Superintendent Message Regarding Use of Face Masks

Due to the state mandate, all personnel and players are required to wear masks while participating in school events including athletics. This was not Oswayo Valley School District’s choice, but was mandated from the PA Department of Health. We at OV are as unhappy with this mandate as all of you, unfortunately this is out of our hands.  

DOH Executive Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings

In light of the Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings announced July 1, 2020 by the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, a list of answers to questions you may have regarding the application of this order in school settings is included below.  Please reference this guidance as you plan to keep your students, staff, and school communities safe.

Does the Order of the Secretary of the PA Department of Health Requiring Universal Face Coverings apply to children and adults while in schools?

Yes, this Order applies to all individuals while in school entities, including public K-12 schools, brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools, career and technical centers (CTCs), intermediate units (IUs); educational programming for students in non-educational placements such as residential settings (boarding schools), residential facilities, detention centers, and hospital settings; PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start Programs and Preschool Early Intervention programs; and Private Academic Nursery Schools and locally funded prekindergarten activities.

 For the safety of students, staff and families, and to avoid community spread of COVID-19, students and staff are considered to be members of the public who are congregating in indoor locations. As such, they are required to adhere to this Order.

 The Order is effective immediately and applies to all children aged two and older.

 

Why did the Secretary of the PA Department of Health issue this Order?

The Secretary issued this Order to continue to protect all in the Commonwealth from the spread of COVID-19, mindful of the need to slow the increase in the number of cases as the Commonwealth reopens and in order to avoid the resurgence that is overwhelming the health care systems and public health systems in other states who have been less successful in reopening than the Commonwealth.

 

Is this Order temporary?

This Order remains in effect until further notice.

 

What type of mask complies with this Order?

The Order requires individuals to wear a “face covering.”  “Face covering” means 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, and, for the purposes of the order, can include a plastic face shield that covers the nose and mouth.  “Face coverings” may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or improvised from household items, including but not limited to, scarves, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.  While procedural and surgical masks intended for health care providers and first responders, such as N95 respirators, would meet these requirements, these specialized masks should be reserved for appropriate occupational and health care settings.

 

Under what circumstances are students permitted to remove their face coverings (e.g. masks and face shields)?

Schools may allow students to remove their face coverings when students are: 

  1. Eating or drinking when spaced at least 6 feet apart;
  2. Seated at desks or assigned work spaces at least 6 feet apart; or
  3. Engaged in any activity at least 6 feet apart (e.g. face covering breaks, recess, etc.).

 

Do students with disabilities need to wear face coverings?

Any student who cannot wear a mask or face shield due to a medical condition, including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition, or disability, and students who would be unable to remove a mask without assistance are not required to wear face coverings.  Individuals who are communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired or who has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication, are not required to wear a mask; however, individuals should consider using another type of face covering such as a plastic face shield.

 

Do schools need to update/amend their Health and Safety Plans if they have already been submitted to PDE?

 Health and Safety Plans must reflect this Order. Understanding the volatility and uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus, plans should be flexible enough to contemplate any future change in conditions.

 

Do updated/revised Health and Safety Plans need to be re-approved by local school boards?

Yes. While the Order must be implemented immediately, plan approval, if necessary, should occur at the next board meeting.

 

Do updated/revised Health and Safety Plans need to be resubmitted to PDE?

Yes. PDE should always have the most recently approved Health and Safety Plans on file for each Local Education Agency (LEA).

 

Does the Order apply to athletes and sports activities?

Yes. Everyone must wear a face covering, such as a mask, unless they fall under an exception listed in Section 3 of the Order.  Coaches, athletes and spectators must wear face coverings unless they are outdoors and can consistently maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. Athletes are not required to wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts and competition that prevent the wearing of face coverings, but must wear face coverings when on the sidelines, in the dugout, etc. and anytime 6 feet of social distancing is not possible.

 

Must an individual provide evidence that they qualify for an exception to the Order?

No. Per the Order, students are not required to show documentation that an exception applies.

Employment Opportunities

Elementary Short-Term Substitute Teacher

The Oswayo Valley School District has an elementary short-term substitute teacher position available at the start of the 2020-21 school year and through mid-October or December 1, 2020 at the latest.  Applicants must possess PA certification in Elementary Education or Grades 4-8.

Extracurricular Positions

The Oswayo Valley School District has the following extracurricular vacancies available for the 2020-21 school year:

      • Assistant Football Coach
      • Golf Head Coach
      • Volleyball Assistant Coach (JH)

Substitute Employees

Substitute employees are needed in the following areas for the 2020-21 school year:

      • Cafeteria
      • Custodial
      • Instructional Aide
      • Secretarial
      • Teacher

Interested individuals should visit https://www.applitrack.com/oswayo/onlineapp/ and complete an online application packet.

If you have any questions or need assistance completing the online application, please contact Mrs. Christi Stedman in the District Office at 814-260-1700 or by email at christi@oswayo.com.

Applications will be accepted until positions are filled.

Internet and Broadband Survey

The Oswayo Valley School District has partnered with Potter County Planning Commission, Appalachian Regional Commission, and multiple local companies to implement an infrastructure improvement project. The main goal of this project is to provide high speed internet connectivity to the entire Oswayo Valley School District and we are in need of your help.  Please fill out the 5 minute survey form so we can use it to pursue funding and show a substantial demand for internet access. 

 Survey Link

Elementary News

Starting Monday, June 22, 2020, certificates, awards, and 2020-21 homeroom lists will be available to be picked up at the Elementary School.  Parents may pick up during lunches on Tuesdays and Fridays as well at the Middle/High School.  If you have any questions, please contact the Elementary Office at 814-260-1702.  

Yearbook Update

Due to the pandemic and closures at Jostens’ processing centers, there have been additional delays with the Middle/High School yearbook delivery.  The latest update we received from Jostens indicated that we should not expect delivery until after July 4, 2020.  Once we receive the yearbooks, we will contact those individuals who purchased one and make arrangements for them to be picked up.  Any remaining balances must be paid before the yearbook will be released.  Payment can be made in the office on the day of pick up.

Summer Feeding Program

We are pleased to announce that the District will continue offering free breakfast and lunch pickups throughout the summer.  Effective the week of May 25, 2020 and continuing throughout the summer, meals can be picked up on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Middle/High School Cafeteria loop.  The free meal program is open to all children ages 0-18.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer for Free and Reduced Eligible Students

Oswayo Valley Parents,

It was just released today that you, as a family, will be receiving subsidy in the near future if your child qualifies for free or reduced lunches in schools.  This application window is still open so if you would like to qualify for the subsidy, please contact Mrs. Sharron Gustin, Food Service Director, at 814-260-1701 or by email at sgustin@oswayo.com to receive the needed paperwork for you to qualify.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer for Free and Reduced Eligible Students

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration

The Oswayo Valley School District will be moving forward with Pre-K and Kindergarten registration for the 2020-2021 school year.  To be considered eligible for the Pre-K Counts program, students must turn four years old before September 1, 2020.  Eligible Kindergarten students must turn five years old before September 1, 2020.  Please contact the Elementary Office at 814-260-1702 to obtain more information about the registration process.  The following documents must be submitted to fully register your child for the Pre-K Counts program, as well as to enroll your child in Kindergarten.

  • Valid Birth Certificate
  • Immunization Record
  • Verification of residence
  • Verification of income

 

Superintendent Update

The Department of Education (PDE) announced today all schools in the Commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. The closure order could be extended beyond April 6 if necessary to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Under the new timeline, school buildings would reopen on April 7, 2020 for two days to allow school administrators, teachers, and other staff time to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation, and arrange other business operations. Students would return to school on April 9, 2020, unless extending the closure is needed in response to the situation with the virus at that time.

To assist schools during the extended closure, the state’s 29 intermediate units are ready to provide technical assistance to help develop continuity of education plans for all students beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Additionally, we are cancelling standardized testing for students in career and technical education (CTE) programs for the 2019-20 school year. These include exams from the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) and National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we navigate this unprecedented time together and thank you for your dedication to serving and supporting your school communities.

Jed Hamberger, Superintendent

Superintendent’s Update

Governor Wolf’s order calling on all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m., March 19, does not prohibit school districts from continuing to offer food services to children during the statewide school closure. It does require schools to not let administration or staff work in the buildings. Administration will continue to work from home and be present during the lunch time between 11:30-12:30 LEAs may continue to bring in essential employees involved in the preparation and distribution of meals for children.

2019-20 Statewide Assessments

Dear Oswayo Valley Parents and Community Members,

Later today, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will be announcing a cancellation of statewide assessments for the 2019-2020 school year. This cancellation includes the PSSA, PASA, and Keystone Exams.

We understand that during these unprecedented circumstances, school communities across the state are managing more pressing issues on the education landscape, like providing access to food and nutrition, and putting appropriate systems in place to continue student learning.  Assessments should not be the focus of school leaders right now.

The Department is monitoring emerging federal guidance, working with other states to advocate for flexibility, and will pursue appropriate waivers to the fullest extent allowable as soon as the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) guidance is clarified.

Please continue to monitor your email and PDE’s website for ongoing updates and guidance as it becomes available.

Pedro A. Rivera II | Secretary of Education

Governor Wolf Announces Closure of Pennsylvania Schools

Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days including all before and after school activities, effective Monday, March 16.  All District activities are canceled effective immediately and will continue through the ordered period.  The Wolf Administration will continue to monitor Covid-19 in the Commonwealth, and at the end of 10 days will reevaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed. More information will be coming soon on lunch options for the Oswayo Valley School District. For more information from Governor Wolf, please see the link below.

Interscholastic Events Canceled/Postponed

Oswayo Valley School District in cooperation with all area school districts has decided to cancel/postpone all planned interscholastic events through the end of March.  Spring sports practices/rehearsals will continue based on specific guidance from administration.  Additionally, any large-scale events (of over 250 persons) will be evaluated carefully.  Our focus is minimizing any unknown exposure to the COVID-19 virus through reduction of nonessential events.
Oswayo Valley School District (c) 2019