Frequently Asked Questions

We appreciate the patience and understanding of our community as we navigate this unprecedented situation. Throughout the process, we want to be sure that we are keeping you informed and answering your questions to the best of our ability. Below you'll find a running list of frequently asked questions. Please use this as your initial resource before reaching out to the district with any questions you may have of your own. 

We encourage you to check this page often for any updates.

FAQs on WASD's Response to the COVID-19 School Closure


Last update: March 27, 2020 — 6:02 p.m.

How long will schools be closed? 

Update: Under the order of Gov. Tom Wolf, all K-12 public schools will remain closed to students through at least April 9 to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the Commonwealth. This means all of our campuses and buildings are closed to the public and non-essential employees. The Tax Office will remain closed to the public until further notice. For contact information, please visit the Tax Office website by clicking here.


Will these days when schools are closed due to COVID-19 need to be made up?  

We have received direction from the governor of Pennsylvania that suggests schools will not be penalized if they fail to meet the 180-day requirement. However, the district has no further details. In the coming days, we hope to have more information on this measure, and what it will mean for the Williamsport Area School District as we work toward helping our students successfully reach the end of the school year. 


What is the school district doing to provide food assistance to students/families?  

The district is providing free bagged lunches and breakfasts for all students 18 years of age and under on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following WASD campuses: 

Curtin Intermediate School, 85 Eldred St. 
Distribution location: Doors 9 and 10 on the east side of the building (enter on Mulberry Street and exit onto Eldred Street) 

Lycoming Valley Intermediate School, 1825 Hays Lane 
Distribution location: Along the front of the building

Stevens Primary School, 1150 Louisa St. 
Distribution location: The front entrance of the building

Williamsport Area Middle School, 2800 West Fourth St.
Distribution location: Front entrance/parent drop-off loop 

Children benefiting from this program must be present to receive bagged meals. Meals will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that these locations are open to all students, not just those who attend these specific buildings. Parents do not need to be with their child(ren) for students to receive bagged meals.

Food distribution will simply be “grab-and-go” in format. Our facilities will not be open as a location in which our students and families may eat, and we ask those who come to our buildings for meals to not congregate at these locations. Please be advised that our buildings are closed to the public, and no access beyond meal pickup will be permitted. 

(Note: Adjustments or modifications may be made to this plan to meet demand, if needed, and will be communicated.) 

Thanks to the generosity of our community, alternative meal options also are available for free at a number of businesses and organizations. For the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of locations providing free meals, click here


Can I volunteer to help distribute food or donate food?  

We are so grateful for these offers of help and assistance. At this time, volunteers are not needed for food distribution. We are fortunate to have adequate staffing in place to support our families. In addition, in order for us to maintain the social distancing necessary, we will operate with as few individuals on campuses as possible.  


Will the district move to online learning?  

The district is receiving questions about whether we will try to remotely provide instruction to students at home. We recognize the challenges and limitations for all homes having the needed access to technology devices and internet capabilities to deliver meaningful and equitable online instruction. For these reasons, the district is not requiring online learning as a replacement to classroom instruction, which would be inconsistent, inequitable and for some homes impossible.

Our administration is investigating alternative methods to deliver instruction to students should an extensive school closure occur. 

In the meantime, we've provided a list of educational enrichment resources that are free and easily accessible.

Additionally, families were sent a text message asking each household to take a brief survey on the availability of technology devices in the home and their ability to access the Internet. We ask all families, who haven't already, to participate in this survey to ensure the school district has the most accurate information to inform their planning.


What about school events and activities? 

All school events, activities, performances and athletics (on-site or off-site) are suspended or cancelled until further notice. 


What about kindergarten and new student registration?  

Kindergarten and new student registration week (originally March 23-27) has been postponed. Once schools re-open, new dates will be provided. If you have a computer and Internet access at home, the online portion can still be completed for all new and incoming kindergarten students. No appointments will be held until at least Monday, March 30. 


Is the district doing any deep-cleaning/sanitizing of buildings, buses, etc., during the closure? 

Yes. We’re continuing an elevated cleaning protocol in our schools, buses and offices to minimize the risk, with extra attention paid to more high-touch/high-traffic areas, such as bathrooms, doorknobs, desktops and keyboards. We’re also reminding our essential employees to exercise healthy hygiene and hand-washing. 


Will this closure affect the school calendar with regard to upcoming field trips, competitions, activities, performances, spring break, graduation, prom, parent-teacher conferences, etc.?  

We have received many questions of what will happen after this closure, which is difficult to know or project. The district has consciously cancelled student travel, field trips, and most events for the months of March and April. Beyond that, it is too soon to make any predictions. Please be reminded that events are evolving rapidly, and we encourage you to check the district’s website.

 
How will this closure affect parent-teacher conferences and spring break?            
The district has cancelled this school year's spring parent-teacher conferences originally scheduled for April 7 and 8. Because the district will begin offering online education beginning April 13, spring break for students will now only consist of Thursday, April 9, and Friday, April 10.
 
What does this mean for the end of the third marking period?             
The district has elected to end the third marking period on the same day as the original school closure date of Friday, March 13. The extended school closure has taken the district beyond the third marking period closure date of March 20. To ensure the utmost fairness to students, we are asking teachers to be flexible when calculating grades for the end of that quarter. We're also asking our teachers to use their best professional judgement that is beneficial to the student and adjust for work/assessments that students did not have the ability to complete or make up.