Editor’s Note: The superintendents of school districts serving students in Beaver County have released the following joint statement on closures due to the coronavirus. We are publishing their statement in full as submitted to BeaverCountian.com.
Dear Beaver County Students and Families,
We want to thank you all for your patience, flexibility, and understanding during these uncertain times. We realize that you are anxious to get your children back to their typical routine and for everyone in our country to return to a sense of normalcy. We as educators and school leaders feel the same way. We especially want to encourage our Class of 2020 to remain positive and look to the future. COVID-19 should not take away from their accomplishments and future plans!
The Beaver County School Districts, CTC, and BVIU continue to work together as we receive guidance from our state and federal leaders. We have rapidly put food programs in place to support our communities and we are all working with the local food banks. We are also planning for educational opportunities as we continue to receive guidance on implementation from our state leadership.
We are anticipating the Governor will close schools across the Commonwealth for an extended period of time. Given this eventuality, the Beaver County Superintendents, CTC Director, and BVIU Executive Director are announcing today that all Beaver County school facilities will be closed and all events will be canceled through Monday, April 13.
This decision was made to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 and in light of the CDC’s recommendation that gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people for the next 8 weeks. While we fully expect our closure could last longer, we feel that today’s announcement will help families plan into the near future.
We recognize that school is often a place of comfort and normalcy for our children and the closure has caused significant disruption to daily schedules. We are all actively working to plan for educational opportunities during the closure. As you can imagine, planning for remote learning with limited access to our teaching materials has proven challenging. Governor Wolf’s latest order, to cease all non-life-sustaining businesses and organizations, now poses greater obstacles to the established plans, as education is not considered “life-sustaining” during a pandemic.
Along with parents and our local business impacted by the Governor’s orders and COVID-19, school districts are working to resolve many challenges. The Districts are working tirelessly to find creative ways to meet our students’ and families’ needs while they are at home and our educators are off-site without familiar resources. While we continue to plan, resources for your child’s education are still present. Districts have shared many resources on their websites and through social media that are full of exciting opportunities for students to read, write, journal, draw, sing, play, create, and cook! We encourage parents of high school students to have conversations about postsecondary opportunities. It is an excellent time to create resumes, search colleges and trade schools, research careers, and to talk about future plans. As parents, we recognize that you have been your child’s first and most important educator. We know you will continue supporting them on their learning journey during these unprecedented times.
Beaver County school leaders will continue to work together to help guide our educational communities through these challenging times. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. We hope to answer questions about school calendars, commencement, and other outstanding issues soon.
It is our sincere hope that these disruptions will be temporary and that we will soon be able to get back to doing what we do best, upholding our District’s educational mission for our students. We appreciate your patience as we adapt to these unusual circumstances. Ensuring that we are a healthy community must remain our top priority until this threat has passed.
Dr. Jane Bovalino, Superintendent
Rochester Area School District
Dr. Peter Carbone, Superintendent
Aliquippa School District
Mr. Alan R. Fritz, Jr., Superintendent
South Side Area School District
Dr. Jeffrey A. Fuller, Superintendent
Freedom Area School District
Dr. Joseph A. Guarino, Superintendent
New Brighton Area School District
Mr. Barry King, Substitute Superintendent
Ambridge Area School District
Dr. Michelle Miller, Superintendent
Hopewell Area School District
Dr. Donna Nugent, Superintendent
Big Beaver Falls Area School District
Dr. Nicholas Perry, Superintendent
Central Valley School District
Dr. Robert H. Postupac, Superintendent
Blackhawk Area School District and
Western Beaver County School District
Dr. Eric Rosendale, Executive Director
Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit #27
Dr. Carrie Rowe, Superintendent
Beaver Area School District
Mr. Sean D. Tanner, Superintendent
Midland Borough School District
Mr. Bret Trotta, Superintendent
Riverside Beaver County School District
Mr. David A. Wytiaz, Administrative Director
Beaver County Career & Technology Center