10/05/2020 Meeting Audio and Notes

Audio begins about 1 minute in.

Meeting notes and approximate time stamps . Dr. Sciullo as featured guest.

Difficult to maintain a continuity of education given the environment.

Dr. Sciullo Guest at 3:40

Things started to feel normal at 3 weeks.

Mask order significantly changed how Return to School would look. Regarding 6 feet rule at lunch, looked at several options to use empty buildings, tents, heaters etc – finding lunch supervisors and custodial staff to clean all these extra areas. Attempted to hire (15) more cleaning, but still 7 short in normal operating times. Not getting applicants for learning staff. Emergency certifying, posting and reposting jobs etc.

7:40: Anticipated 1500 students for NACA had 2700 students enroll. What we got in the survey vs what actually happened resulted in significant staffing changes in 3 weeks. $700k for hyflex, $1 million for NACA start up. These items made it a rocky start. 

9:20 Regarding School Board Vote on 10/5, feeling confident it will pass to bring K-8 back. NACA is the option for those who aren’t comfortable with in-person. Trying their best to meet the needs of all. 

All families have the option to re-register. When plans were made of the summer, many unknowns in how the tech would actually function in a classroom or home environment. Did their best, and now is the opportunity to switch and see what works/doesn’t work.

11:53 Regarding services for gifted and talented. Worked through many models trying to replicate a typical school year. Still able to offer GOAL during WIN (elementary), SAMS (middle), and student conferences at high school. IOs virtual or on-site until further notice.

14:00 We know that with a re-registration there will be another shift in staffing/master schedules etc. Try the best to avoid changing where possible.

15:00 Question about Reopening – No changes 

Dr. S response – PDE recs don’t account for those that have opened a cyber school.

17:35 Question: Spring GOAL screenings

Meeting with school psychologists how to do screenings, and what might they be able to do for screenings that should have occurred from February forward. Info was not available at the time, try to use other instruments or what they will be using soon. Some evaluations happened beginning in mid-July.

19:15 Question about distancing at lunchtime, what changed since July

Because of the # of people that left for cyber, enables them to ensure 6’ at lunch. If too many switch to in-person may pose a problem. Additionally, the number of people that left for Cyber allows them to consider full return for K-8

21:00 Question: Where can we find the high school GOAL classes info?Do they have separate class like in the middle school.?

NASH GOAL staff page. No pull out model. Office hours, one on one time. There’s a Blackboard page with a calendar, where they should attend the monthly meetings. HS GOAL for NASH, contact is Chris Ruffolo if you have questions. HS GOAL for NACA should have received email from Janellen Lombardi.

22:30 Question: If you see a major shift in numbers from In-person to NACA going forward, do you anticipate having enough teachers dedicated to NACA? If not, how will that be handled?

-Will have to redo staffing. Have been hiring Long Term subs to fill in where needed.

24:45 Question: Can you share how student services are working in NACA? specifically GIEP and 504/IEPs? where are the challenges?

Same services at NACA as reg school. Full time GOAL staffing for NACA. Elementary counselors overloaded. Middle and High get to keep their counselor. Positive support services, still available through a consultation launch. Allocated social work service directly to NACA, psychology allocated same way-consult launch. No dedicated staff for speech/language therapy, work off a caseload number. Biggest challenges have been para-professionals for NACA, difficult to do in a cyber environment.


Question: Dr. Sciullo,  Is there any way for there to be a new parent survey (that includes every NA student) to get an exact total as to how many students plan to participate in Cyber versus In Person BEFORE there is a vote to make changes?  That way the board would have a better picture as to how many students per building to expect before deciding whether they could more safely space the students.

No survey at this time, when they normally would. Have heard a lot of perspectives via all avenues of contact: email, Twitter, Facebook etc. If come Sunday and an unexpected trend occurs they will inform the board and community so no mistakes are made in returning. Real time registration statistics (to aid in planning).

33:50 If a large shift one way or another, is preference given to in-person or NACA schedules?

Projecting that people will move from NACA to in-person, but hoping it will even out (in-person to cyber and vice versa). No projection on how many will move out of in-person, potential of 25% to leave NACA. Will fill in how they can to stay in compliance.Operating in a deficit, but utilizing the fund balance. Desire to Minimize disruption to class schedules on both sides.

36:50 Question Can you share why you expect a shift from NACA to in-person?

Cyber is challenging for younger students, someone at home is needed to facilitate the day. Families are recognizing the impact this has, and that they may choose to go back in-person. It’s hard for everyone. Might be a way to families to regain some structure.

38:50 Question : Can you comment on any changes to expectations for Juniors and Seniors to take SAT and ACT exams due to the difficulty in testing?   I thought I had heard these test may become optional versus mandatory?  If that is true, what criteria will the colleges use for admission instead?  

-Still running as normal. Still unsure if these tests will be mandatory or optional.

39:40 Q: Do you anticipate a similar shift from NACA to In-person at the High School level as well?

-Very small number in NACA at 9-12. Very small number left, can’t implement health and safety if the naca 9-12 come back. If there’s a big shift either way, they’d look at dual enrollment – which has been a beast. Half of NACA is K-6

41:55 Question Teacher’s union and health risk

-Involved the teacher from beginning, both sides (OK-excited to teach, but others not OK/teaching in cyber)

43:10 Question about number of 9-12 kids in NACA?
-Regarding slides from 10/5 Board meeting

-August 20 email: 2020-2021 Return to School Updates. Here’s the attachment / Enrollment by Grade: https://www.northallegheny.org/cms/lib/PA01001119/Centricity/Domain/1/200819_enrollmentByBldgByGrade.pdf

44:10 Dr. Sciullo leaves

44:50 Discussion about upcoming meetings. Looking for building representatives, also serve as reps to the Gifted Advisory Committee. Keep the school informed/act as liaison between NAPAGE-School-GAC

46:45 Membership-work on way to acquire electronically and upcoming events

49:00 open questions

49:45 Membership – 

50:00 Question on moving Hybrid to NACA (12th, and 8th grade in 9th grade math) 

53:00 Question in chat about ELA/GOAL program. Yes it is compacted, but not necessarily more rigorous.

54:30 Question about homework on days they have GOAL. Will reach out to Dr. Sciullo for clarification.

55:00 5th grade NACA GOAL. OK now, rocky start. Not a lot of reminders about doing homework, constantly have to check and be on top of things. More parental involvement in cyber experience, moving in the right direction. Worried about spacing in school (in-person)

59:45 on Wednesdays during GOAL still receiving homework (hybrid). Back to question about homework in GOAL. Followed by more open discussion on NACA.

Adjourned at 10:35