REMINDER: No school for students December 24-31. All schools and districts will be closed for Winter Break.
Weekly Update with Mr. Rizzo
This week, Mr. Rizzo and Chief Dave Boyer, Coordinator of Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness, discuss how the Spring-Ford Police Department handles rumors, reports, and S2SS tips. Click here to watch.
School Safety Message from Mr. Rizzo
I'm writing to thank the Spring-Ford school community for sharing concerns about social media rumors surrounding school safety nationwide this week. I feel this is an appropriate time to review with our community four of our primary safety initiatives in place:
Spring-Ford Police Department: The eight-person Spring-Ford Area School District School Police Department is a law enforcement agency with an emphasis on protecting our students, staff, and visitors within the Spring-Ford Area School District (SFASD). Our Police Department strives to provide the highest level of service and works in partnership with our community to ensure public safety while focusing on the following core principles:
- Protection of our Students, Staff, and Community
- Vigilant, Ethical and Impartial Enforcement of Law
- Critical Incident Preparedness and Response
- Crime Prevention, Reduction and Deterrence
ALICE Training: Spring-Ford schools practice safety drills throughout the year to help students know what to do in an emergency. The Pennsylvania Department of Education maintains guidelines regarding emergency response drills such as fire drills and severe weather drills. Spring-Ford Area School District continues to remain proactive to plan for an unannounced intruder in each of our buildings. Since 2016, Spring-Ford students and staff have participated in ALICE Training drills. The ALICE acronym stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
The ALICE program trains teachers and students to identify scenarios where lockdown may be the preferable option, and dispels myths about passive, traditional "lockdown only" procedures. ALICE offers practical techniques for how to barricade a room better, what to do with mobile and electronic devices, how and when to communicate with police, and how to use time in lockdown to prepare for other strategies (i.e. Counter or Evacuate) that might come into play should the intruder gain entry.
Safe 2 Say Something (S2SS): In 2019, Spring-Ford introduced the "Safe2Say Something" (S2SS) anonymous reporting system. This program allows students, teachers, and administrators to recognize warning signs and signals of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and Say Something to a trusted adult OR use its anonymous reporting system. Specifically, the program educates participants to:
- Recognize the signs and signals of at-risk behaviors – especially within social media
- Take every sign and signal seriously; act quickly to get help by talking to a trusted adult
- Report it anonymously through the S2SS mobile app or website
What happens when a tip is submitted to Spring-Ford directly or through S2SS? Upon receiving a S2SS notification or direct report of an incident, the Spring-Ford School Police implements an action plan to initiate an investigation, frequently working alongside local law enforcement agencies. Depending on the report, action plans include student and family interviews and home visits when necessary. While we will not share the specific details of an investigation, I can assure you that we take all reports seriously.
Digital Citizenship: Students learn about digital citizenship and cyber safety starting in elementary school Ram QUEST class. One of the biggest challenges we face today is how quickly rumors and false information can spread online. Sometimes, social media can distribute information faster and to a broader audience than traditional sources. Because of this, there is a strong potential for rumors and misinformation to be shared as facts. Parents should keep track of their children's online use, including mobile apps, online games, and other social media sites, and talk with them about what is and is not acceptable online behavior.
I want to assure parents, students, and staff that protecting the safety of our schools is always a top priority. It is not taken lightly whenever we learn about a rumor involving student safety. We investigate promptly and thoroughly with the support of Spring-Ford School Police and local law enforcement agencies.
Our goal today and every day is to provide a safe learning environment for your child. I thank you for your ongoing support and trust.
Spring-Ford Girls' Lacrosse Team Spirit Wear Sale
Grab your Girls' LAX gear! The Spirit Wear Store from December 14th through February 11th. Items won't be in-hand for the holidays, but you can always wrap a picture of a new hoodie, hat, or sweatpants. Click here to order.
The stock items/ colors of items will be updated at the end of each month.
American Heart Association Recognition
Jeff Moyer, a Spring-Ford Area School District 5th and 6th grade Health and Physical Education teacher, accepted an award from the American Heart Association for being a 2021 Top Fundraising School in Montgomery County on behalf of Spring-Ford’s 5th and 6th grade school community.
For more than 25 years, Mr. Moyer has organized the annual Hoops for Heart and the American Heart Challenge. As a result, Spring-Ford has raised nearly $300,000 for the American Heart Association with a total of 3,500 student participants. In addition to being a Top Fundraising School in Montgomery County, the American Heart Association recognized Mr. Moyer and the Spring-Ford Area School District for being the fourth-highest school district contributor in the nation.
Thank you, Mr. Moyer, for bringing awareness to the American Heart Association year after year!
Student Spotlight: Sunidhi Srinivas
Congratulations to Sunidhi Srinivas, SFAHS Junior who was just awarded the 2022 National YoungArts Finalist award in the Popular Voice category! The National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists YoungArts identifies the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary and performing arts, and provides them with creative and professional development opportunities throughout their careers.
The YoungArts Finalist award recognizes work that demonstrates exceptional technique; a strong, sophisticated, nuanced, and clear artistic point of view; and a depth of thinking/performance that far exceeds the level of peers at this career stage. Finalist winners are invited to participate in National YoungArts Week and will have their work further evaluated and recognized as one of the following: Level 3 $1,000; Level 2 $1,500; Level 1 $3,000; Silver $5,000; and Gold $10,000. Finalists who attend National YoungArts Week and meet the eligibility requirements are also considered for nomination to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.
Spring-Ford Cyber Learning (SFCL) Update
SFCL registration for 3rd quarter will open Friday December 17, 2021- January 13, 2022. Please go to the website under the SFCL tab and click on the registration link. Students currently enrolled do not need to complete the registration form. Schedules, login credentials and directions will be emailed to students and parents by January 24, 2022 for the start of the new quarter.
SFCL withdrawal form will open on Friday December 17, 2021- January 13, 2022. ‘Students interested in returning to the building for 3rd quarter should complete the withdrawal form located on the website under the SFCL tab. The building will be in contact with information about schedules prior to the beginning of the third quarter.
Message From the School Nurse
For parents who have elected to have students vaccinated: As we continue our efforts with contact tracing in our schools, please consider emailing your building nurse a picture of your student’s COVID vaccination card after dose #2. Having this information helps us to determine close contacts more efficiently.
Thank you for considering sharing your student’s vaccination status with us.
Spring-Ford COVID Test Clinic
In our efforts to safely welcome all students back to school for in-person learning, the Spring-Ford Area School District is providing weekly COVID-19 testing for all current K-12 students and all current employees. The purpose of student testing is to provide an additional layer of prevention to slow the spread of COVID-19 in school buildings and extracurricular activities. The COVID Test Clinic is available in addition to the Test to Stay Program.
STS and SFASD Guest Teacher Program
Substitute Teacher Service (STS) is proud to offer the Guest Teacher Program at Spring-Ford. This program allows those who have a four-year degree to take an online training program that would prepare them for teaching in the classroom as a day to day substitute teacher. This program is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania and is exclusive to STS. The program will enhance the abilities of guest teachers to assure the education and well-being of the children is our top priority.
As a substitute teacher, you will be responsible for carrying out the lesson plans of the regularly appointed teacher for whom you would be substituting. Your goal will be to adhere to the learning environment that would exist if the regular teacher were in the classroom.
Click here to learn more about Guest Teaching at Spring-Ford.
Many Thanks, Spring-Ford
Many Thanks is an unsolicited acknowledgement of anyone in the Spring-Ford community who has demonstrated a caring or sensitive attitude, gone the extra mile, made a special effort to include someone, or simply deserves recognition.
Who can you thank? Send a special message to students, parents, teachers, administrators, administrative assistants, bus drivers, custodial staff, your favorite food service staff, a coworker, stranger, business owner, or community member.
This week, Many Thanks goes out to...
- Nurse Greenwood at UPE G., many thanks for helping our daughter Caoilainn with all her special Medical Occurrences she had this year and prior years.She is only one of many you watch over.Thank You for your Service. From Michele B.
- Erin C., many thanks to you Erin for all the support you give to SNAP and for the many email exchanges to to push our information district wide. We don’t say it enough, but thank you for all you do!!!! From Heidi C.
- Miss. Bogus, many thanks for always greeting everyone with a smile and being an awesome teacher! You teach very well and it's easy to understand what we are learning because of you! You're very funny and a fun teacher to be around!! Thank you! From a Thankful Student!
- Mrs. Valloor, many thanks for being the teacher who I'm always excited to see! You make class extremely fun and always know how to make your students laugh! I love that you're always there engaging with every student. From a Thankful Student!
- To All School Nurses... many thanks for all you do to care for for our kids while they are at school and working nonstop to keep everyone safe and healthy. You are the best! From A Thankful Parent
- The Oaks drop off and pick up teachers and staff... many thanks for greeting our kids by name and always with a smile and wave as they are dropped off and picked up each day. It can be raining, freezing cold, or super hot and everyone is always welcoming and giving students a warm start/end to the day. From A Thankful Parent
- Everyone at school that supported the Music concerts this year, many thanks for so many people behind the scenes help make the winter concerts happen. The shows were fantastic and the kids really shined. Thank you for making the music program happen!! From Deirdre H.
Updated Health and Safety Plan Reminder
Currently, masks are mandatory for students and staff when Spring-Ford’s Level of Community Transmission is “High.” Spring-Ford’s Level of Community Transmission can be found on the COVID Dashboard, and will be included each week in Weekly Update.
Click here to review the current and upcoming Health and Safety Plans.
Spring-Ford Test to Stay Program
Test to Stay is a voluntary COVID-19 prevention strategy that allows students who are identified as a close contact to a case of COVID-19 to continue to attend school and participate in extracurricular activities in modified quarantine for seven days after the last day of exposure. This does not include close contacts exposed at home, outside of the school setting, and community exposures.To participate in Test to Stay, students will need to opt-in to completing an antigen testing cadence for COVID-19, remain symptom-free, and test negative to be able to remain in school and participate in extracurricular activities over their seven day quarantine period.
Click here to learn more about the program, student eligibility requirements, and more.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
With parental consent, children ages 5 through 11 may register to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Health will continue working with providers across the state to help ensure that the vaccine is available in every community. Parents can find the nearest COVID-19 vaccine provider at Vaccines.gov including county sites, local pharmacies, and medical providers.
Spring-Ford will continue to send vaccine and testing information through Weekly Updates, including links to register for first and second dose appointments and booster appointments in our area. At this time, local pharmacies are not offering community clinics in Spring-Ford schools/buildings.
Montgomery County Testing Sites
The Montgomery County COVID-19 testing sites are open! These sites are outdoors and are subject to closure on short notice due to inclement weather. Click here to find a local testing site.
Spring-Ford Level of Community Transmission: Schools should work with local public health officials to determine the additional prevention strategies needed in their area by monitoring levels of community transmission (i.e., low, moderate, substantial, or high). SFASD will refer to the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) COVID-19 Rates by School District Dashboard (link below). MCOPH will update their weekly data each Wednesday. Click here for the 2021-2022 Dashboard. Montgomery and Chester County COVID Dashboard Trends:
- Spring-Ford Area School District COVID Dashboard
- Click here to view the full Montgomery County dashboard.
- Click here to view the full Chester County dashboard.
Find Available Vaccine Appointments: Many local locations have vaccines available, some offering same-day appointments or walk-in appointments. MCOPH will release vaccine appointments within phases randomly, not by the date registered. Click here to register for a vaccine appointment.
Local Vaccine Search: Enter your zip code for a listing of local sites.