COVID-19 CBSD Update, 3-18-2020

March 18, 2020

Dear Caregivers and Community members:

The events over the past week have been historic and constantly changing. We have moved from our normal daily routine to schools and many businesses closed. We are being requested to limit meetings to less than 10 people, practice social distancing, and shelter at home if possible. Our lives have dramatically changed in less than 7 days. As adults, we are experiencing feelings of fear, panic, helplessness, uncertainty, and complete loss of control. This is being seen and felt by our children.

Your Education Team at Columbia Borough School District will keep you informed, and up to date regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), School, Columbia Borough, Lancaster County, and Pennsylvania information. Our website, is being updated on a regular basis with the latest information on our “COVID-19 UPDATES page.

Many of you have been asking great questions about the implications of the prolonged closure of school and the many unknown scenarios. While I do not have all the answers, I will keep you informed as the current scenario becomes clearer and more answers are available. As of March 17, 2020, ALL activities hosted by the District are suspended until further notice, including all extracurricular activities. Decisions on rescheduling or canceling activities will be made at a later time, when the Governor tells us we can begin to resume education in our buildings. Schools are CLOSED thru March 27, 2020. Please see the information below regarding what we are doing to support students, families, and the community:

• Virtual Learning
Virtual learning will not be provided during this closure. Because we know that it would be impossible to design one format that would meet every child’s dynamic needs, Columbia Borough School District does not utilize wholesale online learning. Providing instruction online does not fulfill our ethical obligation to serve every child appropriately.

• CBSD At Home Learning – The District is providing online resources that you can use with your children at home, keeping them academically engaged. These resources are for Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade. The content is updated regularly as we receive more materials. There are materials and educational games available. The site contains Reading materials, Math, Art, Music, Movement and Exercise, Social and Emotional Learning, and Virtual Field trips in the United States and Around the World.

• Food Distribution –
The District is providing “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch daily Monday thru Friday from 9:45 am to 11 am at Taylor Middle and Park Elementary Schools. The Power Packs distribution will continue each Thursday with two options: pick-up during the Grab and Go, or pick-up at Power Packs headquarters, 211 Union Street from 2 to 5 pm.

• Online Resources – The District’s Update page also includes resources for “Talking to Children” and explaining the current situation. There are cartoons and videos. There are also links to local, state and national sites to discuss with older students. A daily check-in discussion with children and adults creates a positive environment and lowers the stress and fear. Involving everyone in researching for facts and not fiction regarding COVID-19, may help everyone in the house.

• Contact with Buildings – Following the direction of the Governor and President, we are operating on a minimal essential crew. Each school building has a voice message on the phone with the ability to leave a message. Messages will be checked frequently. Administrators are available as needed. District-wide communications will continue to be posted to the District website. Urgent messages will be sent via voice telephone messenger, text, and email from the Superintendent’s office. The Power School information (phone numbers and email addresses) is used for these messages.

Buildings – District Buildings are being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and will remain closed until the situation changes.

The situation is evolving rapidly. Lancaster County has now confirmed the first case of COVID19. District Administration continues to receive regular updates from our professional organizations, colleagues, the CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health and Department of Education, Lancaster Emergency Management Agency, and Columbia Borough. We are receiving nearly “real-time” updates on the virus and related events in the Commonwealth. Keeping you informed and trying to make the best decision for our students, employees, families, and the community is our highest priority. Please follow the guidelines of CDC and PA Dept of Health for your family health and well-being.

Thank you.
Thomas Strickler

This letter is located under "Latest Update from the Superintendent"