April Family Newsletter

April 5, 2022

Hello Pan American families!

Can you believe that March has come to an end? Time sure is moving quickly. 

Spring Break is almost here!

Health & Safety Plan Updates

Philadelphia is in the “All Clear COVID Response Level” so masks are no longer required in schools. There are still things that schools can do to help keep students and staff safe. Ventilation, handwashing, and reminding staff and students to stay home if they are sick still remains important. Cases are very low in Philadelphia, but many people have questions about what to do if there is a case in their school, when widespread contact tracing and universal masking are not being used.

In the event that a staff member or student at a school tests positive for COVID, schools now have a menu of options, allowing them the ability to choose a strategy to help keep COVID from spreading that is best for them and reflects the needs and resources available at their school. 

What does this mean for Pan American Academy Charter School:

Masking: We will continue to wear masks until April 22nd and then mask only when mandated by PDPH (if we are level 2 or higher).

Testing: We continue to test all staff and students weekly until April 22nd. The week of April 18, we will use rapid tests for all staff and students. After April 22nd, we will offer weekly testing with rapid tests to any staff member who wishes to participate. We will also test to stay for entire classes when a student or staff member tests positive. This testing will happen at the time that testing has always occurred for that classroom. Lastly, we will continue to offer rapid testing for staff and students who are symptomatic. 

Screening: We will discontinue our use of the daily screener for staff and students via SchoolPass. We will continue to use a screener via SchoolPass for any visitor to the building. If a visitor is flagged for any reason, we will either deny access to the building or ask them to wear a mask.

Hand Washing and Sanitizing: We will continue with frequent hand washing and sanitizing as often as possible.

Cleaning and Ventilation: We will continue to keep our school well ventilated and clean. Changing our ionic filters as needed and using the electrostatic sprayer weekly to disinfect all surfaces.

Tracking: We will continue to track and record COVID transmission data. We will change the frequency from weekly to daily. We will use the PDPH COVID-19 Response Levels to track the daily response level so that we can adjust our mitigation strategies.

Parent Survey

The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) conducts an annual survey for parents to share what they think about their child’s school.  After the surveys are completed, the SDP shares the anonymous results with schools to help them plan for the following school year.  The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and once you begin you should complete it in its entirety.

In order to complete the survey you will need your child’s district student ID number. You will be receiving the ID number very soon as a handout to your child. Please check your child’s bookbag on Friday, April 8th for a paper with their ID number and a link to the survey. You must complete the survey online using the link on that paper which is also listed below for your convenience. If you do not receive it or it is lost, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher via ClassDojo. Please remember that we are on Spring Break until April 18th so you may not receive a response until after Spring Break.

As a thank you for your time and effort, we will conduct a $100 gift card raffle for completing the survey.  In order to be entered into the raffle you will need to send a screenshot or photo of your submitted survey to information@panamcs.org.  Please include your child’s full name and homeroom in the email.  You may complete the survey using THIS link once you have received your child’s ID number.  The deadline for completing this survey is May 15, 2022.  

Technology Update

As of March 31, 2022 your student’s iPads have been protected by Securly.  

What is Securly?   They are a service we contract with that provides safe and supportive digital experiences for every student. 

What does that mean? They provide a strong web filter for your student’s iPad’s that shields students from digital dangers and distractions to ensure time spent online is protected and productive. So no matter where they are, and what WIFI they are connected to, your student will be browsing the web safely.

PSSA Testing

The annual Pennsylvania System School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment which provides students, parents, educators and citizens with an understanding of student and school performance related to the attainment of proficiency of the academic standards. These standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science and Technology identify what a student should know and be able to do at varying grade levels. 

PSSA testing will take place starting April 25, 2022 through May 13, 2022. Additional information is forthcoming.

Thank you and stay well!