All School Buildings Closed to In-person Classes October 19, 2020 to November 3, 2020
The District has confirmed multiple school buildings with 2-4 positive cases, within a 14-day period. As a result of these positive cases, based on Department of Education recommendations, close collaboration with the Department of Health, and out of an abundance of caution all option 1 students (in-person) will transition to option 2 (Live Virtual Sessions) beginning Monday, October 19, 2020.  In person classes will be scheduled to resume on Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
 
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Wilkes-Barre Area School District 730 South Main Street Wilkes-Barre, PA  18711-0376
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Know the symptoms of COVID-19; Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath; Spreads through close contact; Take everyday precautions: Wash your hands, don't touch face, avoid sick people. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health at health.pa.gov
Coronavirus Updates (COVID-19)
During this time, we can all understand how difficult it is to be a parent, student, community member and/or educator. Inevitably, there will be rumors and possibly inaccurate information within the community and on social media.  
 
The District is receiving updated information from the Pennsylvania Department of Education who is collaborating with the Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, county municipal health departments and others to ensure the most current and accurate information and resources are available for our school district. 

Utilize this webpage as your source for timely and accurate district Information. We will make resources available and information will be updated through this page. In addition, the Skylert Messaging system, as well as local media outlets will be utilized as necessary.
 
We will be in direct contact with parents, students, and district employees with timely and accurate information when it becomes available. 

October 21st, 2020  Update 8:30 am
Wilkes-Barre Area School District Community,
 
As of this communication, we have received information that two two staff members tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Both cases were at Coughlin High School.
 
Thankfully, the individuals were not in direct (close) contact with any students or staff members within their buildings. 
  
When a case is reported, the district
  • Contacts the state Rapid Response Center (RRC), an organization established to direct schools and coordinate efforts with the Department of Health, Department of Education and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. (*DOH was directly contacted for this case)
  • Communicates directly with the Department of Health.  The Department of Health then conducts contact tracing while the district establishes communication with close contacts and families.
  • Utilizes services from Ameristar Facility Solutions and our internal team to provide additional cleaning and sanitation of the district school building following each reported case.  
 
This is in accordance with the Wilkes-Barre Area School District Health and Safety Plan and guidance from the Department of Education.

October 17th, 2020 Update 11:30 am

Dear Community Members,
 
I want to first thank you for your patience, flexibility, and understanding during these unprecedented times. We realize that the circumstances of this pandemic have been difficult and challenging. We, as educators, feel the same way.
As of this communication, the District has confirmed multiple school buildings with 2-4 positive cases, within a 14-day period. 
 
As a result of these positive cases, based on Department of Education recommendations, close collaboration with the Department of Health, and out of an abundance of caution all option 1 students (in-person) will transition to option 2 (Live Virtual Sessions) beginning Monday, October 19, 2020.  
 
In person classes will be scheduled to resume on Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
 
Again, during this time period, there should be minimal impact on the educational process.  All teachers will follow their assigned schedules and live stream their classes. All students will be expected to attend their classes during their regularly scheduled time.
 
Again, we appreciate your cooperation and flexibility during these unprecedented times.  
 
Thank you,
 
Brian Costello
 

October 16th, 2020 Update 3:40

Wilkes-Barre Area School District Community,
 
As of this communication, we have received information that two community members tested positive for COVID-19 this week. One case at Coughlin High School (staff) and another case at Flood Elementary school.
 
Thankfully, the individuals were not in direct (close) contact with any students or staff members within their buildings. 
  
When a case is reported, the district
  • Contacts the state Rapid Response Center (RRC), an organization established to direct schools and coordinate efforts with the Department of Health, Department of Education and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. (*DOH was directly contacted for this case)
  • Communicates directly with the Department of Health.  The Department of Health then conducts contact tracing while the district establishes communication with close contacts and families.
  • Utilizes services from Ameristar Facility Solutions and our internal team to provide additional cleaning and sanitation of the district school building following each reported case.  
 
This is in accordance with the Wilkes-Barre Area School District Health and Safety Plan and guidance from the Department of Education.
 
 All schools will continue with in-person classes on Monday, October 19, 2020.
 
We appreciate your cooperation, flexibility, and understanding during these unprecedented times.  
 
 
Thank you,
 
Brian Costello


October 13th, 2020 Update 3:40

Wilkes-Barre Area School District Community,
 
As of this communication, we have received information that two staff members in multiple buildings tested positive for COVID-19 this week.  One case at Solomon Elementary (previously reported last night) and another case at Coughlin High School.
 
Through contact tracing it has been determined that the staff members did not have direct contact with any students.  
 
As a result of the Department of Education recommendations and with close collaboration with the Department of Health,  Solomon Elementary & Junior High School and Coughlin (including Mackin) High School will be closed for the remainder of this week.
 
Option 1 students (in-person) will transition to option 2 (Live Virtual Sessions) beginning Wednesday October 13th, through Friday October 16th , 2020.  In person classes will resume on Monday, October 19th , 2020.
 
Faculty will follow their scheduled classes (Live Stream) for the remainder of the week and should work remotely.
 
When a case is reported, the district
 
  • Contacts the state Rapid Response Center (RRC), an organization established to direct schools and coordinate efforts with the Department of Health, Department of Education and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. (*DOH was directly contacted for this case)
  • Communicates directly with the Department of Health.  The Department of Health then conducts contact tracing while the district establishes communication with close contacts and families.
  • Utilizes services from Ameristar Facility Solutions and our internal team to provide additional cleaning and sanitation of the district school building following each reported case.  
 
This is in accordance with the Wilkes-Barre Area School District Health and Safety Plan and guidance from the Department of Education.
 
All other schools will continue with in-person classes.
 
We appreciate your cooperation, flexibility, and understanding during these unprecedented times.  
 
 
Thank you,
 
Brian Costello







October 12th, 2020 Update 9:00 pm 

Good Evening,
 
Tonight, October 12th at 9:00  pm, we have received information that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 at Solomon Elementary.
 
We have determined that the staff member did not have direct contact with any student.  However, out of an abundance of caution, we are going to close the Solomon Complex tomorrow due to the timing of the information.

All students at the Solomon Complex should follow their schedule classes tomorrow and access their classes remotely at their regularly scheduled times.

All other schools will remain open and continue to hold in-person instruction.

 

October 9th, 2020 Update 7:00 pm (updated 10/12/2020)

Good Evening,
 
On Friday, October 9th, 4:15 pm, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 and a probable case within the District.
 
The cases are individuals from Meyers High School.  The last day the individuals were in the building was Wednesday, October 7, 2020.   Contract tracing was performed for October 5th – October 7th .
 
Thankfully, the individuals were not in direct contact with any student or faculty/staff within Meyers High School.  Again, Direct contact means within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer.
  
When a case is reported, the district:
 
  • Contacts the state Rapid Response Center (RRC), an organization established to direct schools and coordinate efforts with the Department of Health, Department of Education and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.  *Direct contact was made from DOH for this case*

  • Communicates directly with the Department of Health.  The Department of Health then conducts contact tracing while the district establishes communication with close contacts and families.

  • Utilizes services from Ameristar Facility Solutions and our internal team to provide additional cleaning and sanitation of the district school building following each reported case.  
 
This is in accordance with our District Health and Safety Plan and guidance from the Department of Education.
 
As a result of the Department of Education recommendations and with close collaboration with the Department of Health all schools will continue to operate on normal schedule with in-person classes.
  


October 5, 2020 Update 4:00 pm:

Good Afternoon,
 
This morning, around 8:50 am, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed two positive cases of COVID-19 within the District.
 
The first case is an individual from Meyers High School.  The last day the individual was in the building was Friday, September 25, 2020. 
 
The second case is an individual from Solomon Plains Junior High School.  The last day the individual was in the building was Thursday, October 1st.   Contract tracing was performed for 9/29/2020 and 9/30/2020.
 
Throughout the morning we have been in contact with the Department of Health.  Thankfully, the individuals were not in direct contact with any students or faculty/staff within those buildings.  Again, Direct contact means within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer.
  
When a case is reported, the district:
 
  • Contacts the state Rapid Response Center (RRC), an organization established to direct schools and coordinate efforts with the Department of Health, Department of Education and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.  *Direct contact was made to DOH for these two cases*
 
  • Communicates directly with the Department of Health.  The Department of Health then conducts contact tracing while the district establishes communication with close contacts and families.
 
  • Utilizes services from Ameristar Facility Solutions and our internal team to provide additional cleaning and sanitation of the district school building following each reported case.  
 
This is in accordance with our District Health and Safety Plan and guidance from the Department of Education.
 
As a result of the Department of Education recommendations and with close collaboration with the Department of Health all schools will continue to operate on normal schedule with in-person classes.
  
 
Thank you,
 
Brian Costello



September 23, 2020 Update 4:30:
 
Wilkes-Barre Area School District Community,
 
As of this communication, two probable cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the district within the same building.
 
When a case is reported, the district:
 
  • Contacts the state Rapid Response Center (RRC), an organization established to direct schools and coordinate efforts with the Department of Health, Department of Education and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
 
  • Communicates directly with the Department of Health.  The Department of Health then conducts contact tracing while the district establishes communication with close contacts and families.
 
  • Utilizes services from Ameristar Facility Solutions and our internal team to provide additional cleaning and sanitation of the district school building following each reported case.  
 
This is in accordance with the Wilkes-Barre Area School District Health and Safety Plan and guidance from the Department of Education.
 
As a result of the Department of Education recommendations and with close collaboration with the Department of Health, Dan Flood Elementary option 1 students (in-person) will transition to option 2 (Live Virtual Sessions) beginning Thursday, September 24, 2020.  In person classes will resume on Monday, September 28, 2020.
 
All other schools will continue with in-person classes.
 
Again, we understand this is short notice, but appreciate your cooperation and flexibility during these unprecedented times.  

Thank you,
 
Brian Costello
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2020-2021 Learning Options

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope everyone is safe and healthy and has found time to enjoy these warm summer months. I want to thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult and unprecedented times. We realize that the circumstances of this pandemic have been difficult and challenging. We, as school leaders, feel the same way.

We have been working on the details for reopening schools based on recommendations from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Our goal is to provide high quality and equitable education for your child while mitigating the risk to students and staff.

As parents/ guardians, you will have the choice of one of the following options for each child in your family for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year:

Option 1: Traditional in-person instruction 5 days a week. Masks will be required at ALL times except in classrooms where social distancing of six feet or greater can be maintained.

=        All parents/guardians will be required to prescreen their child/children daily.

=        The school will utilize thermal screening (temperature scans) prior to students entering the building.

=        Teachers and staff will be required to wear a face covering at all times as well.

=        Social distancing will be maintained whenever possible and student movement will be limited.

=        Hand sanitize stations will be located in all classrooms as well as throughout the building.

=        Buildings and busses will be cleaned and disinfected daily and high-touch areas will be cleaned throughout the day.

Option 2: Remote/distance learning five days a week. All students will receive a traditional schedule and will be required to log into their classes at the scheduled time daily. Note: With this option, students will be able to participate and interact in real time with the class.

Option 3: Wilkes-Barre Area Cyber Academy. This option does not provide daily real-time interactions.

The District will provide all students with a Chromebook or laptop regardless of the learning option selected.

Transportation: All students who select to use District transportation will be required to wear a mask at all times. Additionally, seats on busses will be assigned with a maximum of two students per seat. Family members will be expected to share seats on the bus.

Parents/Guardians will be able to select one of the learning options through Skyward Family Access. Additionally, parents/guardians will also indicate if they will be using District transportation for the first semester. 

Instructions on how to select the option for your child/children are available on YouTube.  Parents/Guardians must select one of the options available by August 14th, 2020. Any Parent/Guardian who does not select an option by August 14th, 2020, their child will be entered into Option2 (Remote Learning) for the first semester. Parents/Guardians will have the ability to modify their choice at the end of the first semester.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the building principal at your child’s school. 

Thank you again for your flexibility and cooperation during these challenging times. We will continue to update you with any additional information as it becomes available.

Sincerely, 

Dr. Brian J. Costello

2020-2021 Dress Code Modifications
During the pandemic, the current WBA dress code will be modified to allow the following:
  1. Collar-less shirts
  2. Jeans
  3. Sweat pants/Joggers with drawstring tied
Not allowed:
  1. No excessively tight pants
  2. No sleeveless shirts without shirt underneath
  3. No bandanas
  4. No rips/frays that reveal skin or under garments
The district will also be allowing book bags into our buildings.  Please be advised that all bags entering the building will be searched.

All other rules regarding piercings/electronic devices/etc. remain the same.