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**PDE and Mathematica just released (9/16/20) updated data.**

Mathematica Report

This is a second research report, not the one from June. This new report looks at the impacts of various reopening models and their impact on the transmission of COVID and will give further evidence of best instructional models and practices to mitigate the Coronavirus. This report provides nonpartisan, data-based justifications for taking certain actions. The report shows that, for schools in blended models that are part-time in nature, you can almost eliminate the spread of COVID in school transmission, and any spread would be community-based, not school-based. We talk to dozens of superintendents every week and have requests for data and information that can be shared. This is a good source for that.

https://mathematica.org/news/new-models-highlight-how-different-approaches-to-education-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-could-affect


COLUMBIA VIRTUAL ACADEMY

A/B PARENT OPENING Video

August 28, 2020

Reference: 2020 – 2021 School Year

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

The start of the 2020-2021 School year is Monday, August 31, 2020. We are very excited to see some students again and to return all students to a schedule and some sense of normal. You have made a selection for your student to either attend in-person two(2) days per week and remote three(3) days per week or attend remote five(5) days per week.

Many aspects of education are different than in previous years. I am asking you to have PATIENCE and FLEXIBILITY this year, especially during the first few weeks. We are all getting to know a new system, different forms of education, and having students in different places. Below is very important information that I wanted to emphasize and share with you:

  • Student self-check needs to be completed every day prior to coming to school. We need your assistance in assisting your student and make sure s/he does not have symptoms. Attached to this letter and on our website “Information for 2020-2021 School Year” is a self-check for your use.
  • Students attending in-person MUST wear a mask. The district does have face shields available for students to wear during the school day if requested. Students or parents should request a mask from their teacher. Mask breaks have been built into the school day.
  • Computers have been distributed at all buildings. If you have not picked up your computer, please contact the building your student is attending, and they will schedule an appointment for pick-up.
  • ID Cards for students are in their computer bag. The card will be needed at school each day OR when picking up their bag breakfast and lunch. This touchless system will allow the meal to be recorded without a student touching a keypad. Please make sure the student has the ID card each day, or they bring the card to pick up their breakfast and lunch.
  • Water Bottles are recommended for students this year. The water fountains have been turned off and water bottle fillers added to reduce health risks.
  • Breakfast and Lunch will be served daily to students attending in person. Each building has established new procedures for these meals that will be shared with students.
  • Students not attending in-person, may pick-up their Breakfast and Lunch Monday thru Friday from 7:30 am to 8:05 am at Taylor and Park Schools. Students must bring their ID cards to pick-up their meals.
  • Remote Learning Livestream Policy is attached to this letter, on the district website, and listed in board policy. The video is intended for the exclusive use of Columbia Borough School District students and cannot be shared, recorded, or shared in any form on social media. Violations of this policy will result in student discipline as outlined. The use of live stream video within the classroom does not violate any law or privacy right, regardless of whether a student has declined the media release. Students should be aware that while the focus of the recording device will be centered on the instructor during a live stream instruction, the student’s voice or likeness may be captured.
  • District Buildings are not open to visitors during the pandemic to protect our students and staff members. If you need to come to the buildings for any reason, you must complete the self-check prior to coming to the building. You will not be able to enter the building beyond the vestibule waiting area. A staff member will work with you to meet your reason to come to the building. Please work with your doctor, dentist, or others in scheduling appointments during the days that your student is not attending school in-person.
  • Contact Information needs to be current. If you move, change your email address, or get a new phone number, PLEASE contact the school to update your information immediately. The pandemic is causing information to be changed on a regular basis. We need to be able to communicate with you on a regular basis.
  • COMMUNICATIONS to you will happen as we have new or updated information regarding COVID-19, district procedures, schedule changes, or any other pertinent and important information. I promise that we will communicate important and critical information to you as soon as possible. PLEASE rely on the district website, LIVE Feed, emails, text messages, and phone calls for your information. We will not give information to social media outlets other than the District website feeds.
  • District Website https://www.columbiabsd.org/ Important information will be on the district website.
  • updates on COVID-19 are located under Updates on Coronavirus.

We are very excited to begin the 2020-2021 year with our students. Remember, FLEXIBILITY and PATIENCE are key for all of us to have a great year. Working together for the benefit of your student will enhance their educational experience this year. We are all somewhat apprehensive about what will happen in the future. However, we are all in this together to assist each student in the Columbia Borough School District.

Thank you for working with our teachers, principals, and other district staff to increase precautions and procedures for the safety of our students and education team.

Sincerely,

Tom Strickler Superintendent of Schools

Special thanks to the companies that have donated to our district during COVID.

 

Columbia Borough School District Online Learning and Livestream Guidelines and Policies:

Video Content:

  • All video content being streamed for at-home learners is strictly for educational purposes only and is the exclusive property of the Columba Borough School District. Live stream video shall be conducted in accordance with BOARD POLICY.
  • If applicable, any recording of a live stream shall be temporarily retained by the District exclusively for District use.
  • In accordance with Board Policy, and the District’s Acceptable Use Policy, live stream attendees are prohibited from removing, recording, capturing, or distributing any material from the District platform. Any violation of this prohibition will subject the student to discipline in accordance with applicable Student and school policies.
  • The use of live stream video within the classroom does not violate any law or privacy right, regardless of whether a student has declined the media

release. Students should be aware that while the focus of the recording device will be centered on the instructor during a live stream instruction, the student’s voice or likeness may be captured. Additionally, students accessing the live stream remotely may have their surroundings captured. If this makes a student or parent/guardian uncomfortable, participants are encouraged to set up the video conference so that only the student is visible with a blank background.

Online Learning Reminder: For students engaging in Online Learning or Blended Learning models, device cameras must be switched on when instruction is happening during the school day in order to be considered in attendance.