Masking Order Update

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court entered an Order this afternoon reinstating the PA Department of Health’s Face Covering Order for Pennsylvania Schools.
Earlier this month Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled that the school masking order issued by the PA Department of Health (DOH) was not valid. Upon appeal by the Wolf Administration, a stay was placed on that ruling. However, Commonwealth Court over-ruled that stay and extended the terms of the Order only to December 4.
In response, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and DOH filed an emergency application on November 22 requesting the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reinstate the automatic supersedeas (the stay of Commonwealth Court’s ruling) and keep the mask mandate in place during the duration of the appeal. In response, the Corman plaintiffs on November 24 filed their opposition to that filing.
In response to both filings, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order today (November 30) granting the request for an automatic supersedeas, which effectively extends the duration of the school masking mandate to December 8 rather than December 4.
The Court is scheduled to hear oral argument on the appeal on December 8, and may or may not decide to keep the mask mandate in place during the pendency of the appeal.

Covid-19 Vaccine Webinar

Do you have questions about the Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11? If so, you may want to join the DCIU for a webinar on December 2, 2021 from 6:00 – 7:15 p.m. During the event, parents and community members can hear from experts in the field and can submit questions in advance.
If you would like to learn more, please click on the following link to register for the December 2 webinar.

COVID Vaccine Clinic

Due to the staff shortages in healthcare, we unfortunately are not able to host a vaccine clinic at Oswayo Valley at this time. UPMC Cole is offering the COVID vaccine at the Wellness Center in Coudersport and to children ages 5 and up in the pediatric office.
 
To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine in Potter County Pennsylvania, call 814-274-5460 (for adults) or 814-274-9198 (for pediatrics).

Vacancies

The Oswayo Valley School District has the following vacancies available:

K-12 Art Teacher available immediately

Elementary Science Teacher available January 2022

Applicants must possess the appropriate Pennsylvania certification.  Interested individuals should apply online at www.oswayovalley.com and include a letter of interest, resume, copy of certificate, copy of transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.

The District is also accepting applications for the following:

Substitute Employees for the following:

  • Cafeteria Worker
  • Custodian
  • Instructional Aide
  • Secretary
  • Teacher

 

Assistant Wrestling Coach

Interested individuals should apply online at www.oswayovalley.com. Positions will remain open until successful candidates have been found.

For any questions or assistance with the application process, please contact Mrs. Christi Stedman in the District Office at 814-260-1700 or by email at christi@oswayo.com.

Message from Secretary of Education, Noe Ortega

Please see an important message below from the Secretary of Education, Noe Ortega.
 
The Pennsylvania Department of Education is committed to supporting our schools as questions arise around the Commonwealth Court ruling overturning Acting Secretary Beam’s masking order. This message is to provide updated information on the status of the masking order.
 
Per the Commonwealth Court’s Order of November 15, the school entity masking mandate remains in place through at least December 4, pending the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s hearing of this matter.
 
School masking is a necessary public health measure to keep children safe and provide them with as much in-person learning in school as possible. Medical experts agree — hospitals and healthcare professionals across the state support the masking requirement. Requiring masks in schools is helping to keep students in classrooms and the virus out and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
 
As a reminder, earlier this month, Governor Tom Wolf announced his administration’s intention to lift the commonwealth’s K-12 school mask mandate on January 17, 2022. Upon expiration of the statewide mandate, school officials will again be able to implement masking policies at the local level. It is important to note that schools may continue requiring mask-wearing based on CDC guidance. 
Thank you for all that you do to keep our students, educators, and communities safe.

Mask Update

Oswayo Valley will continue to follow the mask mandate until January 17, 2022 or until further guidance changes the requirements for schools. Other districts may be making knee jerk reactive decisions but we will be making decisions based on what is best for our students, staff, and community.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Last week the FCC announced that over six million households have enrolled into the Emergency Broadband Benefit – the country’s largest broadband affordability program.  This continued success is in large measure because of each you — our over 32,000 outreach partners who have worked tirelessly to build EBB program awareness among your members and within your communities. 

“The response to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program confirms what many of us knew to be true: too many families remain offline because it’s too expensive for their monthly budget,” said Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.  “Now, thanks to the Emergency Broadband Benefit, millions of kids can better keep up with their schoolwork, parents can train for their next jobs, and patients can stay in contact with their doctors. The FCC is not stopping until we reach as many eligible families so they too can get the support they need.” 

Consumers can sign up by contacting a participating provider, enroll online at www.getemergencybroadband.org, or using a mail-in application. To learn more about mail-in applications, call (833) 511-0311.  

Lifeline Awareness Week

This week, Sept 20-24, is Lifeline Awareness Week.

Lifeline is an FCC program designed to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. The program provides eligible low-income subscribers a monthly discount of up to $9.25 off their monthly service.  Eligible low-income subscribers on Tribal lands receive a monthly discount of up to $34.25.

Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on communication services for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family, and emergency services. The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands.

Households that qualify for Lifeline also qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, they simply need to opt-in with their current Lifeline provider or contact a different participating provider and choose an eligible plan to start receiving the monthly benefit.

Qualifying households can receive both the Lifeline and Emergency Broadband Benefit at the same time. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and an Emergency Broadband Benefit service with the same or different providers.

While the ongoing pandemic continues to affect our communities, please share information about Lifeline with your membership, partners, and neighbors.

 

PreK Enrollment

There are still some open slots for the 2021-22 school year!  Please call the Elementary Office at 814-260-1702 if you are interested in your child attending.


Emergency Broadband Benefit

On September 8, the FCC announced that households with a member approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the current 2021-2022 school year are also eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. This expands on the original program eligibility rules that included the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.

See the public notice here: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1119A1.pdf

For additional information, send an email to broadbandbenefit@fcc.gov.

Order of Face Masks in Schools

Please click on the following link to view the most recent order.

Order of Face Masks in Schools

 

As many of you know this Order was released yesterday by the Acting Secretary of Health. The Oswayo Valley School District will be following this mandate to the best of our ability as we have done with all mandates in the past. If you or your child would like to be excluded from this mandate please contact your Doctor for a medical exemption.

 

This Order will apply to students, employees, and visitors within the Oswayo Valley School District buildings. There are several identified exceptions, including a medical exception. The Order takes effect on September 7, 2021 and will remain in place until terminated.

 

Unfortunately schools have been asked to be in the middle of a political battle and this was not our choice and remains to not be our choice. We will follow all mandates for legal reasons moving forward. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, government entities have issued changing guidelines and mandates which have been a major source of frustration for many of us. Despite assurances throughout the summer that school districts in Pennsylvania would be able to exert local control this school year in regards to health and safety plans, yesterday’s announcement from Harrisburg has again changed the rules for us at the local school district level. As a public school in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we are required to follow this order from DOH.

 

We will not require students to wear masks while outdoors, while engaged in high-intensity aerobic activities such as active participation in physical education class, sports practice, or when engaged in an activity that they cannot perform while wearing a mask such as eating, drinking, or playing an instrument.

 

Contact Tracing and Quarantine will be done according to the guidance given from the PA Department of Health when we submit for a confirmed case.

Jed Hamberger, Superintendent

Broadband Benefit Outreach Program

The Oswayo Valley School District is a participating partner in the Emergency Broadband Benefit outreach program.   With the help of OV and many other school districts, the Broadband Benefit program has enrolled over 4M households! We knew from the beginning that the success of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program would largely depend on mobilizing trusted on-the-ground advocates and community leaders.  We’ve made terrific progress, but the FCC remains committed to building on this initial momentum so we can connect as many families as possible and help those struggling to get online.

As we continue to work together to get more households enrolled, we wanted to provide you with helpful contacts for program questions, complaints, and other support.

Resources 

For questions about the status of an online or paper application, or questions about the application process including documents needed, contact the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) at:

To file a complaint with the FCC about a participating provider:

For Emergency Broadband Benefit general program information:

To request a speaker for your next meeting or community gathering:

Feel free to reach out to the Oswayo Valley School District if you have any questions or concerns as well!

Act 66 of 2021

On June 30, 2021, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 66 of 2021 which gives parents/guardians the option to request that their student(s) be permitted to repeat a grade level during the 2021-2022 academic year due to COVID-19. Parents/guardians must inform the School District by July 15, 2021 at the latest in order to make this election. School Districts must allow students to repeat a grade if a parent makes this election, even if the student satisfactorily completed the grade during the 2020-2021 academic year.

In addition, Act 66 of 2021 allows special education students who turned 21 during the 2020-2021 academic year or during Summer 2021 to continue to attend the School District during the 2021-2022 academic year. Any special education student who elects this option shall continue to receive services in accordance with their IEP under IDEA.

If you wish your child to repeat a grade level during the upcoming 2021- 2022 school year, please complete the following form and submit it to the District by July 15, 2021.  If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school.

Act 66 Student Grade Level Retainment Notification Form

Act 66 of 2021

Emergency Broadband Benefit

The FCC announced that on May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

In announcing the official launch date, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated:

“Families in every corner of the country have been struggling to get online throughout this pandemic. For those families, we now say help is around the corner. In less than two weeks, we will have a new way for disconnected Americans to access the internet to carry out their day-to-day life, so they can reach the virtual classroom, take advantage of telehealth, and seek new employment opportunities.”

Beginning on May 12 households can apply in three ways:

  1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.

 

  1. Go to org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.

 

  1. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with proof of eligibility to: Emergency Broadband Support Center

P.O. Box 7081

London, KY 40742

Materials that partners can use to help promote the Emergency Broadband Benefit to the communities they serve will be available soon on www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-outreach-toolkit.

 

Earlier this week the FCC hosted a webinar that provided an overview of the benefit, eligibility criteria, how to apply, and the FCC’s partner toolkit materials. If you missed the event live, a recording can be viewed online.

Career Readiness Job Profile Project

 

The Oswayo Valley School District in partnership with The Potter County Education Council is working to compile a list of videos that are produced to showcase what careers local employers offer in the North Central region of Pennsylvania. This is a valuable resource for students to start to explore career choices so that we can gear their course selection towards their career goals.

 

 

Gas Field Specialists is a local employer in the Oswayo Valley School District focusing on a broad array of career choices that all pertain to the natural gas industry. Check out their job profiles in the Gas Field Specialists Video!

PSBA

In the past week at OV, we received multiple phone calls and emails regarding the role of a school board member. We reached out to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association to see if we could offer a community training from a third party to educate our residents on the roles and decisions that school boards are designed for in the state of Pennsylvania. PSBA does not offer trainings for community members but shared this video with us to post for community members to have a better understanding of the roles of school board members.

Please feel free to watch the video and reach out to Mr. Jed Hamberger, Superintendent, with any questions you may have after you’ve seen the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buYnEj3IdMM

Mansfield University Early Start Program

Mansfield University’s Early Start Program (ESP) allows qualified high school students to take Mansfield University Courses in online, hybrid, or face-to-face formats and earn college credits while still enrolled in high school.

 

If your child is interested in taking college courses while in high school, be sure to check out this great program!  Applications are currently being accepted for the Early Start Program.

Click on the links below to view additional information, apply to the Early Start Program, and view upcoming course selections.

 

 

Early Start Program Application

ESP Fall 2021 Course Offerings

 

Oswayo Valley School District (c) 2019