What's Happening

Superintendent's Message:

August 24, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of the Olympian Community,

We hope that this message finds you safe and well.  This summer, every staff member, from the custodial personnel to the administrative team, has been laser-focused on doing whatever it takes to get our schools ready for a safe reopening of school. The school board has adopted the Phased Reopening Health and Safety Plan which outlines all of the steps that the district is taking to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.  Please read this message in its entirety for important information about reopening school.

Schedules: Based on current conditions, the district will be opening under the yellow phase of the plan, which calls for students to attend school as follows:

Grades K-5: All students will attend school Monday - Thursday. Friday will be a remote learning from home day where students will connect remotely to their teachers with their iPads. 
Grades 6-12: Students will attend school at a 50% capacity. Students will attend school in person on their designated days based on their physical address on record in PowerSchool (not PO boxes or mailing address). If there is a question concerning your address, please contact the school office. Students will be split as follows:
Students with even-numbered house numbers for their physical address will report to school on Monday & Tuesday, and learn from home Wednesday - Friday.
Students with odd-numbered house numbers for their physical address will report to school on Wednesday & Thursday, and learn from home Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Please note that there can be no exceptions made as to ensure an equitable and safe socially distanced learning environment.
Special education students and other designated at-risk students will attend Monday - Thursday, with a remote learning from day Friday. Those students will be contacted to confirm their attendance schedule.
Students who have opted in for the Olympian Learning Connection (OLC) will learn from home Monday - Friday.  Information has already been sent out to those students and their families as far as details. Should any parents still want to opt in to the OLC option, please complete the online survey found on the main page of the JTASD website.
School Day Schedule
School starts on Tuesday September 8 for students.

Students will attend school on a shortened time schedule as follows:

Jim Thorpe Area High School: 7:50AM-1:45PM
L. B. Morris Schoo
l: 8:35 AM-2:15 PM
Penn-Kidder Campus: 8:35 AM-2:15 PM

School counselors and administrators are working to make the necessary changes to students’ schedules to reflect the above measures. As such, the PowerSchool Parent Portal will be opening the last week in August once all corrections are completed.

Transportation: Bus routes and schedules are being developed, reviewed and modified to best meet the social distancing guidelines outlined in the Health and Safety plan, with a bus capacity of 48 students. Details about student bus stops and times for pickup and drop off will be sent to parents in a communication next week and posted on the district website. Please note that students must wear a mask while riding on the school bus. Parents are encouraged to drive their student to school if they feel more comfortable doing so. For parent pick up of students from school at the K-8 schools, the district will be using a new program called PickUp Patrol to ensure a safe and efficient process. More information on how to use that program will follow next week from your child’s school. 

School Cafeteria: An email was sent last week in regards to SchoolCafe, the new school lunch payment system that is replacing MySchoolBucks. Parents are asked to sign up for an account, complete the free and reduced lunch eligibility application, and make deposits for their child’s lunch payments at the following website: https://www.schoolcafe.com/jtasd.  You can also download the SchoolCafe app for iOS or Android to complete these tasks. Also, please note that transactions for school lunches will be cashless, but checks, cash and money orders will be accepted in a sealed envelope clearly labeled with your child’s name, and should be handed to a Food Service team member at the breakfast station, or school office. Please see the district website for meal distribution for OLC, hybrid and Friday meal programs.  

Technology Distribution: Distribution of laptops and iPads is occurring over the next two weeks. Each school is sending out a schedule of times to pick up the devices. If you are unable to make one of the scheduled times, devices will be distributed on the first day of school.  In consideration of the economic impact of the pandemic, insurance premiums are being waived for the use of the technology. Should there be an issue resulting in damage to the iPad or computer, the insurance deductible requirements will still apply.

Should you have any questions regarding your child’s schedule, safety of the classroom or school, or how the district will mitigate the risks of COVID-19 exposure, please feel free to contact the school office. We are looking forward to getting back to the business of education and teaching your child, whether it be in-person or remotely.  Please stay safe and healthy.


2020-21 Re-opening School Resources


The Jim Thorpe Area School District has presented a  plan to reopen schools safely for the 2020-21 school year.  The presentation to the July 13, 2020 Curriculum Meeting is below as well as the  plan, which was approved by the school board on July 29, 2020, and submitted to PDE. 

JTASD Reopening Plan 2020-21 presentation 
Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan Template.pdf

 



The district's intent is to open in the yellow phase of the plan, contingent on current conditions, providing the following options for parents and their students:

Option #1: In-Person Learning 
The Jim Thorpe Area School District will offer a hybrid in-person learning environment with a remote learning day for students PreK - 12.  PreK - 5 will attend school in-person Monday - Thursday with Friday being a remote learning day from home. Grades 6 - 12 will attend school at 50% capacity, with half of the students attending school Monday and Tuesday and the other half of the students attending Wednesday and Thursday with Friday being a remote learning day for all students.  When not physically in school, students will connect with their teacher remotely via Google Meet on their school day schedule. The school day will be shortened to allow for remote learning delivery.



Option #2: Olympian Learning Connection (Remote Learning from Home)

The Jim Thorpe Area School District will offer a remote learning from home option called the Olympian Learning Connection (OLC).  Students will be taught the Jim Thorpe Area curriculum, be instructed by Jim Thorpe Area School District teachers, and be expected to follow the school day schedule set by the teacher.  They will utilize their district provided iPad or MacBook Air laptop.  Lessons will be synchronously (live instruction) delivered with some asynchronous (offline assignments) components as deemed necessary by the teacher as well as their specials classes.  Attendance will be taken, assignments will be completed and submitted and state mandated tests (PSSA’s/Keystones) will need to be administered under normal circumstances at the child’s school building at a determined day(s) once test schedules are established. Students in grades K-5 will have a designated teacher. Grades 6-12 will follow their normal school day schedule.
Parents need to complete this commitment form by Sunday, August 16 to sign up for the Olympian Learning Connection. The form can be found here:


Olympian Learning Connection Parent Signup Form
Olympian Learning Connection Fact Sheet (PDF)
OLC Parent & Student Agreement


Please see the videos below for a sample lesson conducted under this model:
Grades K-5: Sample Lesson
Grades 6-12: Sample Lesson


Option #3: eBridge Academy, Cyberschool/Charter School/HomeSchool
Parents still have the right to choose the district’s supported eBridge Academy program, homeschool, or enroll in a cyber/charter school program.
To help explain the options, please see the following resources:
Videos Grades K-5 Reopening Plan Video
Grades 6-12 Reopening Plan Video

Parent Informational Meeting 8-12-20

Resources

JTASD Reopening Plan Fact Sheet (PDF)
JTASD Parent Letter 8-24-20
Frequently Asked Questions
Modified Dress Code for 2020-21


Videos of the Reopening Plan presentation, parent informational meetings, and reopening videos are posted to the JTASD Olympian Way YouTube Channel.



JTASD COVID-19 Response Resource Page







 


    REMOTE LEARNING LINKS



    Technology Support

    If you are experiencing an issue with your student iPad or MacBook Air laptop, please complete the tech support request below for your school. All efforts will be made to reply within one school day. 

    Jim Thorpe Area High School
    Support formhttps://forms.gle/9LQCRy4PvTKauqvG9
    Computer technician: Stacey Tomko

    L. B. Morris School:
     
      Support form: https://forms.gle/D7VNRC6SAqUfdZNx8
    Computer technician: Wes Hurley

    Penn-Kidder Campus: 
    Support form: https://forms.gle/fypaPDRrFF9zJJRV9
    Computer technician: Orell Gaynor

    If you are unable to complete the form, please contact Jerome Brown, Director of Technology & Information Services at jbrownjr@jtasd.org or at 570-325-5139.

    Olympian Way

    Check out our new YouTube channel highlighting  Jim Thorpe Area School District pride and keeping everyone's spirit up.  There are teacher messages to students, story-reading, and much more to come.