COVID-19 Update 6 (3/26/20)

Superintendent Letter: March 26, 2020
Posted on 03/26/2020
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 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 30, Governor Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Public Schools will remain closed UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  As your Superintendent, I have directed my administrative team to develop 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