Plum implementing program for kids to keep learning while buildings closed due to coronavirus quarantine - Plum

Plum implementing program for kids to keep learning while buildings closed due to coronavirus quarantine

Trib logo Tony Larussa

Saturday, March 21, 2020 | 5:39 PM

The Plum School District has received permission from the state Department of Education to implement a “Continuity of Education Plan” for students to keep working on their classwork while school buildings are closed to limit possible exposure to the coronavirus.

Before the district shut down schools, students in grades five through 12 were told to take home district issued laptops and any other material needed to do their work.

Students in kindergarten through fourth grade were provided with educational packets containing lessons to complete.

“At this time, we do not have any idea when we will return to normal operations,” Superintendent Brendan Hyland wrote in a notice sent to parents.”Therefore, families should be prepared for an extended period of Continuity of Education Plan implementation.”

To gear up for the non-traditional instruction program, the district is conducting accelerated online professional development for teachers on Wednesday and Thursday. The first day of classes under the new program will be on March 30.

Hyland said all students are expected to “complete their learning activities and assignments as if they were in school” because the time spent on instruction will be counted toward the minimum days schools must be in session each year.

Students with Individualized Education Plans who attend in-district programs will receive lessons from their teachers. Students with an IEPs attending out-of-district program will receive information from the district’s Special Education Department, according to district officials.

The Pennsylvania Secretary of Education has canceled all state assessments for the remainder of the school year.

District officials said decisions about holding events such as graduation, prom, field trips and ceremonies “will be decided upon based on recommendations from public health experts.”

Families will receive information about the status of such events from their building principals.