Good Afternoon Keystone Oaks Families, Staff and Community,
As we approach mid-August, we know and understand that many in our community are waiting for plans for the 2020-2021 school year to be finalized. Please know that we are working diligently to prepare for a return to school that provides the safest environment possible for students and staff, while also working with the new and changing guidelines provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. We appreciate your continued patience and flexibility.
Next week, the Keystone Oaks Board of School Directors will vote on a revised 2020-2021 Academic Year Calendar, which will move the first day of school to Tuesday, September 8, 2020. This change is necessary as the District has not yet received a shipment of new Chromebooks that is needed in order to provide every student in grades 2-12 with a device to start the school year. Additionally, Chromebooks for kindergarten and first grade students are expected to arrive in mid-September; moving the start date back by one week will limit the amount of instructional days that students are without a district-provided device.
Please find the Keystone Oaks School District’s revised plan below. You can also watch my latest video, where I explain the new schedule.
Monday, August 24: First Day for Teachers
Teachers’ Professional Development: Monday, August 24 through Thursday, August 27. Between Friday, August 28 and Friday, September 4, teachers will be in their classrooms for one clerical day.
Monday, August 31 through Friday, September 4: Materials Distribution & Orientation Events
Staff members will distribute Chromebooks and classroom materials for Keystone Oaks students in grades 2 through 12. Families will receive communication from their child’s building principal with an assigned timeframe to pick up their device. Additionally, building principals will be scheduling orientation events for new students as well as students entering 6th and 9th grade. Please look for more information soon.
Tuesday, September 8: First Day of School for Students in Grades 1-12
At this time, we are planning to start on September 8 with the three educational options in place:
In Person, Hybrid Learning - Students will be divided into two cohorts and will attend classes in-person two days per week, while participating online the other three days. This is necessary in order to limit the number of individuals in the building and to maintain social distancing on the bus, in classrooms, and in other areas of the building.
Online Synchronous Learning - Live online learning with Keystone Oaks teachers. Elementary students will be assigned a teacher that will be responsible only for live online learning. Middle and high school students will follow a block schedule, watching their teachers instruct live from their classrooms.
Keystone Oaks Cyber Academy - Asynchronous learning in partnership with Waterfront Learning.
Tuesday, September 8 through Friday, September 11: Kindergarten Orientation Week
Kindergarten teachers will schedule one-on-one orientation sessions with Kindergarten students and a parent/guardian.
Monday, September 14: First Day of Instruction for Kindergarten
Please note: While we are preparing to start the school year with the hybrid learning option in place, we must also continue to monitor the COVID-19 Incident & Positivity Rates within Allegheny County and be mindful of the Guidelines from the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education in regards to recommended delivery models for instruction based on the Incident & Positivity Rates in Allegheny County.
Additionally, at this time, we will not be offering In-Person Learning for five days, as doing so would prohibit the District from maintaining six feet of distancing as well as from effectively implementing a number of health and safety measures, which are outlined in the District’s Health and Safety Plan and which can be found on the District’s website. We are focused on doing everything we can to maintain a healthy learning environment so that we can continue to offer in-person learning.
Again, thank you for your continued support. We look forward to welcoming students back into the building in a few weeks!
William P. Stropkaj, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Keystone Oaks School District