Two are better than one. That’s what Savannah and Jamie Aguilera agreed when they decided to make cotton masks for hospital employees and essential workers in the Lehigh Valley.
“My mom showed me a Facebook post from Masks for the Lehigh Valley explaining they were looking for people to make masks that would be distributed to essential workers,” said Savannah, a ninth-grade student at Northampton Area High School.
“We first brought out the sewing machine and made our first mask March 22. It took us two-and-a-half hours to make one,” Savannah said.
A majority of the Northampton Area School District Board of Education is on the record as wanting no new taxes to help finance the 2020-21 budget.
School directors met virtually April 20 and voted 7-2 in a straw vote to back a zero-percent tax increase for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
In the nonbinding vote, those supporting a zero-percent tax increase were school board President David Gogel, Vice President Chuck Frantz and Directors Roy Maranki, Robert Mentzell, Ross Makary, John Becker and Dr. Michael Baird.
Voting for a 2-percent increase was Director James Chuss.
Student instruction will continue despite coronavirus school closures, Pennsylvania’s secretary of education said during an April 9 media telebriefing.
Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera said he has set “really strong and high expectations” that Pennsylvania schools provide continuing education and instruction to homebound students during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The briefing came on the heels of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s order on that same day to extend school closures for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year due to COVID-19.
It has become apparent distance learning is absolutely vital as children may not get back into a classroom for weeks or months. Therefore, PBS39 has worked with educators locally and nationally to create Lehigh Valley Learns, an over-the-air educational offering that launched March 30.
Lehigh Valley Learns is broadcasting over PBS39’s channels in the mornings, with grade-specific programming at the same time each weekday.
When Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced March 30 that Pennsylvania public and charter schools are “closed until further notice,” Northampton Area School District’s 5,500 students were already online learning.
The stay-at-home order for residents of Northampton County, extended through April 30, has ramifications for students’ academic and social life.
The April 3 Northampton Area Middle School chorus performance at the Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey game at PPL Center is canceled.
The Northampton Area High School junior prom, set for April 4, is canceled.
Northampton Area School District Board of Education held its first entirely teleconferenced meeting March 23 because of social-distancing rules implemented by the state and federal government to mitigate community spread of the coronavirus.
In order to meet via teleconference, school directors voted unanimously 9-0 to approve a policy, whereby a majority of board members do not have to be physically present when a board member attends through electronic communications.
Even though classes are not in session, Northampton Area School District Board of Education met — virtually, that is.
The meeting room in the administration building, where the school board and administrators meet twice monthly, was empty March 23, except for NASD Superintendent of Schools Joseph S. Kovalchik, NASD Business Administrator Matthew Sawarynski and NASD Secretary to the Superintendent Denise A. Vilkauskas.
Northampton Area School District, in conjunction with Aramark, will make available free bagged lunches to children through age 18 who are in the district.
Joseph S. Kovalchik, NASD superintendent of schools, made the announcement March 16 under Spotlight Stories on the NASD website.
Meals were available March 18-20 and were also scheduled for March 23-27 as well.
It was announced March 23 that district schools would be closed through April 3. An announcement of an extended meal distribution plan had not been released as of press time March 25.