What's Happening

Superintendent's Message: COVID-19 Response (March 26, 2020)

Effective Friday, March 20, 2020 at 4 p.m., the Jim Thorpe Area School District has Shut Down all School Buildings and the District Office due to the COVID-19. Essential staff have been designated to maintain the district operations during the district wide closure.   

Superintendent Letter: March 26, 2020

Dear JTASD Students, Parents, and Guardians:

My hope is this communication finds you and your family in good health.  We recognize this has been a difficult time period for many families as we all navigate social distancing, business and school closures and the associated challenges of the Coronavirus. I thank you for being patient and supportive over the past two weeks as we have experienced unprecedented challenges. The Jim Thorpe Administrators have been very busy as they rolled out the non-mandatory “Enrichment and Review” learning activities on the www.jimthorpesd.org website main page and under shortcuts organized relevant “Educational Sites” for students to complete during their time off.  Also, your Principals sent out a letter directing students to complete any outstanding assignments from the third marking period.  At this time, I encourage all students and parents to log into POWERSCHOOL to verify grades and to email their teachers to best determine if any school work is required to be handed in for the deadline of Monday, April 6.

Additionally, on Monday, March 23, Governor Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Public Schools will remain closed through Monday, April 6 and re-open for students as early as April 9.  As your Superintendent, I am not optimistic that this will be possible, so my administrative team has developed this e-learning plan:

  • In an effort to prepare for an extended school closure, the Jim Thorpe Area School District will be preparing teachers and staff for e-learning education involving a professional development day scheduled on Monday, April 6 to begin our “Continuity of Education” plan.  
  • Beginning Tuesday, April 7all Jim Thorpe Area School District students will be required to begin required “Planned Instruction” to complete the fourth marking period.  Essentially, all students will be learning at home through a series of structured activities that are teacher directed and graded.  This online format for learning will be leveraging the Project OLE (Olympian Learning Environment) one-to-one technology we have assigned to students.  In summary, the plan is to transition from non-mandatory “Enrichment and Review” to mandatory “Planned Instruction” on April 7.
  • For students to receive grades and credit, they will have to engage in and complete assignments as part of the course requirements.  Attendance will be addressed based on their completion of work.

We will be undertaking something we have never done before, and we recognize that challenges lie ahead.  To the best of our ability, our plan is to provide a reasonable and appropriate e-learning opportunity done in good faith.  In many ways, our administrators, teachers, and staff feel as though we are building a plane while it is in flight.  Will it be perfect?  Probably not.  But, we are ready to step up and answer the call for action.

Best Regards,
Superintendent Mr. Rushefski

The district is working to support the Olympian community during these challenging times. To that effect, the district is doing the following actions:

The district will be providing breakfast & lunch for all students in the Jim Thorpe Area School District. Pickup times are 11:00AM-12:30PM at the following locations: Jim Thorpe Area High School (curbside), Jim Thorpe Area District Office (parking lot), Penn-Kidder Campus (parent pickup), Penn Forest Fire Company #2 on Rt. 534, and Christ Lutheran Church.

Project OLE
The district has provided the opportunity for students to take home laptops and iPads in the interest of continuing their learning. While the district is not yet permitted to provide remote direct instruction, the district encourages students to take advantage of the numerous resources available on their computing devices for enrichment and review of academic skills. 

Continuation of Learning: Enrichment and Review
Recognizing the importance of keeping our students' minds engaged during this time, we encourage parents to set aside a regular time each day for students to continue their learning through enrichment and review. The following resources have been provided for parents to use at home:

JTASD Suggested Guidelines for K-12 Learning
JTASD Educational Resources
Educational Companies offering Temporary Free Services
Live Webcams and Virtual Field Trips

All buildings in the district are going through an enhanced cleaning process. Access to the facilities has been restricted to essential district personnel only. No outside organizations are permitted to use the facilities.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Finally, the district has provided some resources on talking with your children about the coronavirus, as well as links and resources from the PA Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.  We encourage you to review the procedures for taking the proper precautions to keep you and your family safe during this time. 

Teaching Students about Coronavirus 
COVID-19 Resources and Links

We will continue to update these resources and communicate with you via our SchoolMessenger alert system with phone calls and emails, our website and social media. Please make sure your information is updated so we can reach out to you.  We will get through this together united as an Olympian community.