’Black, Ed.D.