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    PUCS Post

    COVID-19 UPDATE

    PUCS Reopening Plan – August 2020

    Dear PUCS Families,

    We thank all of you who responded to our reopening survey with many thoughtful suggestions as we discern how to deal with the unprecedented challenges facing us. At PUCS, we value each other. We value our students, our faculty, our staff, our families, we value our entire community. We desire nothing more than to be together face to face; however, given the current circumstances, that can only be done with great care and significant restrictions.

    Over the past three months the PUCS Administration and Board has sought to put together a reopening plan that both balances the learning needs of our children and safeguards the health and safety of our school community. Toward that end, we have developed the following phased approach toward reopening school. Given the conditions in Allegheny County projected to last into the beginning of the school year, we will be starting with PUCS Online. We will operate according to this plan until the end of September, at which point we will re-evaluate the situation, and will continue to do so monthly throughout the academic year.

    All policy questions regarding tuition will be answered after the next board meeting on August 12th. Feel free to contact us after this date if you have any questions.

    We will be guided by the same metrics as the state of Pennsylvania in making our operating decisions. Specifically, more than 50 cases per 100,000 is considered “High,” 15-50 per 100,000 is considered “Moderate” and below 15 per 100,000 for at least two weeks is considered “Low.” In addition, we will consider the situation specific to the PUCS community, particularly if school has partially or fully reopened; if infections are spreading within our community we may move back to a more remote operating plan even if conditions in the county are not as severe.

    Below is an overview of each level of operation. Many more details will be forthcoming on how issues related to health and safety will be handled once we fully reopen.

    PUCS Online  will include both synchronous and asynchronous online distance teaching and assigned learning activities that are off screen.

    • Attendance will be taken during all online class meetings.
    • Assessment of student work will be conducted in the same way as in-person instruction, where teachers will still provide regular progress reporting.
    • Spanish and Music instruction will be delivered at least once a week in elementary; Spanish will be delivered more frequently in middle school.
    • Optional outdoor activities are being planned for early September and will be offered periodically during the remote instruction.
    • Technology will be provided to families that need it. Students should not be trying to participate with cell phones. As parents and guardians support their students in remote learning, PUCS administration will be available to help ensure that students are fully enabled for sustained participation. Parents should contact office@pucs.org with any technology needs.

    PUCS Limited: Under this plan, we will phase in instruction of our youngest students in grades PreK, K and 1. These are the students who struggled the most with the move to remote learning in Spring 2020 and who would benefit most from in- person interaction with teachers. Older students will continue with PUCS Online. Within this plan, there will be a number of health and safety precautions adopted:

    • Students will work in small, isolated groups of 9-10 students.
    • Masks will be worn with breaks and student seating will be 6 feet apart.
    • PUCS is preparing for continual sanitizing of frequently used surfaces with EPA -approved solutions.
    • Weather permitting, teachers will use outdoor space as much as possible.
    • Spanish and Music will continue to be delivered by Zoom to limit the physical mixing of teachers with different groups of kids. As usual, lunch will take place in classrooms.
    • Recess will be in classroom groups either at Ferguson Park or the side lawn at our 813 middle school property.

    PUCS Together: Under this plan, we will phase in in-person instruction for grades 2-8.

    • All of the precautions listed for “PUCS Limited” will remain in place

    Many more detailed guidelines will be forthcoming regarding how reopening will be handled as we move to that phase. An appendix of instructions on COVID protocols will be provided in an email on Monday, August 10th, along with answers to FAQs. This information will also be posted on the PUCS website and updated in real time with any additions or changes. In the meantime, let’s continue to pray together for health and peace in our community as we face together the uncertainties surrounding this pandemic.
    Thank you for you patience and understanding. In spite of the challenges this pandemic brings, we are looking forward to seeing what new and creative opportunities arise from it.

    Sincerely,

    Don Belt, President of the Board
    and the entire PUCS Board of Directors

    PUCS Reopening Plan Guidelines – August 2020

    COVID Protocols

    Hello PUCS Families,

    As our last email promised we are sending this appendix of instructions on COVID protocols along with answers to FAQs. This information will also be posted on the PUCS website, https://pucs.org/,  and updated in real time with additions or changes.    Please feel free to email charity.wahrenberger@pucs.org if you have further COVID protocol questions that have not been addressed.

    We are all excited to have some decisions finalized. Teachers are creating schedules for online instruction and making plans for voluntary “in person” meetings. Please continue to pray with us for the continuing creative teaching and curious learning that is the heartbeat of PUCS.

    Sincerely,

    Don Belt, President of the Board
    and the entire PUCS Board of Directors

    PUCS Post

    The PUCS Post is our regular newsletter designed to keep families up-to-date on the activities at PUCS. It is updated each Monday during the school year.