2021-22 School Year
The first day of school for students in grades 1-12 is set for Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. For our kindergarten families, Tuesday, Aug. 24 and Wednesday, Aug. 25 will be used to conduct welcome events and orientation. Students will arrive with a parent or other caregiver during their scheduled session and remain at the school together until the program concludes. More detailed information will be provided from your respective school as the date nears. The first regular day of kindergarten – including riding the school bus – will occur on Thursday, Aug. 26. The final day of classes is Thursday, June 9, 2022.
Back-to-School Online begins Tuesday
(emailed to families Aug. 9, 2021)
Dear USC Families:
I hope you have had a great summer so far. The 2021-22 school year gets underway on Tuesday, Aug. 24. If you have not already done so, please be sure to review the 2021-22 school calendar.
We are excited to greet our students and teachers as we welcome more than 99% of our students back for five-day, in-person instruction. We are hopeful that our students who will be learning remotely will be able to rejoin their classmates as conditions allow. In the meantime, our staff and district remain committed to educational excellence for all students.
The district’s annual Back-to-School Online effort will launch at 5 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug. 10). Beginning tomorrow evening, families are asked to log in to Focus/Parent Portal to complete and review annual forms/information to ensure a smooth start to the school year. Upon logging in, families will see a section titled Pending Forms and will need to click the green rectangular button to complete the Back-to-School forms. Please note that Pending Forms are displayed in all Focus/Parent Portal accounts; however, only one individual can complete the forms and once completed the link is no longer visible in any related account.
Schedules/Teacher Assignments/Bus Information: Once all online forms are completed, student schedules, teacher assignments and bus information will be accessible. To view this information, select your child’s name from the left navigation pane. Below the name is a link for class schedule. Bus information can be accessed by selecting Child Info and then Transportation.
Assistance with Focus/Parent Portal: As a reminder, the Focus/Parent Portal username is the email address associated with the account. If you have forgotten your password, there is a “forgot password” link on the Focus/Portal login page. For additional account assistance, please contact our communications specialist Tina Vojtko at email@example.com (be sure to include your student’s name).
HEALTH & SAFETY PLAN
As you know, COVID-19 transmission rates have risen within the last several weeks. Therefore, it is imperative that we all work together to protect the health and safety of our school community. Next Wednesday, Aug. 18, our School Board will approve an updated revision to the Health & Safety Plan that aligns with the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). We are also awaiting additional clarification from the Pennsylvania Departments of Education/Health and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) regarding current contact tracing and quarantining requirements. We will provide additional health and safety information by early next week.
While the past 18 months have been challenging, we have gained a great deal of knowledge, capabilities and efficiencies that will make the Upper St. Clair School District even stronger moving forward. The investment in Canvas, our K-12 learning management system – including hundreds of hours of work by our teachers – will continue to benefit our educational program. In addition to supporting in-person learning, Canvas hosts a hub of asynchronous resources for our remote learners as well as those who may need to quarantine. Should conditions warrant a return to hybrid or remote learning for any reason, we have plans in place to ensure continuity of instruction for all students.
We understand that you may have questions or concerns about a number of items relative to the start of the school year. The list below will help connect you with the resources you and your family may need.
- The district has developed a Back-to-School Resources webpage that may be helpful to you.
- Information about your child’s learning program can be addressed with your building principal.
- Questions regarding technology and 1:1 devices can be submitted via the online help desk.
- Concerns related to your child’s health needs should be discussed with your school nurse.
- Any issues concerning busing/bus stops should be directed to our transportation department.
While we remain diligent, we are looking forward to the start of the new school year and hope to host many of our annual school-based events and traditions including fall Open Houses. As our families play a crucial role in the educational process, it is important that we begin welcoming you back into our buildings. We look forward to seeing you in-person throughout the 2021-22 school year.
Thank you again for your ongoing partnership. Wishing you and our students all the best this new school year.
John T. Rozzo, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Act 66 of 2021
USCSD: 2021-22 Instructional Model Commitments
(emailed to families July 7, 2021)
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as a recent system update to Focus/Parent Portal has resulted in unanticipated system-wide issues for its partner schools, including Upper St. Clair. The support team from Focus is continuing its work to restore access to all users.
In the meantime, we want to continue to gather data from our families regarding the 2021-22 school year as this information is crucial to our planning efforts. Below please find details regarding the district’s plans for in-person learning and the asynchronous cyber program. Please review carefully as you consider your options.
Families selecting 5-day, in-person: NO ACTION NEEDED
Families who are selecting 5-day in-person learning do NOT need to take any further action. Your preference will be automatically recorded as 5-day, in-person.
Families selecting Asynchronous Cyber Program
In place of the form in Focus/Parent Portal, families who are selecting the Asynchronous Cyber Program for one or more students are asked to complete a brief online form by this Sunday, July 11.
Confirmation emails will be sent to all families next week to ensure accuracy of cyber/in-person selections. Thanks so much for your assistance as we plan for the 2021-22 school year.
INSTRUCTIONAL MODEL COMMITMENT FOR 2021-2022
It is our hope that all families that are able to, will return to 5-days of in-person learning. However, we recognize that some families may have unique circumstances that limit their ability to do so at the start of the school-year. As such, please select one of the two options for your student for next year.
Please note that the flexibility to change between instructional models that was granted for the 2020-2021 school year is not an option. In addition, students will not be able to participate in the asynchronous cyber program on a part-time basis.
If you do not make a selection by Sunday, July 11, your child will be enrolled in our traditional, 5-day in-person learning model.
This will be the final survey that you are asked to complete regarding instructional models. If you have any questions/concerns, please contact your child’s building principal.
Committed to 5-day in-person learning
Important changes/updates from the 2020-2021 school year:
- Masks will be optional (NOT required).
- COVID-19 vaccines will not be required and will have no bearing on a child’s school scheduling and/or classroom placement.
- Desk shields will no longer be required in classrooms.
- Social distancing mitigation measure recommendations in classrooms have been removed.
- At this time, current contact tracing requirements will remain in effect until the Allegheny County Health Department removes this mandate. Once this mandate is removed, the District’s health and safety plan will be revised.
- There will be no flexibility to move into remote learning on a part-time basis.
- Pre-pandemic absence protocols for full-day and half-day absences will return; there will not be an option to participate in remote learning when sick, vacationing or being absent. There will be separate protocols detailed by the beginning of the school-year if required contact tracing remains.
- Students will only be permitted to move from in-person to the asynchronous cyber program at the beginning of a new 9-week grading period.
Committed to USC’s asynchronous cyber program
Key updates to asynchronous cyber program for the 21-22 school-year include:
- Instruction will be under the supervision of an Upper St. Clair teacher, but will be primarily asynchronous and self-directed.
- Classes will not be live-streamed.
- Students will need to complete their work in a self-directed manner (through Canvas) with opportunities for live check-ins.
- Some courses/programs will not be offered in the District’s asynchronous cyber program, which may result in schedules/course changes.
- Commitment data will help to determine our level of need and will inform further recommendations regarding learning options.
Commitment Response Required for 21/22 School Year
(emailed to families June 29, 2021)
Dear Upper St. Clair Families:
I hope that you are enjoying your summer. I am writing to update you on some recent decisions and planning efforts for the upcoming school year. The Upper St. Clair School Board approved a revised health and safety plan at its June 28 meeting following the expiration of the state’s universal masking order. Per the revised plan, the use of face coverings at school and school sponsored events is now optional unless a mandate is reinstated by local, state or federal authorities. As always, we will continue to monitor local conditions and review any new state and federal guidelines that may be issued for the 2021-2022 school year.
As previously communicated, the District will return to a traditional 5-day in-person program in the fall, but will offer an asynchronous cyber program for interested families. The asynchronous cyber program will not be the same remote program offered last school year. Courses will be developed by our USC teachers, following our USC curriculum; however, live instruction will not be a primary component of the new cyber program. Additional information regarding next year’s learning options are included in the survey linked below. Based on these updates and recent decisions, we are asking that families make a learning model commitment for the upcoming school year no later than July 6, 2021.
FOCUS Link: https://uscsd.
focusschoolsoftware.com/focus/(Once you log in, you will see a green button to start the form at the top of your homepage. One form must be completed for each student.)
Also, a reminder, end of the year report cards are currently available in Focus. (Directions for accessing report cards in Focus)
If you do not make a selection by July 6, your child will be enrolled in our traditional, 5-day in-person learning model.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer!
John Rozzo, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan
During the June 28, 2021 School Board meeting, our district leadership team provided an update regarding the District’s COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan.