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Update for Caregivers and Community Members, 3-25-2020
Update for Caregivers and Community Members, 3-25-2020
Columbia Borough School District
Thursday, March 26, 2020

March 25, 2020

Dear Caregivers and Community members:

School closure has been extended by the Governor until at least April 9th. However, until we watch the daily developments of Coronavirus in Pennsylvania, we cannot accurately predict whether this is definite. Your education team at Columbia Borough School District wants to begin the process of “Continuity of Education” for our students. Returning students to a part of their day that is “normal” with their teachers is an area we can control.

Beginning this week, teachers are reaching out to every student in our district. We want to talk with each student and communicate future plans. Meetings have been scheduled using emails and phone calls. If a teacher has NOT been in contact with your student, please call the district office at 717-684-2283, and leave a message with your name, student name, and phone number to contact you.

Next week, we will begin online learning in small steps. Our process has two phases, Curation of Content for parents and students, and Connecting with Students with a minimum of reading, reflecting, and responding. We will be doing enrichment and review at the beginning and a time for students to reflect with their peers and teachers. The district will be using ZOOM to connect with students so everyone can see and talk with each other in the class. We will also be utilizing Google Classroom to assist teachers and students in the learning process. 

Technology can be challenging. I deal with this every day, and I am very happy to have knowledgeable people in the district who help me navigate new programs. We anticipate this may be the same for our students and caregivers, who are assisting younger students. Please do not worry about technology. We will help you every step of the way. Our teachers are very knowledgeable, and should they need assistance, we have our experts in the technology department ready to assist. This should be your last concern about online learning.

This closing was not anticipated on our last day of school, March 12. Many students having
computers at school left them in their lockers. Also, there are some of your students that do not have equipment for online learning. The district is making arrangements for students to pick up their computers and to loan computers to students in need. Each building principal will be communicating the specific details. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, please pay close attentions to the details of the notice. We must require parents and students to comply with the rules. The safety of our students and staff is our first concern. Internet connection is also required for our Continuity of Education program. Please see our website for availability to free internet and free hotspots. Should you need assistance, please contact your students’ building principal at the main building phone number.

Our food service team is fantastic and is continuing to do “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch
daily from 9:45 am to 11 am at Park Cafeteria entrance and Taylor main entrance. Anyone
under the age of 18 can receive a breakfast and lunch. Power Packs continues every 

Thursday. Packs can be picked up during the “Grab and Go” at Park and Taylor or at their
location at 211 Union Street from 2 pm to 5 pm.

We are living through a very difficult and uncertain time that has us concerned and yes,
somewhat scared for our family. Our team wants to do whatever we can to help your student
continue their education and have a place to go to learn, talk, reflect, and share. I am sure
there have been times over the past week that we wish we could return to some form of
“normal”. Let us assist your student for a few hours per day of returning to “normal” with
education. The Columbia Borough School District is ready to assist our students in continuing
their education until they can return to our buildings.

Over the past two weeks, your education team has made many changes and will continue to
update, modify, change, and keep transforming as the situation and environment changes. Our webpage on “CBSD Learn From Home”, is being updated daily with new resources for learning and fun. As a family, play some of the
literacy or math games, look at the Cams or watch a podcast, or explore the many virtual field
trips. I have not had the opportunity to visit France or Italy; however, the virtual field trip of the
Louvre or go to the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. The current sheltering at home can be a fun time for students and family members by using the resources on this page.

Columbia’s Education Team is here to support you in education. The rapidly changing
environment is hard to track. My recommendation is to pull away from the 24-hour news
channels and constant updates. A daily or twice a day check-in is good, but children need
exercise, physical and emotional. Our website has up-to-date
information on our COVID-19 page. Work with us in connecting your student to us online and
let our excellent educators work together to bring students to a learning and fun environment.
We are in this together and are part of this wonderful community. CBSD does learn and CBSD has TIDE PRIDE!

Please Stay Safe!

Thank you
Thomas Strickler

This letter is located under "Latest Update from the Superintendent". You also can find Spanish and Arabic versions there too.