School Board Executive Session

The Oswayo Valley School District in Shinglehouse, PA hereby gives notice that the Oswayo Valley School Board of Directors will hold an Executive Session on Monday, July 1, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss matters of personnel.  The meeting will be held in room 146/148 of the Oswayo Valley Elementary School located at 277 S. Oswayo St., Shinglehouse, PA 16748.

Changes to PIAA Sports Physical Packet

Please be advised, the PIAA recently made changes to the Comprehensive Initial Pre-Participation Physical Evaluation Form (sports physical packet), including the dates of authorization. In the past, authorization could not be completed before June 1st. That date has been changed to May 1st. This means families are permitted to have their child’s sports physical completed and dated May 1st or later. Please note, due to the changes to the form, old packets will not be accepted. The certification must be on the new form. If your child has a physical scheduled in May and needs an updated packet, please contact Mrs. Unverdorben in the Activities Office, otherwise, packets will be distributed to students later in May. At this time, we do not have a date scheduled for physicals with the school physician, but families will be notified as soon as that information becomes available.

Junior/Senior High School Updates

Hello all,

I hope that everyone has enjoyed their summer! I am very excited to welcome everyone back to a new school year at Oswayo Valley Jr./Sr. High School. We have consolidated our Middle School and High School at the state level, which now classifies us as one school instead of two. The only change you will notice from this is that we changed our official title to Oswayo Valley Junior/Senior High School.  As everyone is preparing to return, I’d like to highlight a few items of importance for both parents and students.

First and foremost, OV Jr./Sr. High School would like to start changing some communications to email instead of phone calls, so parents please take a moment to update your contact information in Focus.  You can do this yourself at home, call in to the guidance office, or stop in.  This will not be immediate, and we will give warning of any changes before they happen, but we want to be prepared for that time.

Over the past few months, we have attended multiple county-wide meetings and found many Potter County Schools are seeing attendance issues since returning from Covid.  Because of this, we have all decided to strictly follow the same policies and procedures that we have in place since they reflect the Pennsylvania School Code.  Attached, please find 2 files that define and describe all possible types of absences that can occur in a school year and a flow chart of consequences of illegal absences.

Another point of emphasis this year is the use of cellphones and other electronic devices that can connect to each other and/or social media.  We have watched these devices become an increasing distraction to student learning and a threat to student safety.  Please take a minute to read the attached letter that fully describes why and how we plan to implement a schoolwide ban on these devices.  Again, alongside the letter, there is a flow chart attached to help you understand the procedures. 

When students come back, they will also notice a few changes to the master schedule.  There will be no more flex periods, but rather 9 full periods, each of which run for 40 minutes. Students will still be offered breakfast in the morning, but now they will be allowed to move on to homeroom at 7:45 if they are not eating or if they have finished eating.  There are multiple 2-hour delays built into the schedule this year, so please be sure to check the calendar now and plan accordingly for those days. 

Please feel free to reach out to me at any point with questions or concerns.  I am looking forward to a new year and can’t wait to see everyone soon!

Thank you.

Erich Zaun

Jr./Sr. High School Principal

2023-24 JSHS Attendance Terms

2023-24 Unexcused Absence Flow

2023-24 Cell Phone Announcement

2023-24 Cell Phone Flow Chart

Kooth

We are excited to announce that Kooth is now available for ALL students ages 11-18! Students under the age of 13 will need parental consent and the parental consent process is now integrated directly into the platform.

Kooth will be offering a series of Parent/Caregiver Webinars for our school families in which Kooth’s Engagement team will introduce Kooth, walk parents through account set up, and answer any questions they might have. We encourage parents to attend one 30 minute session. Listed below are some upcoming sessions. Please click on the link to register for a session.

Thursday, March 16 at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, March 22 at 5:00 p.m.

Monday, March 27 at 10:00 a.m.

Monday, March 27 at 5:00 p.m.

New Mental Health Counseling Service for Students

We are pleased to announce our partnership with Kooth, a leading digital mental health platform to provide accessible counseling for students in the Middle/High School. This is in addition to our multi-tiered systems of support.

Students will have immediate access to self-help content, anonymous safe, moderated forums, journaling, goal setting, and therapeutic activities from their smartphones and computers. The app will be available soon for students to download and create an account.

The service has been made available to the district at no cost to students, parents, or the school thanks to a grant funded by the state budget.

Superintendent Jed Hamberger – “We have seen an increase in demand for mental health services since the onset of the pandemic. We have attempted to provide multiple in-person services and are struggling due to a shortage in certified mental health service staff. This is an added layer of support for us to communicate in students’ language through technology with the Kooth platform to address our student and family needs.”

According to CDC data:

• Of American youths aged 12-17, 1 in 3 have persistent feelings of sadness

• 4 in 10 have issues that are going untreated

• and 1 in 6 have made a suicide plan

“For too many young people, counseling has been out of reach and we see them struggling with increasing rates of mental health challenges,” said Kooth US General Manager, Kevin Winters. “Students are facing unique issues, and Kooth knew we needed to create a unique solution. We’re so proud to offer this product to Oswayo Valley School District and other schools across the state of Pennsylvania.”

About Kooth:

Kooth is a leading digital mental health platform. Our mission is to provide accessible and safe spaces for everyone to achieve better mental health. Our platform is clinically robust and accredited to provide a range of therapeutic support and interventions. All our services are predicated on easy access to make early intervention and prevention a reality.

To learn more about Kooth, please visit their website at https://us.kooth.com/

Oswayo Valley School District (c) 2023