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About Us » Principal's Message

Principal's Message

Dear JBHS Students and Families,

As I am sure you have heard by now Governor Wolf has ordered all that school buildings remain closed until the end of the 2019-20 school year.  This is not the news we wanted to hear as we all had hoped that we might be able to finish the year normally or at least in person with some additional precautions in place.  Sadly, that is no to be.

With this new order comes a range of questions I would like to begin to answer or provide you with some context as to our potential plans.  Please understand that in this crisis it been most frustrating to me to be so limited in my ability to develop plans with any certainty as this situation has continued to be very fluid and the known variables are constantly shifting and new variables are regularly introduced into the equation.  At the heart of any planning is our concern for the health and safety of our students and staff and plans for any programs or ceremonies will be need to adhere to Gathering Size Limits and Social Distancing Recommendations by the PA Dept. of Health and the CDC.


At this time we are beginning to consider Questions like:


Now that we know we will not be returning to the school building for the rest of the year what will my student’s classes look like?

We will continue to follow our TSD Launch to Learn Continuity of Education Plan which calls for Enrichment and Review Activities which are posted to our Launch to Learn Grid weekly.   With current guidance from the state, we will be transitioning to planned instruction that includes some new concepts beginning on May 4th. For the remainder of the year feedback on assignments will now take the form of:

O (Outstanding Performance/Participation)                

S (Satisfactory Performance/Participation)

U (Unsatisfactory Performance/Participation) 

or Excused.  

The Sapphire Gradebook System does not accommodate letter grades for individual assignments as it only supports numerical entries.  As such grades for individual assignments will be entered as follows:

O = 3

S = 2

U = 1 


Your student’s final course average/grade will be based on their first 3 Marking Period averages/grades but will be influenced by the participation and performance in the 4th Marking Period.  An O (Outstanding) 4th MkPd grade will result in an increase of the student’s final year-long average by 2%.  An S (Satisfactory) 4th MkPd grade will maintain their current year-long average.  A U (Unsatisfactory) 4th MkPd grade will decrease their final year-long average by 2%.


How will my student retrieve their personal belongings? 

We will develop a plan to allow students to come to the building in limited numbers at scheduled times to retrieve their belongings.  However that cannot begin to happen until the Governor lifts the Stay at Home Order and Non-Essential Travel restrictions and we are permitted to have gatherings significantly greater than 10.  Until that time it would simply be too difficult logistically to schedule and monitor such access. 


How will my student Schedule their classes for next year?

Scheduling will take place in late April and early May.  Our Counselors are working to finalize the course scheduling booklet and will provide guidance and instructions to facilitate students scheduling via the Student Parent Portal. Look for emails and phone messages around April 27th for these details


What will happen in regard to athletics?

Unfortunately, the PIAA and Mid-Penn Conference have canceled the Spring Athletic Season for 2020.  Nothing can replace the excitement and pride you feel taking the field for your school and community.  As a former Baseball player and spring athlete I feel a special sense of loss for our athletes especially our Seniors who had only just begun their final season.  Spring was always my favorite season.  You start in the cold of winter and every day the playing conditions get better and better.  I have no words that can assuage the loss you have been dealt.  We often hear that it is better to have played and lost than to have never played at all.  We now know all too clearly how true those words are. 


Will there be a Prom?

Probably not on its original date.  We have worked with our host facility as well as our venders to secure options to hold the Prom later in the summer.  We will make every effort to see this event happen but there are still many challenges to work through and we may still find ourselves limited by Gathering Size and Social Distancing restrictions. We will do the best we can.


Will the Musical still have an opportunity to perform?

We have discussed several options like running the show later in the summer when conditions allow, a Facebook live performance or filming individual scenes and arranging them together into a full length video for viewing.  There are many factors to consider but we will make every effort to make sure that the work of these performers is recognized.  Again we will need to adhere to Gathering Size and Social Distancing guidelines in any plan we implement.


How will my senior finish up their Graduation requirements?

The school board has given us the authority to alter or waive graduation requirements as needed to facilitate the graduation of seniors who were in good standing prior to the closure of schools on March 13th.  We will work with individual Seniors to implement those alternatives and will communicate with them in the near future.  Our goal is that no Senior who was in good standing and on track to graduate prior to March 13th will be negatively impacted by this crisis.


In that spirit we have developed an alternative assignment to the Job Shadowing project which is a requirement to be completed by all Seniors.  Please visit the Launch to Learn link on the TSD website under CoronaVirus Information for a specific link for Job Shadowing.


Will the annual Senior Awards, Recognitions and Scholarships still be granted?

Yes.  We will hold a ceremony on May 22st to honor these award winners.  At this time we have not yet determined the format for this ceremony.  As Gathering Size Limits and Social Distancing Recommendations are better defined regarding that date we will communicate the format and setting for this event.


When will Graduation be and what will it look like? 

We will award Diplomas to all Seniors who have met requirements on May 29th.  It is my hope that we will be able to do so by way of our traditional Graduation Ceremony.  However, we have a couple of contingency plans in development ranging from a virtual ceremony or possibly a live ceremony later in the summer.  Senior would have already received their diplomas but we would hold the actual ceremony with all its traditional pomp and circumstance to allow them the opportunity to “walk.”  Whatever version we decide to offer will be predicated on Gathering Size limits and Social Distancing restrictions and what we perceive the likelihood of being able to hold a live event even if it is to take place mid-summer. 

Please review the information here for more concerning Graduation and Senior End of Year Events


How will my child get their Yearbook?

When it is safe to do so we will develop a plan for yearbook distribution.  This may take the form of a curbside pickup at a scheduled time but students who purchased a yearbook will get them.


What about the Senior Trip?

The Senior Trip has been canceled.  Mrs. Rife and Mrs. Beeler are working with the booking agent to recoup as much of the money as possible.  More information will be communicated as it becomes available.


How will my Senior receive their Senior Items that they ordered from Balfour?

We have been in contact with our Balfour representative and she has informed us that Senior Items will be delivered directly to your homes.  However, there may be delays as some of the factories where the items are produced have been on shutdown due to Covid-19 stay at home and business closures.  They will be shipped as soon as production resumes. 


Hopefully, the answers to these and many other questions will now begin to reveal themselves as we progress through what we now know will be a remote and distanced remainder of the school year.  Now that we know that the majority of these events and tasks will not happen in their normal format or at their traditional time in the calendar we will begin to put plans for alternative means to address them in place.    As we develop more finalized plans we will communicate them in as timely a manner as possible.  Our hope is to hold these events as close to their original dates and in a as similar a format as possible but all plans are fluid at this time and will be predicated on Gathering Size Limits and Social Distancing Recommendations of the Pa Dept. of Health and the CDC.  This health crisis has been posed unprecedented challenges and we will continue to work to do our very best to navigate through these difficult times as in the interests of the health and safety of our students and staff. 


Please continue to be safe and healthy during this time.  Thank you as always for your patience and support,


Mr. Dickey

JBHS Principal