• September 25, 2020 - Important Update

    Dear Parents and Guardians, 

    Over the last four weeks, I have observed the staff and students of Northwestern Lehigh School District engage in meaningful social, emotional, and academic pursuits that many would not have believed would be possible just a few short months ago.  Although everything has not been smooth, the staff of the Northwestern Lehigh School District will continue to work diligently, look forward to the opportunities to engage our students in critical thinking, and continually renew the focus on our collective responsibility to keep our school community safe.   I continue to be proud of the work I see each day and ask that our community remain patient as we continue to plan instruction using resources and tools that are different than those utilized in a traditional classroom.  I am so incredibly proud of our students for adapting to new safety protocols while in school and during student activities and athletics.  Our teachers and parents have worked collaboratively together to provide a robust education to our children while keeping our students and employees safe.  

    I am mindful that as long as there are cases of COVID-19 in our community, there are no strategies that can completely eliminate the transmission risk within our school community which includes both students and employees. The goal is to keep transmission as low as possible to safely continue school operations.  

    I would like to take this opportunity to share several reminders and a few changes to our mandatory screening procedures.  We continue to seek the support of our community as we work together to keep our students and staff safe while ensuring that our schools are operating as effectively as possible.  

    MANDATORY SCREENING:

     All students are required to perform a mandatory screening each day before coming to school.   If you exhibit one or more symptoms in Column A or 2 or more symptoms in Column B, DO NOT send your child to school.  Please note “new loss of taste or smell” has moved to Column A.  

    Column A

    1 or more symptoms

    Column B

    2 or more symptoms

      • Fever / Chills
        • Temperature greater than 100.4 under age of 18
    • Temperature greater than 100.0 age 18 and over 

    • Shortness of Breath or Trouble Breathing

    • New or Worsening Dry Cough

    • New loss of taste or smell

    • Have a household member or close contact who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Chest discomfort

    If your child exhibits one or more symptoms in Column A or two or more in Column B, DO NOT send your child to school.  Email the covidscreening@nwlehighsd.org to inform the school your child will be absent, due to having one or more of the symptoms above.  Contact your medical provider, schedule a virtual COVID-19 screening at www.LVHN.org/videoscreening, or call PA Department of Health (1-877-PA-HEALTH) to discuss symptoms.  Be sure to ask your medical professional for a note explaining the outcome of your visit.

    Should a COVID-19 test be recommended for you, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) has partnered with Northwestern Lehigh School District to offer all students with prioritized and expedited testing. This means you should receive your results within 48 hours if you are tested at an LVHN location.  

    FACE COVERINGS:

    All students are required to wear a face covering when inside a school district building.  Face coverings must be modest and not offensive.  A face covering may be removed when a student is eating lunch but the student must remain socially distant (at least 6’ from another individual) from others during this time or during teacher-led face covering breaks not to exceed 10 minutes.  It is important that face coverings, particularly with younger students, have a snug fit and cover the nose and mouth at all times.  Additionally, all student athletes must follow the Northwestern Lehigh Athletic Department Return to Sport Health and Safety plan requirements for face coverings. Please see the attached face covering order PA DOH orders from the Commonwealth of PA. Here’s some good tips on how to wear a mask from our partners at LVHN.

    A face covering is defined as a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. A "face covering" can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen. For purposes of this order, a face covering includes a plastic face shield that covers the nose and mouth. "Face coverings" may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or be improvised from household items, including but not limited to, scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels. 

    FREQUENT HAND WASHING/USE OF HAND SANITIZER

    Students are required to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently.  Hand hygiene while entering and exiting the classroom, before and after lunch, before and after recess or physical education class, as well as when you use the restroom are good reminders. 

    SOCIAL DISTANCING 

    Students are required to participate in social distancing to the maximum extent feasible and appropriate inside a school district building or while participating in a student activity.  Social distancing of 6 feet or more is required when a face covering is removed while eating lunch or during a face covering break.

    TRAVEL QUARANTINE

    Please know that the COVID-19 travel quarantine recommendation issued by Governor Wolf and the CDC does remain in place in Pennsylvania. You can find the latest list of states where there are high amounts of COVID-19 as well as Level 3 and Level 4 travel restrictions. Please check PA DOH COVID-19 Information for Travelers and CDC Travel Health Notices for the latest updates. If you have traveled, or plan to travel to an area where there are a high number of COVID-19 cases, you are required to quarantine for 14 days prior to your return to work at Northwestern Lehigh. Please contact your child’s school office about your travel.  

    Together, we need to adhere to the practices contained within our Health and Safety Plan to help keep our entire school community safe.   The latest information is always available at www.nwlehighsd.org/COVID-19.  Our COVID-19 site now has a data dashboard with positive cases of COVID-19 identified by school building by week.   Thank you for your anticipated cooperation with these health and safety requirements. 


    We are all in this together and together we will get through this pandemic and all of its challenges!

    Respectfully yours,

    Jennifer L. Holman
    Superintendent of School

    September 24, 2020 - COVID Notice: Weisenberg Elementary

    Dear Parent/Guardian or Staff Member,

    On September 24, 2020, Northwestern Lehigh School District was notified of two additional positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Weisenberg Elementary School.  One individual was last in attendance on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 and the other Wednesday, September 23, 2020. School leadership has contacted the PA Department of Health regarding the cases.

    As a reminder, the Weisenberg Elementary School is already closed for all students through Friday, October 2, 2020. As a result, instruction for all Weisenberg students will be delivered online during this time. Teachers will be in contact with parents regarding directions and assignments for this period. No students are to report to the building. Our intent is to resume in-person instruction on Monday, October 5, 2020. 

    The PA Department of Health is conducting contact tracing for this case. Staff members and students who are deemed as a “close contact” will be directly contacted by PA Department of Health to self-quarantine.

    Please follow your respective screening procedure: Continuum of Screening - Students / Continuum of Screening - Employees. If you meet the criteria defined within the procedure, please stay home and contact your medical provider, schedule a virtual COVID-19 screening at https://www.LVHN.org/videoscreening, or call PA Department of Health (1-877-PA-HEALTH) to discuss symptoms.

    As a reminder, everyone is encouraged to do the following to help prevent the spread of illness at home, in school and at work:
    - Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    - Wash your hands frequently.Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    - Stay home when you are sick.
    - Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough and sneeze.
    - Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    - Practice social distancing and wear a mask.

    For more information about COVID-19, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or Pennsylvania Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19). The District’s Reopening Health & Safety Plan and resources can be found on Northwestern Lehigh COVID-19 website.

    The Northwestern Lehigh School District will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed. If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please email admincontact@nwlehighsd.org

    We thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Troy Sosnovik
    Assistant Superintendent - Pandemic Coordinator
    Northwestern Lehigh School District

    September 23, 2020 - COVID Notice: Weisenberg Elementary & High School

    Dear Parent/Guardian or Staff Member,

    This message is to provide you with an update on the Weisenberg Elementary coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, as well as inform you of a positive case at the High School.

    Weisenberg Elementary
    This afternoon, the PA Department of Health has recommended that the Weisenberg Elementary School shall be closed for all students through Friday, October 2, 2020. As a result, instruction for all Weisenberg students will be delivered online during this time. Teachers will be in contact with parents regarding directions and assignments for this period. No students are to report to the building. Our intent is to resume in-person instruction on Monday, October 5, 2020.

    High School
    On September 23, 2020, Northwestern Lehigh School District was notified of a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) at the High School.  The individual was last in attendance on Friday, September 18, 2020. The individual is associated with the Junior Varsity and Varsity Football program. 

    The PA Department of Health, in conjunction with school leadership, has determined that there is no need to close our High School at this time. The classrooms and spaces used by the individual were cleaned and disinfected according to our Reopening Health & Safety Plan.

    Additionally, consistent with our Return to Sport Health and Safety Plan, all practices and games for the Junior Varsity and Varsity Football program will be suspended through Friday, October 2, 2020.

    The PA Department of Health is conducting contact tracing for this case. Staff members and students who are deemed as a “close contact” will be directly contacted by PA Department of Health to self-quarantine.

    Please follow your respective screening procedure: Continuum of Screening - Students / Continuum of Screening - Employees. If you meet the criteria defined within the procedure, please stay home and contact your medical provider, schedule a virtual COVID-19 screening at https://www.LVHN.org/videoscreening, or call PA Department of Health (1-877-PA-HEALTH) to discuss symptoms.

    As a reminder, everyone is encouraged to do the following to help prevent the spread of illness at home, in school and at work:
    - Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    - Wash your hands frequently.
    - Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    - Stay home when you are sick.
    - Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough and sneeze.
    - Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    - Practice social distancing and wear a mask.

    For more information about COVID-19, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or Pennsylvania Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19). The District’s Reopening Health & Safety Plan and resources can be found on Northwestern Lehigh COVID-19 website.

    The Northwestern Lehigh School District will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed. If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please email admincontact@nwlehighsd.org

    We thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Troy Sosnovik
    Assistant Superintendent - Pandemic Coordinator
    Northwestern Lehigh School District

    September 21, 2020 - COVID Notice: Weisenberg Elementary

    Dear Parent/Guardian or Staff Member,

    On September 21, 2020, Northwestern Lehigh School District was notified of another positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Weisenberg Elementary School.  The individual was last in attendance on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

    School leadership has contacted the PA Department of Health regarding the case. In response, the Weisenberg Elementary School shall be closed for all students through Wednesday, September 23, 2020 while we await further guidance from the PA Department of Health.  Once we receive direction from them, we will re-evaluate resuming in-person instruction for Thursday, September 24, 2020 and another communication will be sent to you on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

    Again, Tuesday, September 22, 2020 will be online for all Weisenberg students. No students are to report to the building.  Teachers will be in contact with parents regarding directions and assignments for Tuesday.  Wednesday, September 23, 2020 will be an online synchronous and asynchronous learning day for all students as originally scheduled. 

    The PA Department of Health is conducting contact tracing for this case. Staff members and students who are deemed as a “close contact” will be directly contacted by PA Department of Health to self-quarantine.

    Please follow your respective screening procedure: Continuum of Screening - Students / Continuum of Screening - Employees. If you meet the criteria defined within the procedure, please stay home and contact your medical provider, schedule a virtual COVID-19 screening at https://www.LVHN.org/videoscreening, or call PA Department of Health (1-877-PA-HEALTH) to discuss symptoms.

    As a reminder, everyone is encouraged to do the following to help prevent the spread of illness at home, in school and at work:
    - Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    - Wash your hands frequently.Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    - Stay home when you are sick.
    - Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough and sneeze.
    - Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    - Practice social distancing and wear a mask.

    For more information about COVID-19, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or Pennsylvania Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19). The District’s Reopening Health & Safety Plan and resources can be found on Northwestern Lehigh COVID-19 website.

    The Northwestern Lehigh School District will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed. If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please email admincontact@nwlehighsd.org

    We thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Troy Sosnovik
    Assistant Superintendent - Pandemic Coordinator
    Northwestern Lehigh School District

    September 20, 2020 - COVID Notice: Weisenberg Elementary

    Dear Parent/Guardian or Staff Member,

    On September 20, 2020, Northwestern Lehigh School District was notified of three positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Weisenberg Elementary School.  One of the individuals was last in attendance on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, another on Thursday, September 17, 2020, and the third on Friday, September 18, 2020.

    The PA Department of Health, in conjunction with school leadership, has determined that the Weisenberg Elementary School shall be closed on Monday, September 21, 2020. During this closure the building will be cleaned and disinfected according to our Reopening Health & Safety Plan.

    Again, Monday, September 21, 2020 will be online for all Weisenberg students. No students are to report to the building.  Teachers will be in contact with parents regarding directions and assignments for Monday.

    The PA Department of Health is conducting contact tracing for this case. Staff members and students who are deemed as a “close contact” will be directly contacted by PA Department of Health to self-quarantine.

    Please follow your respective screening procedure: Continuum of Screening - Students / Continuum of Screening - Employees. If you meet the criteria defined within the procedure, please stay home and contact your medical provider, schedule a virtual COVID-19 screening at https://www.LVHN.org/videoscreening, or call PA Department of Health (1-877-PA-HEALTH) to discuss symptoms.

    As a reminder, everyone is encouraged to do the following to help prevent the spread of illness at home, in school and at work:
    - Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    - Wash your hands frequently.Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    - Stay home when you are sick.
    - Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough and sneeze.
    - Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    - Practice social distancing and wear a mask.

    For more information about COVID-19, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or Pennsylvania Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19). The District’s Reopening Health & Safety Plan and resources can be found on Northwestern Lehigh COVID-19 website.

    The Northwestern Lehigh School District will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed. If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please email admincontact@nwlehighsd.org

    We thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Troy Sosnovik

    Assistant Superintendent - Pandemic Coordinator

    Northwestern Lehigh School District

    September 18, 2020 - COVID Notice - Weisenberg

    Dear Parents/Guardians or Staff Member, 

    On September 18, 2020, Northwestern Lehigh School District was notified of a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Weisenberg Elementary School.  This person was last in attendance on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

    The PA Department of Health, in conjunction with school leadership, has determined that there is no need to close our school at this time. The classrooms and spaces used by the individual were cleaned and disinfected according to our Reopening Health & Safety Plan.

    The PA Department of Health is conducting contact tracing for this case. Staff members and students who are deemed as a “close contact” will be directly contacted by PA Department of Health to self-quarantine.

    Please follow your respective screening procedure: Continuum of Screening - Students / Continuum of Screening - Employees. If you meet the criteria defined within the procedure, please stay home and contact your medical provider, schedule a virtual COVID-19 screening at https://www.LVHN.org/videoscreening, or call PA Department of Health (1-877-PA-HEALTH) to discuss symptoms. 

    As a reminder, everyone is encouraged to do the following to help prevent the spread of illness at home, in school and at work:

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Wash your hands frequently.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough and sneeze.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Practice social distancing and wear a mask.

    For more information about COVID-19, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or Pennsylvania Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19). The District’s Reopening Health & Safety Plan and resources can be found on Northwestern Lehigh COVID-19 website.

    The Northwestern Lehigh School District will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed. If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please email admincontact@nwlehighsd.org

    We thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

    Sincerely,

    Andrea Edmonds

    Director of Student Services

    Northwestern Lehigh School District

    August 20, 2020 - Welcome Back to Families

    Good evening Tiger Families! 

    On behalf of the Northwestern Lehigh Board of Directors and the entire Northwestern Lehigh administration and staff, I would like to officially welcome you back to school for the 2020-2021 school year!  On August 31, 2020, the new school year will begin for all students! 

    Instructional Model  

    As a reminder, we will begin the 2020-2021 school year in a Blended (hybrid), as well as an online, instructional model. This means that some of our students will be online while others will be in-person in our buildings. The first day of school for all students is August 31, 2020. For students enrolled in our Blended model whose last name starts with A-K, you will be attending school in-person on Monday, August 31, 2020, in addition to each day identified in YELLOW. Students with a last name that starts with L-Z will have their first in-person on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 and will attend school in-person on each day identified in GREY.   The school days will be full days of instruction.  

    When a week contains a holiday or inservice day, we have made adjustments to the calendar to maximize in-person instruction and keep the cohort groups balanced.  You can access the NWLSD 2020-2021 Calendar here. 

    Our goal during the first week is to get all of our students accustomed to returning back to school, to the new safety procedures, a new routine/schedule, learn each teacher’s connection instructions and review student and teacher expectations for learning virtually.  This first week will focus on team building, getting to know their teacher, their classes, and how online instruction will function. 

    On Wednesdays that are identified in BLUE, you can expect students to be assigned a full day of asynchronous work with opportunities to touch base with your teacher if students missed work, enrichment/remediation, small group student work, and large group work.  Students should follow a similar schedule as a regular school day and their assignments will be listed by their teacher.  

    Back to School Health & Safety Procedures 

    As part of our Back to School Procedures, we are asking each parent to take the time to review the following information prior to August 31, 2020.  Each child will receive the Parent Flyer, Bookmark, and Quick Reference Screening Card on their first day of school.  Please pay close attention to the Quick Reference Screening Card. Remember you are required to complete the screening procedure on each child each morning before getting on the bus or arriving at school each morning.  

    Parent Resources

    Recent Updates from DOH - COVID-19 Diagnosis and Face Covering Update 

    Additionally, this week, we received two additional pieces of guidance from the PA Department of Health that you need review.    The first, released on August 13th, provides guidelines for school closures as a result of a COVID-19 positive case with a staff or student.  The second, released on August 18th, updates the previous universal face covering order that requires all students and staff to wear a face covering with limited exceptions.  Both of these pieces of guidance change information we previously sent to you.  As a result, we are strongly recommending that you determine alternative child care arrangements in the event there are abrupt school closures as a result of positive diagnosis of COVID-19.  We are also strongly encouraging you to review the face covering order and begin to practice wearing face coverings for extended periods in the time leading up to school.  For additional information, here is the link to our Board Presentation of the recent changes from PA Department of Health and PA Department of Education (Google Slide Version). Also, our updated School Reopening Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available here.

    Back to School Paperwork 

    Beginning tomorrow, August 21, 2020, you will be able to access all of our back to school information online for all students in grades K-12.   On each school website, there is a Back to School packet with information to read and review.  After you have reviewed the information, the acknowledgement can be completed using this form:   Checklist for Return to School by August 31, 2020

    Also, beginning tomorrow, August 21, 2020 you will be able to login to our Sapphire Parent Portal for information specific to your child.  Using your Sapphire Parent Portal account, you will be able to view homeroom teachers and schedules.  You will also be able to update your demographic and health information and submit them to us electronically.   Your transportation / bus assignments will be updated by August 25, 2020.  If you previously opted out of transportation, you will not see a bus assignment in Sapphire.  

    There will be no paper mailing this year.  If you have not created a Sapphire portal account, the instructions are on our website and in the Back to School packet.  Please contact your child's school for paper copies of all forms and documents if you do not have access to the Internet or a printer. 

    We hope that you had a wonderful summer with your family and we are excited and ready to have the students return to us in a few weeks!  I will see all of you soon!  

    Have a great evening!

    Jennifer L. Holman

    Superintendent of Schools

     

    August 11, 2020 - Instructional Model Update - Blended

    Hello Northwestern Lehigh School Community,

    The purpose of this communication is to provide families with an update of recent guidance from the PA Department of Education and PA Department of Health that affects our Reopening Health and Safety Plan and the instructional options for the Fall of the 2020 school year. 

    On August 10, 2020, Determining Instructional Models During the COVID-19 Pandemic guidance was released by the PA Department of Education and PA Department of Health.  This guidance recommends Districts use two metrics to determine the county-level of community spread of COVID-19 and recommends instructional options for school operations.  As of the date of this letter, Lehigh County is in the MODERATE spread and the recommended instructional models are either full remote or blended model.  This guidance was reviewed and supported by our Reopening Health and Safety Plan medical advisor.

    As a result, the District will no longer be offering a Traditional instructional model for the start of school. The instructional models that will be available for all K-12 students will be  (1) blended learning or (2) online instruction with a NWLSD instructor.  We will remain in these instructional models until at least the end of the first marking period, which is currently November 4, 2020, or if health data requires us to make an adjustment.  Please note that we will be offering transportation from your homes daily.  

    What does this mean for students that committed to a Traditional instructional model?

    If you committed to a Traditional model, we will automatically shift your child to a Blended model.   If you committed to an Online with a NWLSD instructor model, you will remain online with a NWLSD instructor.  

    We recognize that this adjustment may result in some families wanting to choose another instructional model; therefore, we are providing families an opportunity to change your selection. If you desire to change your selection, you MUST email the office to change your selection by 5:00pm on Thursday, August 13, 2020 using the following emails. Please send one email per child to the correct building he/she will attend for the 20-21 school year.  

    If your household has multiple last names, please email admincontact@nwlehighsd.org to make us aware.

    Listed below is additional information that better describe each instructional model being offered.

    Comparison between Blended and Online with a NWLSD Instructional Model

    Blended Learning

    • School population placed into cohorts 
    • In school 2 days per week / 3 days online 
    • NWLSD curriculum and eLearn21 online content taught by NWLSD teachers
    • Rigorous content aligned to PA Standards
    • Grading as outlined in the student handbook 
    • Attendance and participation expectations will mirror the Traditional model
    • Students provided a device to use at home and at school

    Online with NWLSD Teacher(s)

    • 100% online for all subjects delivered 5 days a week through a mixture of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (self paced) instruction
    • NWLSD curriculum and eLearn21 online content taught by NWLSD teachers
    • Rigorous content aligned to PA Standards
    • Grading as outlined in the student handbook
    • Attendance and participation expectations will mirror the Traditional model
    • Students provided a device to use at home

     

    Blended Schedule

    Cohort A:  Last name/household name starting with A - K

    Cohort B:  Last name/household name starting in L - Z 

    Monday

    Tuesday

    Wednesday

    Thursday

    Friday

    Cohort A:

    In-School/In-Person

    Cohort A:

    In-School/In-Person

    Cohort A & B - Online Learning 

    Cohort A:

    Online Learning

    Cohort A:

    Online Learning

    Cohort B:

    Online Learning

    Cohort B:

    Online Learning

    Cohort B:

    In-School/In-Person

    Cohort B:

    In-School/In-Person

    Our COVID-19 Resource Page has all of our previous communication, FAQs, screening card, and other resource documents. 

    We are disappointed that we were not able to offer a Traditional model; however, our faculty and staff are excited to welcome our students back (in-person or virtually) and we continue to be committed to providing a safe and healthy return for our school community. I respectfully ask you to support our efforts to provide a healthy and safe educational environment for our return. 

    Respectfully,

    Jennifer L. Holman

    Superintendent of Schools

     

    August 3, 2020 - Fall 2020 Reopening Plan Summary & Commitment of Intent

    Hello Northwestern Lehigh School Community,

    The purpose of this communication is to provide families with a summary of the Reopening Health and Safety Plan, as well as inform you of the instructional options you can choose for the Fall of the 2020 school year. 

    At the Special Board Meeting held on July 22, the Board of Directors unanimously approved the Northwestern Lehigh School District's Reopening Health and Safety Plan.  This plan will serve as the framework for our students and staff as we welcome everyone back for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.   Thank you for providing feedback to us about your preferred instructional options and ability to provide transportation.  This information was invaluable and provided us the data we needed to solidify our offerings for the 2020-2021 school year.  

    As of the date of this letter, the school year will begin for all students on August 31, 2020.  We are excited to announce that we will be offering ALL families the option to choose from two instructional models: (1) a Traditional model, 100% in-person instruction five days per week, OR (2) a 100% online model with a Northwestern Lehigh School District instructor.  The online instruction with a NWLSD teacher will include synchronous (live) lessons and asynchronous guided and independent activities under the direction of our staff.  In both cases, we will use the NWLSD curriculum to deliver robust content to be delivered in-person and online. We are pleased to offer both options, so families can make a decision that is right for their household.  Based on the survey results from our families, offering these two options will afford us the ability to reduce the density in our classrooms which is necessary for a Traditional environment.

     

    *** Parent/Guardian Action Item ***

    If you are choosing an instructional model other than Tradition (in-person), you need to complete the Return to School commitment form no later than August 10, 2020. Failure to do so will result in your child being enrolled in the Traditional model.

    If you are choosing a Traditional model, there is NO NEED TO DO ANYTHING MORE RIGHT NOW.

    ***

    Please know that we are not offering a Blended (hybrid) model at this time. Our intention is to offer a Blended (hybrid) model if the county returns to a Yellow Phase, we need to reduce the number of individuals in our buildings, and/or local COVID-19 health data suggests we do so.  In addition to the Traditional and Online model with NWLSD teachers, parents can choose from our digital academy and homeschool program.

    We are taking the necessary steps to be able to stream synchronously from our classrooms in the Fall of 2020; therefore, should the county return to the Red Phase and students are required to return to 100% online instruction, they will have access to the same high-quality instruction provided by our NWLSD teachers.  Our teachers will utilize educational content aligned to the PA standards and designed specifically for online learning.  Our goal is to make it a seamless transition regardless if you choose Traditional or Online with an NWLSD teacher.  

    What do you need to do next?

    After reviewing this document and the Northwestern Lehigh School District Reopening Health and Safety Plan in its entirety:

    1. If you wish for your child(ren) to attend school 100% in-person, Traditional model, there is NO NEED TO DO ANYTHING MORE RIGHT NOW.  We will see your child(ren) on August 31, 2020!  
    2. If you are opting out of the Traditional Model and wish to select the 100% online with a NWL instructor, register for our Digital Academy, or intend to homeschool, please complete Return to School Commitment form for each child no later than August 10, 2020. 

    We recognize that this is an important decision so here are some helpful resources you can use to make an informed decision:  

    Comparison between Traditional and Online with a NWLSD Instructional Model

    Traditional

    • In-person instruction for all subjects delivered 5 days a week in an environment that adheres to the practices outlined in our Health and Safety Plan.
    • NWLSD curriculum taught by NWLSD teachers.
    • Rigorous content aligned to PA Standards.
    • Grading as outlined in the student handbook.
    • Attendance and participation expectations are the same as in previous years.
    • Students provided a device to use at school and at home.

    Online with NWLSD Teacher(s)

    • 100% online for all subjects delivered 5 days a week through a mixture of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (self paced) instruction.
    • NWLSD curriculum and eLearn21 online content taught by NWLSD teachers. 
    • Rigorous content aligned to PA Standards.
    • Grading as outlined in the student handbook.
    • Attendance and participation expectations will mirror the Traditional model.
    • Students provided a device to use at home.


    Our faculty and staff are excited to welcome our students back (in-person or virtually) and we are committed to providing a safe and healthy return for our school community. I respectfully ask you to support our efforts to provide a healthy and safe educational environment for our return. 

     

    Respectfully,

    Jennifer L. Holman

    Superintendent of Schools

     

    #TogetherWeGotThis

     

    July 17, 2020

    Dear Families:

    I hope you are doing well and I want to thank you for all of your support during these turbulent times. As you know, we have designed a Health and Safety Plan using guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), PA Department of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization (WHO), and our local health partners at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) to provide options that are designed to open school safely for your children and provide a continuity of education we believe is so important. 

    We wanted you to have this document in advance of the start to the 2020-2021 school year to make an informed decision for your family.  Knowing that guidance quickly changes, and using the Governor’s phased reopening, our color could change based on local outbreaks.  It is possible that the Commonwealth could impose stricter safety restrictions and additional mandated health protocols which will limit our operating capacity.   We have prepared several options from Traditional in-person instruction, a blended/hybrid approach, a completely online with NWL instructors, and our digital academy as options for this school year.  We will need to be nimble and prepared for each scenario. 

    NWLSD families, students, and staff have been at the heart of our decision-making during these uncertain times of closure, due to COVID-19.  We continue to have the health and safety of our students and staff as paramount as we return to school, creating an environment that is also conducive to teaching and learning.   

    Here’s a video that explains some of the information you will want to know for the 2020-2021 school year.  We are asking for your feedback before making a final decision for the 2020-2021 school year.   The attached booklet for parents also provides details about instructional options for next school year. If you would like to see the entire Reopening Health and Safety Plan which details all of our mitigation strategies and COVID-19 procedures to keep our school community safe, the draft plan is available on our COVID-19 website. 

    We know that this is a lot of information.  We also understand that this situation is constantly changing.  You and your family might need time to consider these options.  Reach out to us with questions or concerns you may have at admincontact@nwlehighsd.org.  When you are ready, please take a few minutes to complete the survey linked below, which will provide us with the information we need to be ready for the 2020-2021 school year. 

    Instructional Options SURVEY LINK

    Please complete the survey by July 30, 2020. This will give us the time to adjust teacher schedules, bus routes, order devices, and make all the other necessary preparations to accommodate all students. 

    In closing, we appreciate all you have done to support our community during these unique times and want you to know that we will continue to do the best we can to provide safe, appropriate, flexible, and equitable options for your family.  We cannot wait to see our students back in our schools once again!

    Stay Kind, Keep Healthy, Together

    Respectfully yours,  

    Jennifer L. Holman
    Superintendent of Schools