Union Area School District Covid-19 FAQ
The Union Area School District is committed to the safety of all students and staff. The COVID-19 outbreak and corresponding school closures have created an unprecedented and rapidly evolving educational environment. This page was developed to provide the most up-to-date information regarding the closure’s impact on Union Area and how the district will progress if the closure continues. Please check this page for updates and new information as it becomes available.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
General School Closure Information
Q. When will schools reopen?
As of 3/23/2020, schools are ordered to be closed through Sunday, March 29. At this time, we have not received word as to whether or not that closure will be continued or if school will resume as normal on Monday, March 30. As soon as the district receives word from the Governor’s Office or the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), we will communicate that information to parents, students, and staff.
Q. Will students needs to make up these days?
We are still awaiting official word from PDE, but PDE has said that schools who do not meet the minimum number of instructional days or instructional hours will be able to apply for a waiver. If these days do need to be made up, we will communicate that to families, students, and staff as soon as possible.
Q. Will the last day of school change?
Not at this time. If the district receives additional guidance from PDE, we will communicate that to parents, students, and staff as soon as possible.
Q . Will there be any changes to Prom or Commencement?
As of 3/23/2020, Prom and Commencement are scheduled to occur as previously scheduled. However, the district is aware that these may be impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make changes to these events, the district will communicate as soon as possible.
Q. Will food be available for students during the closure?
Yes. Parents can sign up to have breakfast and lunch for anyone in their household under the age of 18. You can sign up by visiting this link: Meal Survey. If you cannot access the survey link, please call the school at 724-658-4501, extension 2301.
Q . How can I sign up to receive important email notices?
If you are not currently receiving important email notices, please complete the Guardian Email Form.
Q. Can seniors have transcripts sent to colleges during the closure?
Yes. Mrs. Cataloni can electronically send a student’s transcript to the college or university. Students should email Mrs. Cataloni at email@example.com.
Classes, Required Work, Grades and Testing
Q. Do students have to do the required work during the closure?
For the week of March 23, 2020, students do not have to do any required work except as noted below. However, the district did post optional activities that students could complete on the district website. This work is not required and will not be included in a student’s grade.
Students in BC3’s Dual Enrollment Class with Mr. Shamblin:
BC3 has resumed virtual classes as of Monday, March 23. Students enrolled in Mr. Shamblin’s 8th period Dual Enrollment course should expect to resume activities for that class in order to follow BC3’s schedule. Mr. Shamblin will communicate with students about the required assignments.
Q. When will Q3 end and report cards be distributed?
Q3 was originally scheduled to end on March 24, 2020. As a result of the closure, the district will include grades prior to the closure as part of a student’s Q3 grade. When the district returns to required work (either remotely or in person), that work will be counted toward a student’s Q4 grade. However, the district realizes that some students may have been absent during the week prior to the closure. Teachers will reach out to students individually in order to make arrangements to collect that make-up work. Any assignment which was given and due to be collected during the closure will not be included in a student’s Q3 grade. Teachers will communicate to students when the new due date of that assignment might be once the district returns to required work (either remotely or in person). Please note: Q3 report cards may be delayed in order to allow teachers time to communicate with students about any required make-up work.
Q. If the closure continues, how will the district educate students?
District staff has been working over the closure to develop a system for educating students during a prolonged closure if it becomes necessary. Once further guidance from PDE or the Governor’s Office is released about whether or not the closure will continue, the district will communicate with parents and students about that plan.
Q. Will students need to complete PSSAs, PASAs, or Keystone this year?
No. PDE has waived all testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year for PSSAs, PASAs, and Keystone Exams.
Q. What about students who were scheduled to take an AP test this year?
The College Board, the organization who oversees AP testing, has announced that for the 2019-2020 exam administration, students can take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. The College Board announced the following: “The exam will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March. Students will be able to take these streamlined exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option. The exam questions are designed and administered in ways that prevent cheating; we use a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software, to protect the integrity of the exams.” Testing options will be announced Friday, April 3.
Beginning Wednesday, March 25, students can attend a free, live AP review course online by visiting the Free AP Review Class webpage.