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S. Butler school superintendent to take questions

Meetings scheduled for online weekdays

August 11, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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A school superintendent in the county will be online each day until the start of school to answer parents' questions about the 2020-21 school year in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

David Foley, superintendent at the South Butler County School District, notified parents last week in a letter that he will hold daily sessions on Google Meet to answer parents' questions and discuss their concerns.

The meetings will be held at 11 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The first meeting was Monday. Parents can access the meetings on the district's website.

Foley also apprised parents that more than 1,500 families completed the district's Enrollment Declaration Survey.

The survey revealed that more than 85 percent of respondents are in favor of sending their students back to school five days per week, while 15 percent have chosen to complete coursework remotely.

Foley said when both remote and in-person instruction begins Aug. 31, all students attending classes in the district's school buildings as well as all adults will be required to wear a mask or shield per state requirements, unless they have a documented medical reason for not wearing a face covering.

Regarding social distancing, Foley said recent health reports state that individuals wearing a face covering can be closer together than the currently advised 6 feet.

“The district is working to create conditions where 6 feet between our students is possible. However, in many of our classrooms, this may not be a possibility,” Foley said. “Therefore, masks must always be worn while in school and on our buses.”

Foley is asking parents to drive their students to school if possible, even though the normal bus schedule will be in effect, as social distancing on the school bus is impossible.

Regarding ill students or staff members, Foley said the district will communicate any confirmed cases of COVID-19 to students, parents and employees of the district.

He said the state's Department of Health is responsible for contact tracing, and the district will cooperate with the department during the pandemic and contact the department with any questions or concerns.

“The Department of Health will share insight regarding the need for quarantining with instructions related to how best for our district to proceed,” Foley advised parents.

He added that certain teachers will conduct remote learning exclusively as the district is not set up to livestream classroom lessons.

“I have appreciated your patience throughout the last five months,” Foley told parents in his letter. “We need your ongoing cooperation to have a successful school year.”

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Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.