COVID-19 Response and Information

UPDATES

The Federal, State and Local responses to the COVID-19 / corona virus are very fluid.  The District is attempting to provide clear and concise information to our Community, Families and Employees.

This dedicated page will be our main method of disseminating information.  We will follow up these notifications on social media and our other messaging tools as appropriate and as dictated by the situation. Please check this page often for updates.


2021-05-18


Dear Parents and Guardians, 


Throughout this year, the Bellwood-Antis School District has made every effort to keep our schools open and to minimize the quarantines of staff and students to the greatest extent possible.  As we enter the final days of the school year, we will continue these efforts.  You may be hearing news of the loosening of COVID-related restrictions, particularly for vaccinated individuals.  However, we have seen an increase in the number of students that have been diagnosed with COVID 19 and/or have had to be quarantined.  Our hope is to keep the case counts as low as possible to preserve the activities planned for the remainder of the school year, such as prom, graduation, fieldtrips and so on.  For now, schools are being advised by the PA Department of Education to continue our current protocols.  Therefore, face coverings continue to be required for all individuals, and we will continue our other mitigation efforts such as physical distancing.   

We have been working closely, throughout the pandemic, with the Blair County Emergency Management Agency’s COVID Task Force.  Through that connection, all Blair County School Districts have been made aware that the Pfizer vaccine, which is now approved for students of age 12 and above, is widely available in our area.  Parents may now schedule a pediatric vaccination appointment free of charge at the Station Medical Center in Altoona through the following website:  https://vaccine.upmc.comAdults may also register for the vaccine at this site.   

Individuals who are fully vaccinated and are later deemed to be close contacts of a COVID positive or probable individual do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.  Other restrictions, such as mask wearing and social distancing, are beginning to be reduced for vaccinated individuals in certain settings.  We are hopeful that school settings will see reduced restrictions, including fewer closures and quarantines, in the future as more eligible individuals are vaccinated.  However, for now we are continuing our mask-wearing regulations. 

Thank you for your continued cooperation and support throughout this school year.  We will continue to make every effort to keep our students and staff safe, healthy, and in school as we close out our school year.   

 

Sincerely, 

 
Thomas R. McInroy, Ed D

 

2021-05-11

Dear Bellwood-Antis School District Family,

We’ve been asked by multiple people what exactly Deep Cleaning is.  The Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have worked with the PA Department of Education (PDE) to develop guidelines that schools follow for closing.

The process begins by Principals contacting the DOH and explaining the status of students and employees who have been diagnosed with COVID. The DOH Representative provides guidance as to the building’s closure for what is termed as Deep Cleaning.

However, we do more than Deep Clean when school is closed.  We also do contact-tracing and share that information with the DOH.  The purpose of sending students home is to provide a break where children should stay away from each other for a period of time.  While it may seem unusual or difficult to ask that, our sole purpose is to make sure everyone is safe and to keep continuity of education by keeping them in school 5 days a week.

Deep Cleaning is a DOH term that we are required to use.  Once we are aware of a possible or probable case, the custodial staff begins immediately cleaning known affected areas.  Once contact tracing is completed the staff then goes to other areas to make sure they are clean as well. 

When school is closed the custodial staff goes into each room and scrubs high-touch surfaces and sprays disinfectant again. The job is made easier as Elementary and Middle School students do not change classes which helps expedite the deep cleaning and tracing processes.

In conclusion, it is important for parents to note that we take the safety of our school community seriously as we have increased the level of Deep Cleaning and disinfectant on a daily basis since the start of the pandemic.  

2021-01-29


Dear Bellwood-Antis School District Family,

We were notified of COVID-19 cases in our schools.  At this time, these numbers do not mandate the official closure of schools.

However, we want to get ahead of the situation, and we will close the district Saturday and Sunday (January 30 and 31) for deep cleaning.  This closure is in compliance with PDE guidelines.

This is a pre-emptive closure and there will be no practices over the weekend.  No employees will be allowed in the buildings except for custodians for cleaning purposes.  This will enable the district to reset our numbers over the weekend in an effort not to disrupt education next week.

The events that are scheduled for this evening (Friday, January 29) will continue as planned.
Have a good weekend.

Sincerely, 
Dr. Thomas R. McInroy, Ed.D.
Superintendent

2021-01-06

Return to School Plan for January 11, 2021

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Last night the School Board came to a consensus about returning to school on Monday, January 11th.  The Administration made recommendations to the School Board based on several key factors: Health, Safety, and Welfare of the students and employees, state requirements, facilities, instructional needs, number of active COVID cases, and the mental health of the students. 

Your child’s daily schedule will depend upon which building they attend. The elementary and middle school students will return to face-to-face instruction five days per week.  The high school will be on a hybrid instructional model through January.  Mr. Schreier, the high school principal, will be sharing information about the structure and expectations of the hybrid model in the near future.

It is extremely important for you to be aware that under the latest mandates from Harrisburg, there is a possibility that we could be closed for a few days due to COVID outbreaks.  For your information, we have posted on the district website the chart that the district is required to follow.  On the chart, you will see that if there are two to four individuals that test positive for COVID 19 in a building, that building will be closed for a minimum of three days.  Instruction will be conducted remotely.  If there are five or more people testing positive for COVID 19 in a building, the building will be closed for 14 days and instruction will be conducted remotely.

Additionally, the State has changed the regulations for face coverings/masks.  On the district website you will find the latest mandates (HERE and HERE).  Please make sure that your child(ren) have the appropriate face coverings/masks for the return to school on Monday, January 11. As in the past, we will have mask breaks for the students.  If your child has a medical condition, we will still honor the doctor’s note that you provided at the beginning of the school year.

Rest assured we will maintain the highest level of cleanliness and we are asking for your help by talking to your children about washing their hands and keeping their mask over their mouth and nose at all times.

Sincerely,


Thomas R. McInroy, Ed.D.


Superintendent



2020-11-28

Due to the increase in COVID19 cases in our community, the Bellwood-Antis school board held an emergency meeting this afternoon.  The board voted to transition from in-person learning to remote learning for all K-12 students beginning Tuesday, December 1st through Friday, December 11th.  All extra-curricular activities, including PIAA sports, are cancelled through Friday, December 11th as well.  Our district will continue to evaluate the conditions in our community and a decision will be made prior to December 11th as to whether we will remain in remote learning, move to hybrid, or revert back to face-to-face instruction.


District COVID-19 Statistics


2020-11-19

At the school board meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, the administration discussed the increase in COVID numbers in Blair County and the Bellwood-Antis Community.  We also indicated the impact a small number of positive cases has had on the in-person enrollment in our school

In addition to identifying the increase in numbers, the administration shared a plan to adjust the instructional models in the schools as COVID numbers increase.

The following chart and documents summarize the data that would change the Bellwood-Antis School District's instructional model.  They also indicate the proposed schedule if any of the school buildings would move to a Hybrid Instructional Model.

Building Individuals
Quarantined 
F2F
Instruction 
Hybrid
Instruction
Virtual
Instruction 
Date Beginning
Date Ending
Myers
Elementary
Students: 24
Employees: 1
X
Middle
School
Students: 18
Employees: 1
X
High
School
Students: 30
Employees: 1


2020-09-04

BASD Students Eat Free For A Limited Time

Beginning Tuesday, September 8th, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Education authorized all students at the Bellwood-Antis School District to receive free breakfast and lunch meals for a limited time.  A la carte foods and beverages will continue to be available for purchase.  Students must have money in their account to purchase A la carte items.

 For students attending virtually, the meal program will begin Thursday, September 10th.  This is due to logistics issues caused by Labor Day weekend.

Virtual Students

Parents and Guardians, please call the Bellwood-Antis Food Service RSVP mailbox at (814) 742-2280 x5000.  You must RSVP on Wednesdays and Fridays with each child’s first and last name by 10:00AM for the next meal pick-up. (Call Wednesday by 10:00AM for Thursday’s pick-up and Call Friday by 10:00AM for Monday’s pick-up). 
Meal pick-up will be available at the Myers Elementary Martin Street Drop-off location from 10:00AM to 10:30AM on Mondays and Thursdays.  Please be sure to RSVP for the next pick-up date. 


This free meal program will continue for all students till December 31st or until program funds are exhausted.


Please contact the Food Service Department at (814) 742-2280 x4031 with any questions relating to this program.


2020-07-16


Parent and Guardian Survey - Reopening Plan for 2020-2021

We need your assistance for preparing for the upcoming school year so we can develop an  appropriate educational plan for all students in a complex and changing landscape of federal, state and local responses to the COVID-19 situation.  Please complete one survey per child so that we can gather the most complete picture per household.  The survey can be found (here).  We need your responses by Friday, July 24th.



2020-07-15


Bellwood-Antis Reopening Plan for 2020-2021

The Bellwood-Antis School District (BASD) has published its reopening plan.  You can read the document (here).


2020-06-18


Reopening of Schools in August 2020

The Bellwood-Antis School District (BASD) is planning for the reopening of schools on August 25, 2020, as long as Blair County remains in the PA COVID-19 Green Phase. The BASD Administrative Team wants the Reopening Plan to be informed by parent input. Please take a few minutes to respond to this brief, five-question survey concerning students' return to school.

Survey Link: (Here)

2020-05-14


The District has released plans for collecting school materials and reuniting student belonging.  The Plans can be found (here).

2020-05-01

New learning continues at Bellwood-Antis in new ways.  Please click the link below to see examples of our Continuity of Education in practice.

https://www.smore.com/ua6p5-bellwood-antis-school-district

2020-04-23


Bellwood-Antis School District COVID19 Closure

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. How will student attendance be taken now that remote learning is mandatory?

    Students will be considered in “attendance” if they are making a good faith effort to participate in weekly learning activities. Formal attendance will not be taken. If a student participates each week, the student is considered in attendance.

  2. Will students with perfect attendance still earn awards?

    Myers Elementary School will reward students with perfect attendance based on the calendar from the start of school through March 10. Multiple years of perfect attendance will also be rewarded. Grade-level events will take place on Facebook, date and time to be announced. When parents come to school to pick up students’ belongs, they will be given medallions and trophies as appropriate.

  3. What should I do if my child has a long term illness that prevents their ability to do school work?

    Contact your child’s teachers and the building principal to communicate the reason for your child’s extended absence.

  4. What does pass/fail mean at the Middle and High Schools, and satisfactory/ unsatisfactory at Myers Elementary?

    At the Middle and High Schools, Another very unique situation for our district and our students.  Due to the many unknowns of remote learning and accessibility issues, school districts across the state and country have determined that Pass/Fail grading is most appropriate at this time.  Students are asked to put forth a good effort to complete the work assigned by teachers.  If the student does, then they will be considered present for that class and "pass" for the week.  If a student does not put forth a good effort to login and complete assignments, they will be considered absent and "fail" for the week. If a student fails multiple weeks in the 4TH MP, they will fail the 4th MP.  Grades at the end of 1st/2nd/Mid Term are calculated for GPA and Class Rank (69.4% and lower in 1st Semester  + a Failure in MP 4 = Failure of the course).  A notation will be placed on all transcripts communicating the presence of PASS/FAIL in 2019-20 due to the COVID-19 school closures.

     

    At Myers Elementary, every student who makes a good faith effort to participate in weekly learning activities for each content area will earn a “satisfactory” grade. There will be no numeric/percentage grades. Consistent weekly participation will result in a satisfactory grade.

     

     

     

  5. Why did CHS/Dual-Enrollment courses start earlier than all other courses in the High School?

    Each dual enrollment college/university is willing to work with our continuity of education plan, but they requested that all required content be covered in order to meet the college credit specifications.  Teachers, and I think some students, were ready to start moving to ensure the content would be covered.  The students who enrolled in CHS courses realized that a higher level of rigor and responsibility is expected and required.  Therefore, the decision was made to move on from review and enrichment to new content.

  6. Are CHS/Dual-Enrollment courses graded differently?

    The HS portion of the class is PASS/FAIL; teachers of a CHS course must account for the rigorous, college level work that is required by a college or university.  Also, the colleges will require grades, so our teacher(s) will need to continue to assess student work in the CHS environment.  The "doing X amount of work" is the requirement for a passing grade at BAHS, however teachers in CHS courses will continue to college grades for submission to the appropriate college or university.

  7. When does a student have to do their work?

    Students should “keep up” with work by engaging in learning activities daily. Other than scheduled video conferences or calls with teachers, students have the flexibility of engaging in learning activities throughout the day and evening. By the end of each week (Sunday @ 11:59pm), students should submit assignments for that week as required.

     

    For students receiving work on Flash Drives, assignments or evidence of assignments should be saved to the Flash Drive and the Flash Drive placed in the postage paid envelope by Sunday. Students should have the Flash Drive for the next week by Monday of each week. Note: Flash Drives are being mailed back and forth for Myers and Middle School Students. High School students are using a designated drop at the High School.

  8. What about students without reliable internet connection?

    Only students with proven unreliable internet access will be offered an alternative to access digital resources remotely via a thumb drive or digital dropoff/pickup.  These students can work asynchronously on assignments without internet access.  When their work is complete, they can physically drop off (or mail) the thumb drive or access designated areas with wi-fi to submit assignments to teachers digitally.  No paper will pass hands from school to homes and back to school.

  9. Will students get report cards?

    Report cards will be mailed to Myers Elementary School students in June, following the end of the school year. Students will receive “Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, or Non-applicable" marks for each subject for both the third and fourth marking periods. Third marking period will be based on grades students earned through March 10, 2020, the last day school was open physically. The fourth marking period grades will be based on participation in weekly learning from the start of required distance learning, April 13, 2020 - June 4, 2020, the students’ last day of school.

  10. Now that school is closed for the year, when will parents and/or students be permitted to get personal items from lockers?

    Once the governor loosens the Stay at Home requirements and reopens schools, we will develop a plan and inform families about getting students’ belongings from school, as well as turning school property back in to the school.

  11. When will Kindergarten registration be held?

    Students are eligible for kindergarten IF they reside in the Bellwood-Antis School District with a parent or legal guardian, and they are age five by August 31, 2020. To begin the registration process, contact Amanda Koozer, Myers Elementary Secretary, by calling 742-8570 or emailing alk@blwd.k12.pa.us. The May registration date will be rescheduled, likely to the summer, once the school is reopened.

  12. How are students new to the district being enrolled?

    For students in grades kindergarten – fourth, contact Amanda Koozer, Myers Elementary Secretary, by calling 742-8570 or emailing alk@blwd.k12.pa.us; For students in grades 5-12, contact Beth Zitterbart, Guidance/Attendance Secretary, by calling 742-227? Or emailing attendance@blwd.k12.pa.us

     

    Once all the paperwork is received and requirements met, the appropriate principal will contact you with information about how to engage in learning activities.

  13. How does this closure affect student GPA and Class Rank for students in grade 9-12?

    The GPA and Class Rank for all grade levels are complete as of January 2020 (End of 2nd MP and Mid-Terms); Pass/Fail will not increase or decrease a student's GPA or Class Rank. 

  14. What is the plan for Graduation?

    We are currently collecting information from a survey to evaluate input from seniors and their parent/guardians.  We are committed to providing a graduation ceremony for the students.  At the moment, it is too early to decide the format of the ceremony.  We are considering multiple options, including a traditional graduation ceremony at the football stadium.

  15. How will Elementary and Middle School students get their yearbooks?

This will depend upon social distancing guidelines. Possibly students will be permitted to pick-up their yearbooks at the school in late May or early June.  If that is not possible, we may mail yearbooks. We should be able to provide clear guidance by mid-May.

 


2020-04-09

Statement regarding Gov. Wolf extension of school closures:
Gov. Wolf has extended the closure of PA schools thru the end of the academic year.
 
...Although schools are closed, teaching and learning may continue: schools are strongly encouraged to provide continuity of education for all students in the most appropriate and accessible ways possible...
In accordance with the recommendations provided by PDE and the Governor, the Bellwood-Anits School District is providing education to our students. The District's Continuity of Education plan is still in effect and instruction will begin Monday, April 13th.
Never before has the expression, "Do your best" been more appropriate. In light of all situations and circumstances, all of us will simply do our best.
We just want to repeat that a good faith effort is all that is asked. We are all in situations that were unanticipated and we are uncertain of what tomorrow brings. However, the Governor's announcement does remove some doubts.
1. Schools are closed though the remainder of the academic year.
2. Bellwood-Antis is still providing an educational program. We are going to do the best we can under the circumstances.
3. We are here to help. Keep the lines of communication open.
4. There are many questions to be answered. We will be addressing those questions as soon as possible.

2020-04-08


Letter to Parents and Guardians

Dear Parents, 

I wanted to say thank you for the feedback that some of you have given the administration. It is important to keep the lines of communication open. Parents have shared personal stories. Some parents are home and want their children to have as much schoolwork as we can provide. Others have shared that both parents are working, and their children are with grandparents who have little to no understanding of iPads. Therefore, they ask to have as little schoolwork as possible. Some parents have shared that they are, "stressed to the max" because they are working through their own concerns with the unknown of the "Shelter in Place" order.

In the letter that I sent to you last week, I shared that education in the home is not a regular 7-hour day. Our goal is that BAES students will work 1-2 hours per day, BAMS students work 2-3 hours per day, and BAHS students work 3-4 hours each day. This workload suggestion considers the many different home environments in our community. Our goal was to provide flexibility while maintaining effective education practices under these unique circumstances.

There is one thing that I want to emphasize to all parents and their children. We are asking for a "Good Faith Effort" with the work that is assigned each week. Please don't stress about the schoolwork, just try your best. We are all in this together.

The administration has listened to parents and has developed a fair system for moving forward with educating our students.

Parents, if you need help, please ask. We will do our best to help you. 

Thank you and stay safe. 

Dr.Tom McInroy

2020-03-21

Change in Breakfast-Lunch Program pickup point

Bellwood-Antis Community Park
New Basketball Courts Parking Lot
434 North Second
Bellwood, PA 16617

2020-03-20

School Calendar

Governor Wolf's statement last Friday indicated that there will be "forgiveness" if the mandated 180 days (990 hours) are not met as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.  What we don't know is how much time would be added to the end of the school year, or how a longer closure will impact student education for 2019-20 school year.

Extracurricular Activities

Based on CDC recommendations, we are expecting all extracurricular activities and gatherings of people to be curtailed significantly into the future and perhaps through the end of the 2019-20 school year.

  

Breakfast and Lunch Distribution 

The Bellwood-Antis School District will be offering free breakfast and lunch services to ALL children 18 years of age and younger who live within the District.

We will offer lunch and breakfast services on FRIDAY, March 20th, starting at 11:30 AM until 1:00 PM.

Meals will be available at the Myers Elementary Martin Street drop-off for the Friday, March 20th disbursement.  A location change is scheduled for the Monday, March 23rd, Wednesday, March 25th and Friday March 27th disbursements.

 Please stay in your vehicle while receiving your food. We will be providing breakfast and lunch for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Foot traffic is also accepted.  No congregating is permitted.

Additional information can be found (here) regarding the program.

Meals can be picked up on Monday, March 23rd, Wednesday, March 25th and Friday, March 27th. the Meals picked up on these three days will provide meals for the entire week.
Location for these dates will be provided later today.

Blue Devil Backpack Program

For families who have been participating in the Blue Devil Backpack Program and any families who now may need the help, bags with food for families will be available for pick-up at the same location, date and time as BASD breakfast and lunch meals.

Online Resources

The District recommends the following online resources:

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
 
https://www.health.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx
 
https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
 
https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

 

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