COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS

Welcome

 

In order to provide current information and resources to our school community, the District has developed this page to COVID-19.  This site will include a timeline of communication messages and links to resources.  This page is intended to provide the MNSD community with information and resources regarding COVID-19.  Our District continues to closely monitor the situation and take guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  Our leadership team has partnered with a countywide team, which includes the Delaware County School Districts and Intermediate Unit, Delaware County Council, Delaware County Intercommunity Health, and Delaware County Emergency Services, as well as local law enforcement.  

 

Messages from the Superintendent

 

May 18, 2020

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

As our school year comes to a close, we wanted to reach out to our senior students, and their families, to discuss a subject that is on everyone's mind - graduation. 

 

Students and school districts across the Commonwealth and the Country are managing the same COVID-19 school restrictions situation.  The statewide school closure has limited our ability to fully host end-of-the-year school events. For graduating seniors, we understand the significance of a ceremonial graduation, and we very much want to be able to honor our seniors. We share the disappointment that we are restricted from holding our traditional graduation ceremony at this time.

 

Please know we share a common mindset for the seniors to have a proper graduation and believe that we will be able to host a ceremony where seniors can walk in-person to receive their MNSD diploma, as will be described in more detail in this communication.

 

The safety and security of all students and school communities are a priority. However, I hope you realize some school closure guidelines are not ours to decide and supersede our local authority.

 

Pennsylvania Department of Education and PA Governor Rules

Although Pennsylvania Department of Education continues to state that graduations are left up to individual school districts, they have not relieved school districts from abiding by the Governor's phased reopening plan.  Meaning, since Delaware County is still in the "red" phase, we cannot gather in groups of more than 10 people.

 

When closure restrictions are lifted by the Governor, schools may consider the appropriateness of holding such gatherings.

 

Therefore, in accordance with Governor Wolf's Process to Reopen Pennsylvania:

 

Schools located in counties or regions that are in the red phase may only hold virtual events for graduation and other traditional end of school year ceremonies. Large gatherings are prohibited and travel should be limited to life-sustaining purposes.

 

Schools located in counties or regions in the yellow phase are limited to gatherings of no more than 25 people and must follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health guidance for social distancing.

 

Schools located in counties or regions in the green phase may conduct unrestricted in-person activities as long as they follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines.

 

According to Pennsylvania Department of Education, in all instances, schools must work to prevent or mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of the communities in which they reside or serve. Schools should employ remote or virtual methods whenever and wherever possible and strive to minimize opportunities for personal interaction because such interactions provide greater opportunities for the transmission of COVID-19.

 

 

What we have to abide by

Unless the Governor changes his plan to the “green” phase, we cannot hold any event which involves more than a gathering of 25 people.  It is important to keep in mind our own staff managing any of the events is included in the number who gather. The plans we had made and were looking forward to hosting are no longer options at this time. These plans included:

  • A Drive-in style ceremony because of the limit of 10 or 25 people at a gathering.
  • A Tiger Recognition Awards and Graduation virtual in-person viewing. We had reserved a jumbo screen to show both of these events, however, these theatre style show option would include anywhere from 100 – 500 or more cars in a location, which would violate the “red” and “yellow” phase restrictions. Therefore, this option is no longer viable.

 

What we are doing to try to find a solution

The graduation ceremony is one of the most important events in the lives of our students. Our administrative team has spent hours and hours trying to come up with a plan that rewards our seniors but also abides by the law.

  • Senior lawn signs were created and distributed to students by offering four (4) distributions.
  • A virtual Tiger Recognition Awards video has been recorded and finalized to honor those students who have received awards.
  • A virtual graduation is being recorded this coming Wednesday, May 20th and Thursday, May 21st. In an effort to include parents in the individual student graduation recording, we will be allowing parents to watch their student walk across the stage as their senior’s name is announced and have the opportunity to have a family picture. All social distancing protocols must be followed during this scheduled event. Mr. Beltrante will send an updated communication along with the schedule to families.  Please understand the recordings will be completed over two days and additional recording dates will not be made available due to the videographer and photographers schedules.
  • Plans are being finalized for a Graduation Senior Car Parade with the support of the Marple and Newtown Township Police Departments. When the details are finalized, Mr. Beltrante will send a communication to families.

 

What we are committed to

  • As previously communicated, we remain committed to holding an in-person formal graduation ceremony. When Delaware County is moved into the “green” phrase, we intend to hold an in-person graduation at MNHS weather permitted on the football field.
    • If we are moved to the “green” phase before July 17th, we will hold our ceremony on Friday, July 17th.
    • If we are moved to the “green” phase after July 17th, but before the week of August 7th, our ceremony will be held on Friday, August 7th.
    • If not in the “green” phase by August 7th, then our ceremony will be held on Wednesday,      November 25th.
    • If a graduation ceremony has not been held yet by that date. Then our ceremony will be held on Wednesday, November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving, for an in-person graduation, followed by a senior social, then the seniors would be honored during the home football game.
    • If an in-person graduation has taken place by this time, on Wednesday, November 25th, we will still plan to a hold a senior social and honor the seniors during the football game.
  • The Senior Prom is scheduled for June 19th at the Springfield County Club. However, this will only go forward if we are in the “green” phase. If we are not in the “green” phase another date will need to be made.
  • The summer issue of IN Community magazine MNSD section has been dedicated to seniors. The final proof is being finalized for a near submission deadline.
  • The Marple Newtown 4th of July Committee has graciously agreed and is excited to include the seniors in the annual community parade to honor the students. 

 

We realize that the other rising classes such as 8th grade, 5th grade, and Kindergarten Promotions have also be held off due to our current situation. The District will also hold in-person programs when Delaware County moves to the “green” phase. Building Principals will communicate those details in the coming weeks.

 

We sincerely hope our seniors and their families understand the challenges our District has faced with planning these end of the year event, especially graduation, while upholding the restriction opposed upon us from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the PA Governor.

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

______________________________________________________________________________________________

May 13, 2020

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Parents/Guardians:

 

Due to the abrupt closure of schools as of March 16, 2020, many students left behind personal belongings in the school buildings. The District plans to return student items during the weeks of May 18th and May 25th.

 

For Elementary Students

  • The Building Administration has gathered your student’s personal belongings from their desk and cubbie. Your student’s personal belongings have been placed in a bag bearing your student’s name and will be returned to you by means of a contactless drive-through delivery process.
  • Each Building Principal will communicate each school’s date, time, and location for pick up.
  • Student medication will be returned by the school nurse during this distribution process.
  • If your student has any District property at home which is to be returned at the end of the school year and which is not currently being used to complete school work, such as library books, please bring those items with you when you retrieve your student’s personal belongings so that they can be collected by the District.
  • Musical instrument returns and/or pick up will be communicated by the Building Principal.
  • The District will communicate instructions at a later date for the return of District-issued laptops which are being used by students to complete coursework.

 

For PHMS and MNHS Students

  • The District will gather your student’s personal belongings from your child’s assigned school locker and other areas which have been specifically designated as storage for your student’s personal belongings, such as, for example, athletic lockers or instrument storage.
  • If you choose to opt out of this process and have your student enter the buildings to retrieve their own belongings, you must email your child’s Building Principal of this request no later than 12:00pm on Sunday, May 17, 2020. Requests may be granted, but you and your student will be subject to strict adherence and guidelines. These strict adherences and guidelines will be communicated to parents upon request for their student to enter the buildings.
  • Monday, May 18, 2020, student personal belongings will begin to be gathered, by Building Administrators, from student lockers and other specifically designated storage locations.
  • Your student’s personal belongings will be placed in a bag bearing your child’s name and will be returned to you by means of a contactless drive-through delivery process.
  • In the event that illegal and prohibited items are found, they will not be returned to your student, and such items will be properly disposed of by the District.
  • The District will keep possession of any District property in your student’s locker which is to be returned at the end of the school year, such as, for example, textbooks and library books. The District will record that such items have been returned by your student.
  • If your student has any District property at home which is to be returned at the end of the school year and which is not currently being used to complete school work, such as library books, please bring those items with you when you retrieve your student’s personal belongings so that they can be collected by the District.
  • All athletic uniforms and equipment must be returned.
  • Musical instrument returns and/or pick up will be communicated by the Building Principal.
  • Each Building Principal will communicate each school’s date, time, and location for pick up.
  • Student medication will be returned by the school nurse during this distribution process.
  • The District will communicate instructions at a later date for the return of District-issued laptops which are being used by students to complete coursework.

 

By engaging in this process, you understand and agree that the District is not responsible for any loss, damage, or theft relating to your student’s personal belongings and that you will comply with all instructions from the District regarding the pickup of your student’s personal belongings. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this distribution process.

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane

______________________________________________________________________________________________

May 1, 2020, 7:00pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

I hope that you and your families are well. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.  This communication will provide you with recent District updates.

 

District Calendar Changes

At last evening’s public School Board meeting, several necessary changes were approved to this school year’s instructional calendar.  The calendar is included in this email communication and can be found on our website. The most noteworthy changes are:

Friday, May 22nd        No school

Monday, May 25th     No school

Friday, June 12th        Last student day; K-12

 

“End of the Year” Events

The District understands how important the milestones of “end of the year” events are to our students and families as well as to all of us. The MNSD Leadership Team is finalizing “end of the year” events, and the details regarding these events will be communicated by the building principals in the coming weeks.

 

Student Item Pick up/Drop Off

We understand that students have the need to retrieve their belongings from schools. With school closure guidelines and social distancing limitations your understanding and patience through the stay-at-home orders is very much appreciated. The MNSD Leadership Team is finalizing plans for students to retrieve their items. Building principals will communicate the details with families in the near future.

 

Elementary Report Cards

The MNSD Leadership Team wants to provide a report card that would honor all the learning that has taken place in our new educational landscape. With that in mind, a Priority Standards Report Card report has been created that is reflective of those efforts. This elementary Priority Standards Report Cards, for both ELA and Math, focus upon the PA Core Standards that would have been addressed from the point of school closure until the end of the school year. These standards would have been taught either through exposure or deeper learning, which would have been assessed either in a formative or summative manner. The elementary teachers and MNSD Leadership Team worked together in the creation of these one page documents. The report cards will be shared with the School Board and MNSD community during a presentation at our upcoming CIT meeting.

 

Teacher Appreciation

Eight weeks ago, schools were abruptly closed, but that did not mean that the school year was over.  The MNSD faculty continued to work diligently every day, making sure their students were receiving new assignments, connecting online, and attending virtual meetings.  Our faculty responded as a school community, learning from each other and emerging with weekly instructional plans for our students.

 

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and I would like to acknowledge and thank the faculty for all of their efforts and continued commitment to this new teaching platform.  MNSD is grateful for all of our faculty members.

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

April 21, 2020, 5:00pm

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Marple Newtown High School Class of 2020 and Guardians,

 

Students and school districts across the Commonwealth and the Country are managing the same COVID-19 school restrictions situation.  The statewide school closure has limited our ability to fully host end of the year school events. For graduating seniors, I understand how important the milestones of end of the year events are to you as well as the significance of a ceremonial graduation is to all of us. I too, am very disappointed for all of our students and even more for the seniors.  I hope you realize some school closure guidelines are not mine to decide and supersede my local authority.

 

Mr. Beltrante and the entire high school administrative team have discussed with me, at length, on multiple occasions various options for conducting end of the year events and most importantly graduation.  Please know we share a common mindset for the seniors to have a proper graduation and hope that we will be able to host a ceremony where seniors can walk in person to receive their MNSD diploma.  As a Leadership Team, we have been open to any and all suggestions and are making every effort to plan for special events for the seniors and their families.

 

The below list provides an overview and outline of events and important details. As more details are developed, information will be communicated. These events will include photography and video. If a senior or guardian does not wish to be part of these events, either the student or guardian must opt out by sending an email to Mr. Beltrante at jbeltrante@mnsd.org by April 30th.  Otherwise, student pictures and/or video clips will be included in productions. 

 

Senior Student Leadership Meetings

  • Each Friday, senior student leaders will meet with me, along with Mr. Beltrante, the Senior Class Advisors, and the Faculty Graduation Coordinators.
  • Seniors are encouraged to reach out to the senior leaders to offer suggestions and provide feedback so together we can work productively with the MNSD Leadership Team to develop plans for our graduating seniors.

 

MNHS Lawn Signs

  • To show our support for the senior class, a MNHS lawn sign has been designed for the senior class of 2020.
  • This sign is expected to be printed and delivered to the District by the end of next week.
  • Mr. Beltrante will communicate the plan for distribution when the signs are available. Below is an image of the MNSD lawn sign.

 

MNSDClassof2020

 

Senior Project Graduation Requirement

  • Mr. Beltrante and I have requested to have the Senior Project waived as it currently is defined and replaced with an alternative assignment.
  • Since Senior Project is a graduation requirement, this final decision will require School Board approval, which is pending for April 30th.

 

Last Day for Senior Work Completion

  • Seniors who are in good academic standing and have met graduation requirements, will be released from future school work on May 15th.
  • Seniors who are not in good academic standing and in need of assignment completion to meet graduation requirements, will be able to fulfill their obligations through June 5th.  

 

Senior Prom

  • As of now, the prom has been rescheduled for June 19th at Springfield County Club. 
  • In the event Springfield County Club is not able to host, the District has discussed summer and fall dates at MNHS.

 

Tiger Recognition Awards

  • The awards ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, June 3rd.
  • Students receiving an award will be notified by email from the Faculty Graduation Coordinators.
  • A virtual awards ceremony is being planned, unless the social distancing mandate is lifted.

 

Graduation

  • The ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, June 11th.
  • Our Leadership Team remains hopeful that an in-person graduation can be hosted. The timing of an in-person event is questionable, however, we would very much like to be able to continue graduation in some capacity. With the uncertainty of the timing of an in-person graduation, virtual ceremonies are being planned and details are still being discussed.
  • A Drive-in/Drive-by style Commencement has been discussed and is very much being considered if social distancing restrictions can be ensured.
  • Mr. Beltrante has contacted Villanova and requested dates in July, August, and November around Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Villanova will not schedule any summer events.
  • MNHS is also an option for the ceremony for dates in June, July, August, and November dependent upon social distancing restrictions.

 

IN Community Magazine

  • The summer issue of IN Community magazine MNSD section has been dedicated to seniors.
  • A team including administrators and faculty have begun the preparation for the magazine.

 

4th of July Parade

  • The Marple Newtown 4th of July Committee has graciously agreed and is excited to include the seniors in the annual community parade to honor the students. 

 

Thank you for your support and understanding as we continue to develop end of the year plans to celebrate and honor the successes of our graduating seniors.

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________

April 17, 2020, 7:00pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

I hope this communication finds you and your loved ones well. 

 

The primary goal of the MNSD Continuity of Education (COE) Plan is to provide a level of learning that is meaningful, manageable, and motivating to our students. Thank you to all the guardians who completed the recent survey. The MNSD Leadership Team reviewed all the feedback and made adjustments to our COE Plan based on your input. Overall, we were delighted to receive the positive and kind words of feedback from our MNSD families.

 

As a result of the feedback provided from the Elementary Guardian Surveys, some adjustments were made to make access to the provided learning assignments and activities more manageable for our MNSD families. Going forward, all learning assignments and associated links will be provided in one place to avoid the challenges of navigating to multiple sites for different subject areas.

 

  • Grade levels K-2 will provide a weekly assignment “To Do” sheet.
  • Grade levels 3-5 will provide a weekly calendar for our students and guardians to prioritize the learning assignments for the week in advance.
  • Teachers of grade levels K-5 will now provide a video or audio screencast of the assigned work and expectations of learning for the following week. The screencast allows for students and guardians to access this information at any time during the course of the week if needed.  

 

Another area of enhancement was the addition of more non-digital learning opportunities where students could apply their learning of concepts to new situations in an authentic manner. This addition honors the need for purposeful play and innovative thinking. It also gives students opportunities to demonstrate their understanding through a performance based task as opposed to a digital submission. Teachers will include a space for students to share about their learning experience in the lesson planning section.

 

An increase in the virtual presence and connectivity of our teachers was a common thread of feedback provided at both the elementary and secondary levels.  Teachers at the elementary level will be providing at least one virtual video or audio instructional lesson in addition to the provided screencast overview. Teachers at the secondary level will provide at least one virtual instructional lesson in audio or video format through the course of the week.

 

One other adjustment is that assignments will now be posted Friday by the end of the school day for the following week. This timing will allow students two additional days, which offers more flexibility for access and preparation for time management, especially for families who are sharing devices.

 

This past week, each of our schools had a team of faculty members make phone calls to guardians to check in and have personal conversations to maintain family connections. Our intention for making personal contact is to remain connected to our student and parents. If guardians did not answer the phone call, voice messages 

and in some cases email communications were made as an additional follow up in an effort to make personal contact. I am pleased to share that overwhelmingly families were excited to receive a call and grateful to maintain the school connection. We are committed to following this path for the coming weeks.

 

As the school year continues virtually, I understand students and guardians have questions regarding end of the year events, especially for those students promoting to another school building and for our graduating seniors.  The MNSD Leadership Team has been discussing possibilities to celebrate these milestone events and successes.

 

This afternoon, I met with MNHS senior student leaders to share ideas we have generated and asked for the students’ feedback and collaboration.  The students reacted very positively to the suggestions and emerging plans. To share a few of the details with the entire school community our Leadership Team remains hopeful to hosting an in-person graduation. The timing of an in-person event is questionable, however, we would very much like to be able to continue graduation at some capacity. With the uncertainty of the timing of an in-person graduation, virtual ceremonies are being planned and details are still being discussed. To show our support for the senior class, a MNHS lawn sign has been designed for the senior class of 2020. The Marple Newtown 4th of July Committee has graciously agreed and is excited to include the seniors in the annual community parade to honor the students.  Seniors can expect their own communication regarding more details in the days and weeks to come.

 

I sincerely hope you remain healthy and well. We’re all in this together MNSD.  This evening I share a video from the High School Musical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlRvE9dKWQc

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________

April 9, 2020, 12:00pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

This morning, Governor Wolf announced that all Pennsylvania K-12 schools and programs are closed through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

 

I understand this end of the school year closure raises many questions and is disappointing for so many of us.  The District will communicate answers to questions as decisions are made. Under these circumstances, the paramount focus is protecting everyone’s health.

 

The MNSD Continuity of Education Plan will continue as scheduled on Monday, April 13th. Our MNSD Leadership Team is committed to adapting the plan as needed during this extraordinary situation. 

 

Please take good care of yourself and your loved ones and continue to support one another. We are all in this together Marple Newtown.

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

______________________________________________________________________________________________

April 3, 2020, 7:00pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

As we finish the first week of our Marple Newtown School District Continuity of Education Plan, I would like to sincerely thank you for your ongoing patience and support of our District as we transitioned together into virtual learning. Our faculty and administration have worked diligently to plan for instruction and adapt to new learning platforms as well as find ways to connect and engage students. 

 

Thank you to the parents/guardians who are juggling numerous tasks simultaneously working remotely from home and supporting your child(ren) with school work. We are grateful for your efforts to work together this past week. Our students should be commended for their daily attendance rates at all levels were at 95% or higher. The faculty shared the students work completion was impressive and the March Nearpod Statistics for MNSD were 56,000 completed assessments, 22,677 student joins, and 191 active teachers!

 

With the completion of the first week of our two week plan, the MNSD Leadership Team is interested in feedback from parents/guardians.  Parents/Guardians are encouraged to complete the below survey. The survey results will assist the MNSD Leadership Team in assessing and determining our school community needs.  Survey responses will guide our team in making adjustments and/or modifications to the next phase of the MNSD Continuity of /userfiles/635/my files/press release - closing schools to end of year-final.docx?id=11288Education Plan, which will begin on April 20th. Parents/Guardians can access the survey by clicking the below link. The survey will remain open until Monday, April 6th at 5:00pm.

 

Elementary Guardian Survey                                         Secondary Guardian Survey

 

As you are most likely aware, some of our faculty are using Zoom as a means to connect and interact with students. It is important to share that our MNSD Leadership Team and faculty are well aware of the recent hacking experiences with Zoom in other professional arenas.  Our team made certain to revise our established faculty electronic protocols, review the revisions, provide tutorials for staff, and discuss the security setting features in an effort to prevent this from happening at MNSD.  It is also helpful to share that Zoom has recently updated their app to include added security features.  With that said, it would be wise to make sure students and families are using the most recent updated version of the app.

 

Under ordinary circumstances the Friday before Spring Break would have a more exciting mindset surrounding the day with vacation, holiday, or relaxing plans. With our scheduled Spring Break next week, I hope you will find some time to enjoy the weather and refresh and recharge.  For those of you who may be interested in finding some fun things to do, our District has compiled resources for families with a variety of activities geared towards students of all age groups. These resources can be found on the Optional Learning Opportunities page of our website. You may find it fun to explore Harry Potter at home with a virtual trip to Hogwarts, try some mindfulness activities, STEM and design challenges, art projects, brain breaks, and more. We hope you find these resources fun to explore.

 

For those of you who may not know, our local community food bank is located at St. Mark’s Church on Sproul Road.  Donations of food and personal care items may be dropped off room at any time. The entrance, is a gray door with a sign on it, which is located at the rear of the church.

I have been asked to share the following information from the County. As the weather warms up, residents are going to trails and parks as well as walking and biking in their neighborhoods.  Residents are welcome to go outside during the stay at home order, but they are reminded to practice social distancing.  Spending time outdoors is beneficial to physical and mental health, but remember to follow the social distancing guidelines to keep yourself and the community safe. When you are using a trail, at a park, or walking in your neighborhood  stay at least 6 feet away from others.

 

While school is not in session our MNSD Leadership Team will still be working and committed to the MNSD School Community. Should you find the need to contact an administrator, email communication would be the best method. To show students and families our support the MNSD Leadership Team has prepared a video for you to enjoy this evening.

MNSD Leadership Team Video

 

I have always been a proud MNSD graduate, teacher, and administrator and these last three weeks of our statewide school closure expands my heart even more with MN community pride as I have learned and witnessed how supportive and helpful everyone has been for one another.  We are MN Strong and we will be able to get through this experience together. 

 

Enjoy your Spring Break and we will see you on Monday, April 13th for virtual school.

 

From all of us at MNSD, we sincerely hope you enjoy Spring Break, wish you Happy Holidays, and wish you safety and good health.

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

March 31, 2020, 8:00pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

Yesterday, Governor Wolf announced that all schools will remain closed until further notice as we work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of all Pennsylvanians.  With this new uncertain timeline for school closure, I would like to begin this communication by thanking all of the students and parents for your patience, understanding, support, and sense of community. 

 

Today, we completed our second day implementing our MNSD Continuity of Education Plan. I would like to reiterate that our plan is not intended to add more for you to do, rather it is intended to promote academic and social growth of our students, as we all learn to navigate virtual education. The MNSD Leadership team has already collaborated to share feedback and suggestions across schools and grade levels, discuss options for improvement, and conference with teachers gathering their input about our new virtual learning.  Our goal is to find the appropriate balance for students, parents, and educators and we will continue to reevaluate and adjust during these constantly evolving circumstances.  

 

As MNSD was prepared for our first virtual school day to begin, so were hundreds of school districts across the Commonwealth. With all of the users accessing various virtual platforms at the same time, some websites were strained and lost connectivity for part of the day. That did not seem to interrupt productivity of our students, because as of yesterday afternoon, MNSD students launched approximately 1,300 Nearpod modules during our school closure, and teachers have begun using their responses to generate future instruction.  We thank you for your patience as Nearpod and many other educational websites experienced higher-than-normal volume yesterday.  I can report that today’s sessions ran much more smoothly.

 

Attendance at the secondary level for the past two days has been approximately 95%, which reflects the same rate prior to our school closure. Thank you to our students for logging in, connecting with your teachers, and completing activities and assignments. On the elementary level the attendance rate will be calculated at the end of the week; however, according to the teachers the participation rate is impressively high. Thank you to all of those student and families coordinating logins and virtual interactions with the teaching staff.

 

As a point of clarification, faculty office hours are designed to provide the faculty with devoted time and minimal overlap. This devoted time can allow faculty to communicate with students, schedule times to conference with individuals or small groups of students, offer a help class, or deliver synchronous instruction. These dedicated times are not for students to complete all of their assignments in that specific timeframe.

 

In an effort to provide support for parents to troubleshoot and navigate technology questions, the District has added a MNSD Virtual Instruction Guide webpage.  The page can be found by clicking a link on the navigation bar or by using this address bit.ly/MNSDvirtual

 

Now that the plan is in place and we are virtually conducting school, it is best to contact your child’s teacher or principal with specific questions or needs regarding the virtual class, assignments, and expectations. They are the best source to provide you with the clarification, instruction, and support needed to assist students and parents.

 

When you think about where we were two weeks ago and where we are now, in this short amount of time, MNSD has established a virtual learning platform and the ability to provide our students with resources and support needed to continue their learning. With the schools closed and no access to our relied upon tools and resources, the MNSD faculty and staff along with our students and families faced a steep learning curve. I would like to extend a big thank you to all the administrators, faculty, staff, students, and families for accomplishing this task together.

 

This evening I would like to end my communication the same way it began by being thankful.  Please join me in extending our MNSD community’s gratitude for those who are keeping us all safe at home and those helping our sick friends and loved ones.  Thank you to our local law enforcement, ambulance, township employees, emergency management teams, pharmacies, all of those working in the health and medical field, delivery people, gas stations, our grocery stores employees, and those helping in ways we do not even know. Without these brave people helping others and providing us with food and resources our situation would be much more difficult. Because of them, we can manage our homes and protect our children from the reality at hand. 

 

Please consider kindness by donating to the MNSD Joint PTO combined fundraiser, our local food bank, thank the grocery store clerks and manager, or even making homemade cards to bring to the grocery store. Any small kind gesture can go a long way.

MNSD wants to thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Hope you enjoy this evening’s song by Natalie Merchant entitled Kind and Generous.

 

On behalf of all of us at MNSD, we sincerely hope you, your families, and loved ones stay healthy and well. 

 

Kind and Generous video by Natalie Merchant - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEz0oBRgxbs

 

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

______________________________________________________________________________________________

March 27, 2020, 8:00pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

The main focus of this evening’s message is to provide an overview of the Marple Newtown School District’s Continuity of Education Plan, which will begin on Monday, March 30th.

 

The purpose of this two-week Continuity of Education Plan is to provide a more detailed virtual learning process, which is part of the extended phase of school closure.  The plan is intended to make this process manageable, meaningful, and scaffolded for all stakeholders. This plan will be updated every two weeks or as PDE provides new school closure guidance. All learning activities and lessons for the core content areas will be connected to the PA priority standards.

 

During this time, instruction is provided virtually and facilitated by teachers. This on-line platform of instruction includes a balance of asynchronous lessons for both guided and independent practice and video conferencing with students. Our faculty will use a variety of technological resources to facilitate student-teacher and student-student communication.

 

For the first week of the plan, March 30th - April 3rd, assignments and activities will be submitted and reviewed for feedback, which will be provided by the classroom teacher. This rationale affords time to develop familiarity with technological competencies while navigating a virtual platform. It also provides students and teachers time to form a common understanding for class expectations and participation. As of now, spring break is still a scheduled break April 6th – 10th. For the second week of the plan, April 13th – 17th, work completed will be graded.

 

There are three components to this plan: Attendance, Communication, and Resources, as required by PDE.

 

Attendance

Attendance will be taken in two ways, which are dependent upon grade level.

 

Elementary: Attendance will be monitored by each teacher who is providing a lesson for that day. Homeroom teachers will send an email to any guardian of a student who has not accessed either Nearpod, Seesaw, or Google Classroom by Thursday of that week.

 

Secondary: Students will join the Google Classroom created for their homeroom. Students will then log into Google Classroom anytime between 7am and 12pm daily, Monday through Friday, to respond to a homeroom attendance check-in question. If a student has not logged in and answered the question by 12pm each day, an automated phone call will go out from the District at the conclusion of each school day. Guardians do not need to call in absences.

 

Communication

Faculty will make themselves available during scheduled office hours (refer to Faculty Office Hours section). These office hours are designed to be staggered to avoid overlap in faculty availability. During office hours, staff will be available to communicate with students. This devoted time can allow teachers to conference virtually with individuals or small groups of students, provide instruction, and/or offer a help class. MNSD is committed to all stakeholders maintaining ongoing communication.

 

Resources

The District offers several resources to support students and guardians with the plan. More details can be found in the plan.

 

As a reminder, these interactive learning experiences will not be recorded by the Marple Newtown School District, and students, parents, and guardians are prohibited from recording any of these interactive learning experiences.   Guardians will need to opt their child in by completing an electronic permission form. The form can be found on our website as well as by using this link.  This information is also listed the landing page of our website.

 

Another detail to reiterate is to use the District’s technical assistance request form.  This form will allow our Technology Department to more efficiently troubleshoot and provide answers.  This request form can be found on our website or by going to www.bit.ly/MNSDTechnicalAssistance.  

 

As we are embark on this new mode of learning, please know that our staff understands that this experience can raise some emotions such as stress, anxiety, and frustration.  We recognize that you may be home working, providing educational experiences for your children, caring for loved ones, missing family and friends, and caretaking for others. Balancing all of these responsibilities in the same home can be overwhelming.  With all of that in mind, our plan is not intended to add more for you to do, rather it is intended to promote academic and social growth of our students, as we all learn to navigate virtual education.  

 

Please read the attached MNSD Continuity of Education Plan to familiarize yourself with the process. The plan can also be found on our website.  If you find the plan does not address all of your questions, please reach out to your building administrator.  I sincerely thank you for taking the journey with us.  

 

Today I spoke to all the faculty through virtual meetings and it was wonderful to interact with them and see their faces. At the end of my meeting, I asked them all to find some joy in their day. This evening I ask you to do the same. Personally, my joy comes from my little girl.  Being the mother of a four-year-old daughter, means we watch a lot of Disney movies. Tonight I share a video clip with you from the movie Inside Out.  As I am sure we can all relate to the varying range of emotions the characters portray, I ask you once again to find the joy.  

Please remain healthy and well.

 

Disney movie clip from the movie Inside Out - https://youtu.be/9LDSBU15GXM

 

Sincerely,  

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

______________________________________________________________________________________________

March 25, 2020, 8:00pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

I hope this evening’s communication finds you and your loved ones healthy and well.  The weather is supposed to improve over the next few days, so I hope you will be able to find some time to get outside, while maintaining social distancing, and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air.

 

There are two main points of information in this communication regarding technology.  The first is to share that we are here for families who may need technical support during our school closure. For our Technology Department to better serve you, the District has established a technical assistance request form.  This form will allow our Technology Department to more efficiently troubleshoot and provide answers. This request form can be found on our website or by going to www.bit.ly/MNSDTechnicalAssistance

 

As I have already shared, and you may have seen for yourself through your school’s communication, the faculty really misses working and seeing their students and each other. The videos that schools have made are quite amazing and heartwarming.  I personally really enjoyed seeing all of my colleagues sharing their messages to their students and school. I thought it might be nice for families to have the opportunity to see other schools’ messages, so we have added them to our website. It may be uplifting for students to see their former teachers from other buildings. 

 

The District is finalizing preparations for our continuity of education plan, which includes several virtual platforms options.  Keeping in mind the various capabilities of these platforms, we are requiring guardian permission for students to participate within these tools, which may include video conferencing.  These tools are free cloud conferencing solutions that can be used for small or large group meetings. These platforms allow for robust audio, video, file, and screen sharing. They also foster interaction with collaborative editing and polling.

 

These interactive learning experiences will not be recorded by the Marple Newtown School District, and students, parents, and guardians are prohibited from recording any of these interactive learning experiences.  Guardians will need to opt their child in by completing an electronic permission form. The form can be found on our website as well as by using this link.

 

Please continue to stay in good health, support one another, and stay connected. We are MN strong, Delco bonded, and Philly proud.  My family members are huge Rocky fans and with so many terrific famous lines from the movie, one stands out to me tonight. Rocky said, “You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” I hope you enjoy the theme song of Rocky tonight and scenes from our city of Philadelphia full of life as we now it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVU_89HpmY0

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

______________________________________________________________________________________________

March 23, 2020, 7:30pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

This afternoon, Governor Wolf extended our statewide school closure for another two weeks.  With that new timeline, our continual education plan will go into effect on Monday, March 30th.  We will communicate our plan to you in the coming days. 

 

Our Technology Department and Security Teams were able brave the cold and rainy weather today to distribute laptops to families.  They took precautions to keep themselves and our families safe during the pick-up.  If you requested a laptop and were not able to pick it up, send an email to our Substitute Director of Pupil Services, Dr. Andrea Chipego, at achipego@mnsd.org.

 

The MNSD Joint PTO’s combined fundraising effort had an impressive first day of donations.  The generosity of our community is truly amazing and heartwarming.  If you would like to contribute to this effort, the MNSD Joint PTO will be collecting donations using two methods: Venmo and Paypal. 

The Venmo account is @CulbertsonPTO.

The PayPal account is CulbertsonPTOpaypal@gmail.com

 

Our School Board meeting tomorrow night will take place during its regularly scheduled time.  This meeting will be conducted remotely.  The connectivity information can be found on our District’s website. 

 

With the new “Stay at Home” directive for all of us, I sincerely hope you take care of yourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.  This type of experience can be isolating, so I urge you to find ways to connect to one another in an effort to help others and stay healthy.  Whether you have video or phone conference calls, FaceTime group chats with family and friends, or use other apps to stay connected to each other, it is 

important to maintain personal connections with one another. 

 

I wish continued good health for you and your loved ones and sincerely hope you check on one another as we enter into the next voyage of this uncharted journey together.  You and your families have been in our administration’s continuous thoughts.

 

With this evening’s message, I thought you may enjoy a video clip from Disney’s Zootopia, as we too are trying everything to remain connected and support our families.  Adding a little fun fact, this is my four-year-old daughter’s favorite song and she sings it non-stop.  I have no doubt that we have the strength and resources to get through this difficult situation together. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX3_JQHKaqA

 

Sincerely, 

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

______________________________________________________________________________________________

March 22, 2020 7:00PM

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

As we begin our second week of our statewide closure, I would like to share some reminders and communicate a few updates.


For our families with no electronic device in their home for their student to access online learning opportunities, the MNSD will be distributing laptops on tomorrow, Monday, March 23rd.  The distribution will take place at the Marple Newtown High School from the hours from 9:00a.m. – 1:00p.m. To assist our technology team in preparation for parents to pick up a laptop, we require that you complete a laptop request form by clicking this link. One laptop will be distributed per family as needed. 


After the March 20th District communication, several people have reaching out searching for ways they can help MNSD families in need. As a result, the MNSD Joint PTO established a combined fundraising effort to help families in all of our schools.  The District’s Home and School Visitor, Jacqueline Litz, will be working in close contact with the MNSD Joint PTO to provide assistance to our families in need. If any MNSD family has a need, kindly contact our her at jlitz@mnsd.org.  If you would like to contribute to this effort, the MNSD Joint PTO will be collecting donations using two methods: Venmo and Paypal. 

The Venmo account is @CulbertsonPTO.
The PayPal account is
CulbertsonPTOpaypal@gmail.com


In an effort to answer frequently asked questions, the District has developed a FAQ webpage.  This page can be found on our COVID-19 webpage. We will continue to updated this page as more information becomes available.  Now that Delaware County has partnered with the Chester County Health Department we will be able to have quicker contact with medical officials and more timely information. Links to the Health Department have also been added to our website. 


As a reminder, all school buildings, grounds, fields, and playgrounds are closed.  We understand that our fields and playgrounds are tempting to gather and play; however those restrictions are in in accordance with Governor Wolf’s school closure guidance. Therefore, we ask students and community members not to use the MNSD facilities. 


The Teaching and Learning Team in coordination with building Central Administrators, Principals, Pupil Services, and our Technology Department continue to verify our continual education plan in the event we need to implement it. I will continue to keep you informed as more information is provided from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


Our faculty and staff have made creative efforts to stay connected and show their support and affection for their students by making a school wide video or slideshow. For those families who have not seen their school’s messages yet, keep an eye out for your school’s message will be sent this week.  


We understand that our school community is experiencing their own unique challenges as we face this uncertain difficult situation together. Your flexibility, patience, and empathy for others is appreciated. On behalf of all of us at MNSD, we sincerely hope you, your families, and loved ones stay healthy and well. 


Sincerely, 
Tina Kane, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

March 20, 2020, 7:00pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

As we finish the first week of our statewide closure, I would like to provide you with a District update regarding food services, teaching and learning, and technology. 

 

Our Director of Dining Services, Tina Stiles, has communicated with our free and reduced lunch families and coordinated food assistance for them.  A scheduled pick up took place on Thursday and another pick up is scheduled for next Wednesday.  Please contact the Director of Dining Services at tstiles@mnsd.org if you have additional questions. 

 

The District’s Home and School Visitor, Jacqueline Litz, has communicated with families who have additional needs and distributed $3,000 worth of grocery store gift cards. This was made possible thanks to our community partnerships with the Marple Newtown Clergy Association and generous community members. If any MNSD family has a need, kindly contact our District’s Home and School Visitor at jlitz@mnsd.org. 

 

The Teaching and Learning Team is committed to updating the Optional Learning Opportunities webpage, which now includes virtual field trips and additional non-digital resources.  These activities are optional and are not graded.  With that said, the Teaching and Learning Team in coordination with building Principals and the Technology Department have worked to verify our continual education plan is able to be implemented.  In the event there is a statewide extended closure, the District’s intention is to implement our continual education plan to begin on Monday, March 30th. More information will be provided as our plan is verified barring no other changes from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has cancelled all statewide assessments for the 2019-2020 school year. This cancellation includes the PSSA, PASA, and Keystone Exams.

 

For our families with no electronic device in their home for their student to access online learning opportunities, assuming there are no other governmental restrictions, the MNSD will be distributing laptops on Monday, March 23rd.  The distribution will take place at the Marple Newtown High School from the hours from 9:00a.m. – 1:00p.m. To assist our technology team in preparation for parents to pick up a laptop, we require that you complete a laptop request form by clicking this link. One laptop will be distributed per family as needed.

 

Comcast has announced free services and access to hot spots in the Comcast service area.  For more information and updates from Comcast related to Coronavirus, visit: http://www.comcastcorporation.com/COVID-19/

 

Our faculty and staff have collaborated through remote conference calling and the common theme is that the teachers and staff miss your children very much and are eager to have the ability to connect with them. We are grateful for your understanding and patience during this rapidly evolving situation, and continue to stress our concern for our students, staff, and community members to do whatever they can to stop the spread of this COVID-19 and stay healthy. I sincerely hope you and your loved ones stay healthy and well as we navigate this experience together.

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

March 16, 2020, 7:00pm

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,
As you are aware, the Marple Newtown School District is closed due to Governor Wolf’s directive to close all Pennsylvania schools.  The MNSD Leadership team has coordinated optional learning opportunities for students. In order to provide current information and resources to our school community, the District has developed a dedicated webpage for these optional opportunities. This newly created page can be found easily by clicking a quick link located on the MNSD website navigation bar. A link to these learning opportunities can also be found on the COVID-19 district website. 

 

This past Friday, our educational staff collaborated and planned for instructional opportunities for students. If they have not already done so, our staff will communicated these plans to students. It is important to note, students will not be assessed on this work, rather they will have the opportunity to continue to stay connected to their content areas. 
 

The MNSD does not qualify for an established feeding program, which offers food service programs outside of the actual school day. Qualifying for this type of program would offer students food services during school closing such as days off during the school year, winter and spring breaks, summer vacation, and our current closure.  Nonetheless, our Director of Dining Services has communicated with our free and reduced lunch families to offer assistance with meals. Please contact Tina Stiles, Director of Dining Services at tstiles@mnsd.org if you have additional questions.  

 

The MNSD Home and School Visitor has been in contact with families who have additional needs. Additionally, I have coordinated with the Marple Newtown Clergy Association to support families in the need.  Through this community partnership, our Home and School Visitor will be able to provide assistance to families as needed.  If any MNSD family has a need, kindly contact our District’s Home and School Visitor, Jacqueline Litz, at jlitz@mnsd.org.  

 

Our MNSD Leadership team continues to work closely with state and local officials to remain informed, and is committed to keeping families up-to-date.  We are monitoring the US and Pennsylvania Departments of Education for guidance for school closures. 

 

We maintain our concern for our students, staff, and community members to do whatever they can to prevent the spread of this COVID-19 and stay healthy. Kindly take the recommended precautionary steps seriously to maintain your health and safety throughout this situation. 

 

I am grateful for your school community partnership as we all navigate this unprecedented experience together, and sincerely hope you and your loved ones are healthy and well.

 

Sincerely, 
Tina Kane, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

March 13, 2020

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

As a point of clarification, the MNSD will not be providing formalized instruction during the designated closure. With a mandated school closure, the expectation that formal instruction can continue is not possible, as we cannot ensure equal access to resources, instructional technology, internet access, equipment, delivery of IDEA, etc.

 

In the coming days, the MNSD leadership team will coordinate skills and enrichment opportunities for students. These optional opportunities will be communicated by email and posted on the District’s website. We appreciate everyone’s patience and continued support as we work through this mandated closure together.

 

Sincerely,
Tina Kane, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

March 13, 2020


Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Wolf announced this afternoon that he will be closing all schools in Pennsylvania. As of today, Marple Newtown is now in the Closing level of the Delaware County Pandemic Action Plan.  

 

In accordance with Governor Wolf’s directive, all schools in the Marple Newtown School District will be closed from March 13, 2020 through March 27, 2020.  Based on the most recent guidance from state and local officials, we anticipate students will return to school on Monday, March 30, 2020.  During this time, all school activities are cancelled, and there will be no access to any District facility (except for designated emergency personnel).  Please continue to monitor your email and our website for updates regarding school closures. 

 

At this point in time, we will not be sending work home for students. We ask that you encourage your children to spend time reading and working on basic skills that will enhance previously learned instruction. Our main concern is to make sure our students, staff, and community members do whatever they can to prevent the spread of this COVID-19 and stay healthy. 
I am sure you have questions regarding upcoming events, as of now some of those answers are uncertain. We have been told that we will not be penalized for the 180 days or school hour requirements.

 

 

Please know that the MNSD Leadership team continues to work closely with state and local officials to ensure that we can continue our mission to support our school community.  We are committed to working with state officials to support our students every day that we are closed, and will continue to update you with prompt and accurate information as it becomes available. 

 

We want to emphasize the importance of students, families, and staff staying home. Please take the recommended precautionary steps to maintain your health and safety to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 to others. I wish you and your families good health as well as support to one another as we care for our families and loved ones. 

 

Sincerely, 
Tina Kane, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

March 12, 2020

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

Our MNSD leadership team continues to monitor the COVID-19 rapidly evolving situation. On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. With this new characterization, the Marple Newtown School District will shift levels in the Delaware County Pandemic Action Plan from Monitoring to Postponing.  In an effort to practice social distancing beyond the school district’s core academic program, we will be following the recommendations of the action plan by imposing limitations and restrictions.  The Delaware County Pandemic Action Plan was revised on March 11, 2020 to reflect consulting with the Pennsylvania Department of Health as new information is being communicated daily.  The updated action plan can be found on the District’s COVID-19 webpage. 

 

Operating the District within this Postponing level imposes the following limitations/restrictions, which will take effect as of 5:00p.m. today, March 12, 2020. 

 

All of the below limitations/restrictions are cancelled until further notice.

  • All scheduled guest speakers, outside assembly programs, and parent/outside volunteers are not permitted.
  • All student field trips, regardless of location are cancelled until further notice.
  • In conjunction with PIAA’s press release today, which can be found on our COVID-19 webpage, all athletic events including practices have been suspended.
  • All outside groups using MNSD indoor and outdoor facilities and fields are no longer permitted.
  • All scheduled events open to the public are cancelled.
  • The SAT scheduled for Saturday, March 14th has been cancelled and rescheduled for March 28th.

 

At 2:00p.m today, Governor Wolf ordered Montgomery County to close all schools for 14 days in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. With the MNSD schools scheduled professional development closings for Friday, March 13, 2020 and Monday, March 16, 2020, students will not be attending school.

 

Our District continues to closely monitor the situation and take guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the PA Department of Health.  Our leadership team continues its partnership with a countywide team as well local law enforcement.  A countywide meeting is scheduled for tomorrow in consultation with the PA Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera, and the PA Department of Health.

 

The MNSD administration and staff are committed to following our new restrictions and limitations and will continue to communicate any District changes.

 

We as a school community continue to need to rely on our school community’s partnership. Thank you for working together to protect the well-being of the Marple Newtown school community. 

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

March 10, 2020

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,


This communication is to provide our school community with updates regarding our response to COVID-19. Our District has not received any notification that there has been exposure or presumptive positive cases in our attendance area. According to the PA Department of Health, there are 11 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania with one (1) in Delaware County. The others are in Monroe (1), Montgomery (8), and Wayne (1) Counties.


Our District continues to closely monitor the situation and take guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Both agencies recommend schools collaborate with local health officials to develop proactive plans to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their school community should local health officials identify such a need. Our leadership team has partnered with a countywide team, which includes the Delaware County School Districts and Intermediate Unit, Delaware County Council, Delaware County Intercommunity Health, and Delaware County Emergency Services. On Monday, March 9, 2020, this countywide team met with consultation from the PA Department of Health, and as a result, we have adopted the Delaware County Pandemic Action Plan.


The plan identifies four levels of action: Monitoring, Limiting, Postponing, and Closing. As of today, Marple Newtown School District is in the Monitoring level. The action plan is included in this communication and on the District’s website. Our MNSD leadership team has met with the Marple and Newtown Townships Chiefs of Police to discuss current information, proactive measures, and review the Delaware County Pandemic Action Plan in the event that additional cases are reported locally.


In order to provide current information and resources to our school community, the District has developed a dedicated webpage to COVID-19. This page will include a timeline of communication messages and links to resources. This newly created page can be found easily by clicking a quick link located on the MNSD website navigation bar. We will continue to update this page as information becomes available. 


Another outcome of the countywide meeting is to offer educators a dedicated day to develop lesson plans to provide flexible instruction should there be a need to interrupt traditional instructional delivery. Marple Newtown School District will devote an inclement weather day this Friday, March 13, 2020. As a result, MNSD students will not be attending school on Friday, March 13, 2020. This day will be used by our MNSD educators for time to proactively plan lessons so teaching and learning can continue in our school community in an event there is a need for school closure. We will continue to provide transportation services for all non-public and private schools. 

 

Our staff continues to work diligently to implement proactive measures as previously communicated. The custodial staff is committed to cleaning and disinfecting all district buildings and transportation vehicles as well as use handheld Electrostatic Sprayers to thoroughly clean surfaces and neutralize viruses. Daily attendance rates continue to be monitored and remain at 95% or above daily. We will adhere to the PIAA advisement and continue with scheduled athletic events. There will be ongoing discussions regarding the status of scheduled field trips and school events.

 

We as a school community continue to need your partnership by assuring your contact information current and keeping students home if sick. The MNSD administration and staff is committed to following our established proactive measures and is working diligently to monitor developments closely and be prepared to communicate any updates. We appreciate your understanding and support, and thank you for working together to protect the well-being of the Marple Newtown school community.

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

March 6, 2020

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

Today Governor Wolf presented information during a live press conference regarding two presumptive positive cases of Coronavirus in Pennsylvania. One individual is from Wayne County, which is located in the northeast corner of PA and the other is in Delaware County. Both cases involve adults who traveled where the virus was present.

 

Our District leadership team continues to closely monitor the situation and take guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  We have also partnered with the County Superintendents and Delaware County Intermediate Unit to share resources and collaborate.  Our MNSD leadership team has met to discuss current information and proactive measures in the event that additional cases are reported locally.  

 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • The District continues to follow daily best practice cleaning procedures.  For the last several weeks, we have increased the frequency of cleaning and measures for disinfecting and sanitizing all district buildings and all transportation vehicles. 
  • The additional disinfecting and sanitizing regiment includes the use of a handheld Electrostatic Sprayer.  This device allows our staff the ability to thoroughly clean surfaces and neutralize viruses such as the Coronavirus. All district buildings and the Transportation Department are equipped and trained to properly use the sprayer.  Additional information, along with a video, can be found the District’s Operations webpage.

 

Attendance

  • Daily attendance rates continue to be monitored. This past week, the District wide average attendance rate for our students was approximately 95%. 
  • The PA Department of Health has advised the District to continue with its regular daily schedule.
  • In the event of prolonged school closure, alternative plans for learning have been discussed. Currently, there is no plan to close any of the District buildings. 

 

Academics

  • The District will continue with its regular daily schedule based on the PA Department of Health’s advisement.  Again, there is no plan to close any of the District buildings. 
  • The MNSD leadership team will continue to meet, identify next steps, and explore options for learning to continue in the event of a prolonged school closure.

 

Athletic Events/School Sponsored Activities/Field Trips

  • PIAA as well as the PA Department of Health have advised the District to continue with scheduled athletic events.
  • At this time, the district will continue to monitor the transmission of the virus and the need to disrupt regularly scheduled activities such as field trips. 

 

Foreign Trips

  • It is likely that upcoming overseas trips will be cancelled.
  • More information will follow.

 

What does the District need from families?

  • To keep your contact information in Infinite Campus up to date at all times so that District communications can be received.
  • Frequently check the website and your email for updates.
  • Help the school community by partnering with us and keep your child home if he/she is sick or symptomatic.

 

As recommended by the PA Department of Health, simple everyday preventive actions are recommended to minimize the spread of Coronavirus.  These actions include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with elbow and avoid using hands.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as food, drinks, and utensils.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Do not attend school if sick.

 

We appreciate your support and cooperation.  Thank you for working together to protect the well-being of the Marple Newtown Community. 

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

February 28, 2020

 

Dear Marple Newtown School District Community,

 

As news regarding the Coronavirus Disease - 19 (COVID-19) continues, we want to inform our families and staff that the District is consistently monitoring the situation through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  While there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, the District is proactively taking steps to protect the health of our students and staff should this virus make its way to our area. 

 

According to the CDC, COVID-19 has spread throughout China and has been detected in 50 locations internationally, including the United States.  COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person similar to the flu or a cold.  Patients affected with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 

 

The District continues to follow daily best practice cleaning procedures.  With the recent flu and cold season upon us, the District has increased the frequency of cleaning and added additional measures for disinfecting and sanitizing all school buildings and all transportation vehicles.  Additionally, this past week, the Operations Department administrative team and all custodial supervisors participated in a two-day training presented by the District’s chemical supplier to ensure all cleaning products and resources are used correctly and efficiently.

 

Our staff and administration are continually monitoring daily trends and absenteeism in our schools.  This past week, the District wide average attendance rate for our students was approximately 96%.  In addition to monitoring local trends, we will continue to gather information and seek guidance from the CDC and PA Department of Health. These agencies communicate when cases of certain communicable diseases are confirmed and issue guidelines for action.  The District will continue to implement our wellness policy and protocols as well as to be responsive to recommendations from the CDC and PA Department of Health.

 

According to the PA Department of Health, simple everyday preventive actions are recommended to minimize the spread of COVID-19.  These actions include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with elbow and avoid using hands.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as food, drinks, and utensils.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Do not attend school if sick.

 

The CDC and PA Department of Health are good resources for families to get updated information about COVID-19. Included in this communication are two documents to provide more information. The documents are What you need to know about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the CDC and the Coronavirus Fact Sheet for K-12 Schools from the PA Department of Health. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call your health care provider or your school’s health office.

 

Sincerely,

Tina Kane, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

 

Messages from the Pupil Services Department

 

January 31, 2020


Dear Marple-Newtown Parents /Guardians,


We have received some concerns from our school community regarding the emerging outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As confirmed by the most recent notification from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted on January 26, 2020, there are now reports of five cases among travelers from the Wuhan, China region that have been confirmed in four states (AZ, CA, IL, WA). It is important to understand that while the CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat overall, based on current information, they have assessed the immediate health risk to the general US population as “low” at this time.


We are diligently monitoring the situation and continuing to follow guidance from the CDC, as well as our local health officials. There are no confirmed cases in our schools. Out of an abundance of precaution and awareness, here is what you can do to help prevent the spread of diseases and viruses.


What are the symptoms of 2019-nCoV?
According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. The CDC believes that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear within 14 days after exposure. The illness can be more serious for individuals with a weakened immune system, the elderly, or those with underlying respiratory problems.


Best practices for prevention (per the CDC)

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash or sanitize hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

 

We urge parents to be particularly diligent with preventive hygiene and vigilant in monitoring for flu symptoms, especially if they have been in contact with anyone traveling from China in the past two weeks. If any of your children have come in contact with recent travelers, AND have symptoms, we ask that you contact your health care practitioner immediately for advice, and have your child stay home pending written clearance from their health care practitioner. The CDC provides information specifically for travelers, or those who may have been in contact with travelers, in high alert areas.

 

Actions we are taking
With safety and student wellness always top of mind, we are committed to maintaining a healthy learning environment by educating our school community about wellness and healthy hygiene practices. In addition to our daily wellness check of students and promptly sending students home when they show signs of illness, we will continue to disinfect all commonly touched surfaces throughout the school day, and as part of our evening janitorial service.


General Health Guidelines
For everyone’s health and safety, please adhere to these health guidelines by keeping sick children at home until they have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours:

  • Fever of 100 degrees or more. Children must be free of fever for at least 24 hours, unassisted by fever-reducing medication before returning to school.
  • Green discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Watery, inflamed eyes
  • Crusty eyelids
  • Sore throat
  • Deep cough
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heavy nasal discharge
  • Unusual irritability
  • Rash or other open sores
  • Flushes appearance, clamminess
  • Fever

 

Rule of thumb! If your child is not well enough to participate in class activities, he/she should not be at school. Children may return to school when they are fever free, feeling well enough to participate in academic and playtime activities, and can handle their congestion with tissues.


We ask all members of our school community to be our partner in maintaining good health. If you or members of your family become ill with flu like symptoms, please stay home and contact your health care practitioner. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s efforts to stay healthy during this flu season.


Sincerely,

Dr. Andrea Chipego
Interim Director of Pupil Services