Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)


The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority. With the recent news reports of cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, we want to ensure families that Williamsport Area School District is working to stay well informed and developing an action plan in the event a case is confirmed in or around Lycoming County. Please use this page for continued updates, announcements and information related to COVID-19. For a list of official resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, click here

Frequently Asked Questions on School Closure    Educational Resources During School Closure

Grab-n-Go Meal Services Info    Social/Emotional Resources for Parents

Continuity of Education Plan    Frequently Asked Questions for WAHS Seniors

Distribution of Technology

Updates


Update: April 9, 2020 — 6:30 p.m.

Note: The following information is intended
for families that do not have a technology device (their own or district-loaned) or do not have reliable access to the internet for their child(ren)’s online learning

During the school closure, the Williamsport Area School District’s preferred learning platform is using technology and online communication tools to connect personally with students and families.  We urge all families to participate online where your students will have the opportunity of daily contact with a teacher who is a resource for questions and support.

The Williamsport Area School District has also prepared and will make available printed at-home learning guides for families who cannot use the district’s online learning platforms. It is stressed that these resources are meant for families and homes where there are significant technology and internet issues that prevent them from accessing the online learning platform.  Families should only request at-home paper learning guides when absolutely necessary for the most challenging cases.

These resources must be requested through your child’s building’s main office where you will leave a voicemail of the request. Arrangements will need to be made how these materials will be picked up by the family, as well as provide a primary contact name and contact information. Families opting for this format must also commit and be prepared to participate in weekly calls from school staff to assess learning.

The learning guides are designed to provide independent practice for students through valuable, self-directed exercises. The guides will maintain student engagement in learning, are designed to reinforce and review key concepts previously taught in the classroom.

In order to deliver more practice for students in becoming more secure in standards and skills, the guides are compiled in the following core subject areas by grade level:

  • Grades K-6: Math and Reading
  • Grades 7-12: Math, Reading, Science and Social Studies

The material should contain enough lessons for a seven- to eight-week period. We suggest incorporating these lessons with other at-home activities, such as independent reading, journal writing, science activities, physical exercise, and other activities while still practicing social distancing.

Throughout this closure period, a district employee will call to check up on your child’s progress. Families will need to commit to participating in these progress check calls.

Key Reminders:

  • Paper curriculum guides should only be requested if a family does not have technology or internet access in their household.
  • Families will need to request at-home learning guides through their building offices and provide information on how materials will be picked up, primary contact, and contact information.
  • Families that have already received a technology device are not eligible to receive both a device and paper learning guide.
  • The guides will maintain student engagement in learning, designed to reinforce and review key concepts previously taught in the classroom.

Update: April 9, 2020 —12:23 p.m.

By order Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this morning, all schools across the Commonwealth, including Williamsport Area School District, will remain closed through the end of the academic year. Details and implications of this declaration are not yet known.

Virtual and remote learning for students will continue as planned, beginning on Monday, April 13. As a reminder, details of our continuity of education plan are available here. As always, we’ll continue to provide updates here and on our social media pages.


Update: April 1, 2020 — 11:14 a.m.

As we continue our transition to an online learning platform, we will distribute technology devices to WASD families in need next week. Details of this plan can be found by clicking here.

Please note that a mailing to all student homes will be sent today with these and other details, and another mailing will be sent by your child's school next week with more specific details as to how online learning will work for your child at their grade level(s).


Update: March 31, 2020 — 2:01 p.m.

We are aware of the implications this closure could have on our students, particularly our senior class, and we've been getting many questions regarding the implications of the shutdown on year-end events and activities. We've now created a frequently asked questions page for our seniors to help provide some guidance and information.


Update: March 30, 2020 — 2:54 p.m.

Effective today by order of Gov. Tom Wolf, all schools in the Commonwealth, including WASD, will remain CLOSED until further notice.


Update: March 27, 2020 — 6:15 p.m.

Dear Williamsport Area School District Families, Friends and Community:

I hope this message finds you and your families safe and healthy. This is an anxious time for everyone, and I’m sure many of you are eager to get back to learning.

Today would have marked the end of our initial two-week closure, though, as you know by now, the governor has extended that closure until at least April 6. While I’m hopeful we’ll see the return to our normal schedules and daily routines soon, we can’t know for sure how long this unprecedented and evolving situation will continue.

Since the statewide shutdown on March 13, our administrative team has been working remotely while closely monitoring the health crisis. We’ve also been working in accordance with the governor’s mandates and the guidance of the Pennsylvania Department of Education on how to proceed with our operations.

The last two weeks have been filled with around-the-clock planning on what this closure means for our employees and students, and how we can transition to a virtual learning platform if we have to endure an even longer shutdown. We’ve also swiftly implemented a meal assistance program, which has, to date, experienced a distribution of more than 1,600 meals for students. As you may have seen, we’ll be modifying this program beginning on Monday to further reduce face-to-face interaction. While the program remains at the same locations during the same time, increased meal supplies will only be distributed on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The emergency amendments made to the school code bill mandate that school districts develop and post to their websites a Continuity of Education Plan. Although each of us strongly believes that direct, face-to-face instruction is the best method of teaching, these are extraordinary times. We can only do our best, which will require flexibility, understanding, and dedication to our students to provide the best alternative to the physical classroom. This Continuity of Education plan will be discussed and professionally developed between April 1 and April 9 as we all prepare for our students to reengage in their learning on April 13. 

We understand many questions remain. Given the uncertainty of the situation, we ask for your continued patience and understanding as we work to develop alternative plans or find those answers. Rest assured, we will provide them as soon as possible and post answers to the district’s website (last updated March 27).

As always, we are thankful to all of those that have reached out to us to volunteer time and to help in any way.  We are appreciative for all of your support and sharing positive messages and keeping our families engaged during this time.

Sincerely,

Tim Bowers

Dr. Timothy S. Bowers
Superintendent


Update: March 25, 2020 — 1:00 p.m.

The Williamsport Area School District will adjust operations to its meal assistance program beginning Monday, March 30.

In order to reduce daily face-to-face interaction in the growing number of cases of COVID-19 across the Commonwealth and to further limit the number of employees in its buildings, the meal assistance program will only operate on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

However, Monday’s bagged meals will include two breakfasts and two lunches, and Wednesday’s bags will include three breakfasts and three lunches. Meals will continue to be offered at the following locations:

  • Curtin Intermediate School, 85 Eldred St., at Doors 9 and 10 on the east side of the building (enter on Mulberry Street and exit onto Eldred Street).
  • Lycoming Valley Intermediate School, 1825 Hays Lane, along the front of the building.
  • Stevens Primary School, 1150 Louisa St, along the front entrance of the building.
  • Williamsport Area Middle School, 2800 West Fourth St., at the front entrance of the building/parent drop-off loop.

The district launched its meal assistance program for all students 18 years of age and younger on March 17 following Gov. Tom Wolf’s mandated statewide school closure on March 13, which was extended on Monday through at least April 6.

To date, the district has served more than 1,200 meals to students and families.

Reminders:
Children benefiting from this program must be present to receive bagged meals. Meals are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The above locations are open to all students, not just those who attend these specific buildings. Parents do not need to be with their child(ren) for students to receive bagged meals.

Food distribution is “grab-and-go” in format. Facilities are not be open as a location in which students and families may eat, and those who come to our buildings are not congregate at these locations. The district reminds families that all buildings are closed to the public, and no access beyond meal pickup is permitted. 


Update: March 23, 2020 — 3:14 p.m.

Under the order of Gov. Tom Wolf, the statewide school closure has been extended for students through at least April 9. 


Update: March 20, 2020 — 12:33 p.m.

We all know this is a difficult and stressful time for all adults across the country, but it is also important that we address the social and emotional needs of our children.

Many children struggle to understand what is going on currently with the coronavirus pandemic and why they cannot go to school or play with their friends. As a district, we believe that it was important to share with you some resources that may assist you in talking to your child about the COVID-19, and to help you assist with their stress during this situation. Also included with our list are some local resources should your child have significant mental or emotional needs.

The most important thing we can do right now on a daily basis is to reinforce to children that they are safe, not to be afraid, to answer their questions and try to keep them in some sort of routine at home.


Update: March 19, 2020 — 4:39 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education announced today the cancellation of all PSSA testing and Keystone exams for the 2019-2020 school year as a result of COVID-19. This includes the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA). For more information, click here to view PDE's official announcement.


Update: March 19, 2020 — 12:56 p.m.

Effective immediately, the Tax Office will be closed to the public. For contact information, please visit the Tax Office website by clicking here.


Update: March 19, 2020 — 9:09 a.m.

The district is receiving questions about whether we will try to remotely provide instruction to students at home. We recognize the challenges and limitations for all homes having the needed access to technology devices and Internet capabilities to deliver meaningful and equitable online instruction. For these reasons, the district is not requiring online learning as a replacement to classroom instruction, which would be inconsistent, inequitable and, for some homes, impossible. 

However, we have added an Educational Enrichment Resources section to this website, a list curated by our WASD curriculum team.


Update: March 17, 2020 — 3:30 p.m.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of our community as we navigate this unprecedented situation. Throughout the process, we want to be sure that we are keeping you informed and answering your questions to the best of our ability. Click here to find a running list of frequently asked questions. Please use this as your initial resource before reaching out to the district with any questions you may have of your own. We encourage you to check this page often for any updates.


Update: March 15, 2020 — 4:38 p.m.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, the district will provide free bagged lunches and breakfasts on weekdays for all students 18 years of age and younger from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following WASD schools:

Curtin Intermediate School, 85 Eldred St.
Distribution location: Doors 9 and 10 on the east side of the building (enter on Mulberry Street and exit onto Eldred Street)

Lycoming Valley Intermediate School, 1825 Hays Lane
Distribution location: Along the front of the building

Stevens Primary School, 1150 Louisa St.
Update: Distribution location: Drive-up will take place at the rear of the building in the parking lot from Rural Avenue. Walk-up will take place along the front of the building along Louisa Street.

Williamsport Area Middle School, 2800 West Fourth St.
Distribution location: Front entrance/parent drop-off loop

Clarification: Please note that these locations are open to all students, not just those who attend these specific buildings. Parents do not need to be with their child(ren) for students to receive bagged meals.

Children benefiting from this program must be present to receive bagged meals. Meals will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Food distribution will simply be “grab-and-go” in format. Our facilities will not be open as a location in which our students and families may eat, and we ask those who come to our buildings for meals to not congregate at these locations. Please be advised that our buildings are closed to the public, and no access beyond meal pickup will be permitted.

(Note: Adjustments or modifications may be made to this plan to meet demand, if needed, and will be communicated.)

Thanks to the generosity of our community, alternative meal options also are available for free at a number of businesses and organizations. For the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of locations providing free meals, click here.


Update: March 15, 2020 — 4:12 p.m.

Limited school personnel will be available at each WASD school tomorrow Monday, March 16, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for parents and/or guardians to retrieve student medication and any critical items that may be needed while schools are closed. It is imperative that parents/guardians retrieve these items tomorrow. It will not be possible to pick up any items beyond tomorrow until schools re-open, as staff will not be working. Critical items include only phones/electronic devices/coats. Other non-critical student items will be secured in schools until students return.


Update: March 13, 2020 — 5:52 p.m.

As mandated by Gov. Tom Wolf, all K-12 public schools in the Commonwealth will close for two weeks, effective Monday, March 16. WASD officials just learned of this directive and will provide additional communication as plans develop. 

  • SAT testing scheduled to take place at Williamsport Area High School tomorrow, March 14, is cancelled.
  • Effective immediately, ALL school-based events, activities and performances (including athletics), either on-site or off-site, are suspended or cancelled at this time.

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