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March 8: KOMS & KOHS moving to four days of in-person instruction

After reviewing survey responses from District employees along with the number of students who want to commit to in-person instruction, and with Pennsylvania entering its second consecutive week of moderate transmission of COVID-19, the Keystone Oaks School District is planning to move to four days of in-person instruction for Keystone Oaks Middle School and High School students only on Monday, March 8, 2021.

Please know that our goal is also to expand the number of days of in-person instruction for K-5 students. The three elementary building principals are working diligently to make this possible. The way that elementary classes were organized at the start of the school year to accommodate hybrid in-person and online synchronous instruction is making it challenging to expand to four days of instruction without creating large classes or changing homeroom assignments. We appreciate your patience as we work through these logistical challenges. 

Here are the approximate number of middle and high students that will be present in the Middle School and High Schools for in-person instruction: 

    Keystone Oaks Middle School - Approximately 225

    Keystone Oaks High School - Approximately 265

These are relatively low numbers compared to our overall student population and we will be able to maintain six feet of physical distancing in the large majority of our classrooms. In classrooms where six feet cannot be maintained, the building principal and the classroom teachers are working together to either move classes to a large space or to install clear plastic shields on student desks. In most cases, these classrooms only have 2 or 3 extra student desks. Six feet of physical distancing will be maintained in lunch areas. 

If you are uncomfortable with these health and safety measures and would like to switch your student to Option #2: Online Synchronous Learning, please reach out to Middle School Principal Dr. Kattan ([email protected]) or High School Principal Mr. Linnert ([email protected]) by 3 p.m. on Monday, March 1, 2021. 

As the district transitions to four days of in-person instruction, the following will be in place: 

  • Students who have selected to participate in in-person instruction are expected to be physically present in class four days per week.

  • Students who have selected the in-person instruction may only participate online for approved medical reasons, including quarantine related to COVID-19, or with prior approval from the building principal. 

  • Students who miss two consecutive days of in-person instruction, without a legitimate excuse such as for illness, will be moved to Option #2: Online Synchronous Learning. 

  • Each building principal will maintain a “waiting list” of students who want to attend in-person classes and will reach out to those families as space becomes available. 

  • The District will continue to follow the state’s mandates and/or guidelines related to building closures once a certain threshold of positive COVID cases is reached. The District will continue to report positive cases of COVID.

  • Masks are still mandated as per the Governor of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  

  • Requirements related to travel and quarantine are still in place. Please remember that all educational trips must be pre-approved by the building principal. Students over the age of 11 who travel outside of Pennsylvania for more than 24 hours, must either:

    • Receive a COVID-19 test at the destination with 72 hours of returning. 

    • Return to PA, quarantine for 5 days, and receive a negative COVID-19 test. With a negative result, individuals may return after the 7th day. 

    • Return to PA and quarantine for 10 days. 

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate the challenging circumstances of the 2020/2021 school year. We encourage you to continue to follow health and safety guidelines at all times so that we can continue to offer in-person instruction. Please also remember to report exposure to COVID-19 or positive cases of COVID-19 to your school nurse, Mrs. Lochie ([email protected]) and Mrs. Welch ([email protected]).