3/25 - DASD Students and Families
March 25, 2020
Dear Derry Area Students and Families,
It has certainly been an interesting ride for all of us as we are finding ways to navigate our new normal during the novel COVID-19 virus outbreak. I am learning so many new things, as I am sure you are as well.
I am happy to announce that the Derry Area School District is finalizing plans to resume instruction for our students. While we will not be physically returning to school until April 9, 2020 at the earliest, we are planning to provide instruction to students in a variety of different methods. Unlike some districts, the resources available to the students in Derry Area vary greatly. Our approach will take these resource limitations, recognize them, and do the absolute best to make sure the learning needs of each individual student is being met to the best of our ability. It WILL NOT be perfect and there will be bumps along the way, but together we will sort through the challenges and emerge stronger at the end of this experience.
Our plan is to have teachers working remotely with administrators on Monday, March 30 and Tuesday, March 31, with instruction beginning for students on April 1. Please do not panic! This will be a gradual experience that will take a few weeks to begin feeling comfortable both teaching and learning in a new way. Very shortly you will begin receiving a variety of notifications from the district. These notifications will address many questions related to processes for getting technology, materials, etc. If you find yourself with questions that haven't been addressed, please email your building principal. Please give them time to respond. I assure you they will get back to you.
I am excited about the next few weeks, not because we have all of the answers, but because we are about to see great administrators, teachers, support staff, students and families rallying together to remind us all of how fortunate we are to be the family that is DERRY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT! GO TROJANS!
3/23 - A message from Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera
Dear Derry Area School District Community,
A message from Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera…
"This afternoon, the Department of Education (PDE) announced that all schools in the commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. The closure order could be extended beyond April 6, 2020 if necessary to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.”
“Under the new timeline, school buildings would reopen on April 7, 2020 for two days to allow school administrators, teachers, and other staff time to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation and arrange other business operations. Students would return to school on April 9, 2020, unless extending the closure is needed in response to the situation with the virus at that time. To assist schools during the extended closure, the state’s 29 intermediate units are ready to provide technical assistance to help develop continuity of education plans for all students beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, 2020."
Specific plans for continuity of education for the Derry Area School District will be announced at a later time. Please continue to check our website for available resources and additional information. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this ever-changing time period.
3/19 - GV Elementary closed to essential staff
Earlier today the district administration was notified by a support staff employee at Grandview Elementary School that a family member in their household has been tested for COVID-19. Acting prudently and with an abundance of caution, we have decided to close Grandview Elementary and have sent all essential employees home through next Tuesday. We have asked that they monitor their health and if symptoms arise they should contact their health care provider immediately. Again the family member has been tested and no results are available at this time. All necessary steps recommended by the CDC and PA Department of Health are being followed.
We feel confident that operations in the middle school and high school can continue with essential staff at this time. This includes the preparation and distribution of the student lunch program, which is based out of the middle/high school. Schools will continue to be closed to the general public as ordered by Governor Wolf.
3/17 - District response to Pennsylvania Department of Education guidance
A Message from Mr. Eric Curry, Derry Area School District Superintendent:
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is having a significant global impact. We know that our Derry Area School District families have many questions. Because this situation is fluid, there are many questions your district board and administration are not yet able to answer. We continue to await guidance from both our federal and state governments.
As you can imagine there are many rumors and speculation coming from a variety of sources such as news media, social media, etc. In an effort to keep you informed, we will only post updates and answers that we know provide factual, up-to-date information. One question we can answer for you is whether or not we will be continuing student education utilizing alternative methods such as on-line instruction or packets.
Below you will see the direct guidance given to us from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and our responses as a school district. Please take the time to read and understand our approach. I must emphasize that as the Superintendent of the Derry Area School District, my charge is to assure that Free Appropriate Public Education is provided to ALL students in the district.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate these uncharted waters.
With High Regard,
3/15 - Student Meals
We are pleased to announce that the Derry Area School District has applied and been approved to provide bagged lunches to district students during the closure of school. Details including times and distribution sites will be announced tomorrow. Please continue to monitor our district website and notification systems for information.
3/13 - Guidance for Long Term School Closure
Dear Derry Area School District Parents and Guardians:
Governor Tom Wolf has closed all K-12 schools in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the next ten business days, effective Monday, March 16, 2020 in an effort to ensure the health and safety of our students and school communities. This closure includes all school-related activities scheduled from Saturday, March 14, 2020 - Sunday, March 29, 2020. The Governor’s Office will continue to monitor COVID-19 in the commonwealth, and at the end of 10 business days will re-evaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed.
We will share updated information with you through phone calls, emails, texts and social media on Facebook. We have created a new space on our website (dasd.us) with information on COVID-19. You will find this by clicking on the red button on the bottom right side of the homepage. Our website will be your primary source for updated plans for supporting schools and students. We will provide you with updated information as decisions are made that will also include determination on make-up days.
We appreciate your support as we work together to deal with this difficult issue. Please know our district will always do its best to protect the health, safety and welfare of our students, staff and our entire school community.