Because of growing concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and out of an abundance of caution, Mars Area School District is implementing Flexible Instruction Days (FIDs), beginning on Tuesday, March 17. Students will not report to school on Monday, March 16, which will be considered an In-Service Day (rescheduled from Monday, March 30) for teachers/staff members who will be completing preparations for a transition to online learning.
On a Flexible Instruction Day (FID), students will be expected to complete learning activities and assignments provided by their teachers at home. Students will receive learning activities and assignments for each subject that would have originally taken place during a regular school day. (Note: The Five-Day Rotation at the District's elementary schools (K-6) will begin with Day Three on Tuesday, March 17.) Teachers will post lessons and assignments to a “FID” folder on their individual pages in the online Schoology learning management system. If a student cannot access the Internet, paper copies of all lessons and assignments will be made available for pick-up in each school’s main office.
Parents/guardians are asked to ensure that students can connect to Schoology prior to Tuesday, March 17. All students, including those with special needs, should follow the assignments/lessons provided by teachers on their individual Schoology pages. Students should contact their teachers directly with any questions related to the instructional content. Students with any technology issues related to District-issued devices may contact the MASD Help Desk at (724) 302-3600 or email@example.com.
In addition to the implementation of Flexible Instruction Days (FIDs), the following measures will be implemented, until further notice:
- All District school buildings as well as all grounds and facilities (e.g. Mars Athletic Complex, athletic fields, tennis/basketball courts, etc.) will be closed to the public. District staff members will remain on duty in each school's main office; therefore, parents and/or students may contact the schools, if needed. However, during the closure, parents/students will NOT be granted access to the interior of any school buildings beyond the main office.
- The District will suspend all athletic and activity practices, games and/or meetings until further notice. No practices and/or games may be conducted under the supervision of any District coaches/sponsors either on or off campus. Coaches/sponsors may supply athletes with at-home workouts/practice; but, again, no one is permitted to meet and practice/play during the closure. Further correspondences as to when athletics and activities may resume, will be distributed when that information becomes available.
- In addition, external organizations/groups/individuals will NOT be permitted to use Mars Area School District facilities, fields and/or grounds. All previously approved and scheduled events are canceled until further notice. The District has contacted all affected external organizations/groups/individuals, which are responsible for notifying event/activity participants. The District will work with the activity/event organizers to reschedule any cancelled events, when possible.
- The District's Safety Hotline will remain available to all students at (724) 625-2720 to report any concerns regarding school safety and/or information regarding any confirmed or presumed coronavirus cases.
Throughout the closure, Mars Area School District officials will continue to collaborate with Butler County leaders, Pennsylvania Department of Health officials, Butler Health System and other health care providers to discuss updates and to share information. Our District is aware that the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is adding to the concerns and stresses felt by our families; however, it is important to remember that, at this time, there are zero confirmed cases of coronavirus in Western Pennsylvania.
Mars Area School District thanks you for your support as we strive to maintain a healthy and safe environment for our students, staff and community.
Dr. Wesley Shipley, Superintendent
Mars Area School District