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MASD COVID Notifications

As Mars Area School District is committed to keep our parents/guardians and students informed about coronavirus (COVID-19) cases affecting District students and staff. The following are the communications that have been distributed to date:  

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Elementary School student; and, two (2)
Mars Area High School staff members are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


Mars Area Elementary School

 

In regards to the Mars Area Elementary School case, as per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

 

Mars Area High School

 

With the additional cases at Mars Area High School, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the staff members, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the staff membersAny students, who are determined to be close contacts, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Note: Mars Area High School remains closed through Friday, March 19, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations. As Mars Area High School is considered to be a “large school” (more than 900 students), it is required that the school close for a minimum of three (3) days when 6-10 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 11 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning. All school closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.


While, as of Tuesday, March 16, the total number of positive cases was one less than the threshold that would require the school to close for three (3) days; the District decided to preemptively close Mars Area High School; given the likelihood of another case that would require a closure, and due to a current shortage of high school staff that is related to this week’s COVID vaccinations. With addition of today’s reported case, the total number of positive COVID cases at Mars Area High School is now eight (8).

As Mars Area High School is undergoing a deep cleaning; and, as all students and/or staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, both prior to and during the temporary closure, will be quarantining, the total number of active positive cases at the school will revert back to zero (0), when students and staff return to school on Monday, March 22.

 

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

 

Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

 

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area High School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the student.


Any students
, who are determined to be close contacts, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Note: Mars Area High School remains closed through Friday, March 19, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations. As Mars Area High School is considered to be a “large school” (more than 900 students), it is required that the school close for a minimum of three (3) days when 6-10 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 11 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning. All school closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.


While, as of yesterday (Tuesday, March 16), the total number of positive cases was one less than the threshold that would require the school to close for three (3) days; the District decided to preemptively close Mars Area High School; given the likelihood of another case that would require a closure, and due to a current shortage of high school staff that is related to this week’s COVID vaccinations. With addition of today’s reported case, the total number of positive COVID cases at Mars Area High School is now six (6).

As Mars Area High School is undergoing a deep cleaning; and, as all students and/or staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, both prior to and during the temporary closure, will be quarantining, the total number of active positive cases at the school will revert back to zero (0), when students and staff return to school on Monday, March 22.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

 

This message is to inform you that Mars Area High School will be closed, beginning Wednesday, March 17, and continuing through Friday, March 19.

 

This afternoon, Mars Area School District was made aware of one (1) Mars Area High School student, who is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19. This case is in addition to the four (4) cases reported yesterday (Monday, March 15), bringing the total number of positive cases at the High School to five (5).

 

While the total number of positive cases is one less than the threshold that would require the school to close for three (3) days; the District has decided to preemptively close Mars Area High School; given the likelihood of another case that would require a closure, and due to a current shortage of high school staff that is related to this week’s COVID vaccinations.

 

In accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, which establish the minimum number of active COVID cases that require a building to close based upon the school’s enrollment, Mars Area School District is required to close the Mars Area High School for a minimum of three (3) days, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.

 

Note: As Mars Area High School is considered a “large school” (more than 900 students), it is required that the school close for a minimum of three (3) days when 6-10 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 11 or more positive cases, while the building is thoroughly cleaned. School closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.

 

In addition to the closure, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the aforementioned students who tested positive for COVID-19. Any such individuals will be required to quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Any students, who are determined to be close contacts, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


To prepare for this building closure, we also ask that you please note the following:


Switch to LSI Instruction
— During the building closure, all Mars Area High School students, who have attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need to switch to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction through which teachers will facilitate instruction from home on a period-by-period basis. Note: Building administrators, paraprofessionals and support staff members will be temporarily relocated to Mars Area Middle School, while custodial crews clean the building.

 

School in Session on Friday, March 19 — In August 2020, Mars Area School Board amended the 2020-2021 School Calendar, cancelling the In-Service Day that was previously scheduled on Friday, March 19. Therefore, school will be in session for all students on this date. All Mars Area High School students will be expected to participate in LSI Instruction on Friday, March 19.

 

Technology — Students, who do not have access to a District-issued technology device, will be provided with a device, free of charge, during the closure period only. Those devices must be returned to the school immediately upon the students’ return to the traditional setting. Please be advised that any damages to the device are subject to repair or replacement costs being incurred by the parent/guardian. To obtain a device, contact the Mars Help Desk at marshelpdesk@bluchipsolutions.com.                         

 

Athletics/Activities — Athletics and/or activities scheduled for today (Tuesday, March 16) will be held as planned. During the closure, athletics/activities will continue to be held as scheduled; however, beginning Wednesday, March 17, any athletics/activities occurring at Mars Area High School will be cancelled or relocated, where possible. Students are encouraged to contact their coach or activity sponsor for more information.

Food Services — During the building closure, the District will continue to offer free meals for students and anyone in a student's household who is under age 18. To arrange for meal pick-up, contact Bridget Buyna, Food Service Director, at (724) 625-1988 or bbuyna@marsk12.org.

Mars Area High School students may return to participate in Traditional Instruction on Monday, March 22, pending the District’s review of the school’s COVID numbers at that time. (Note: Once a school has undergone a deep cleaning, the total number of active positive cases at that school reverts to zero (0), beginning with the first day that students and staff return.)

 

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you that three (3) Mars Area High School students and one (1) Mars Area High School staff member are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


T
he Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the students or staff member, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the students and/or staff member.


Any individuals
, who are determined to be close contacts, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is a reminder that Mars Area Centennial School will resume traditional, in-person instruction tomorrow (Monday, March 15).

 

Please note that, as Mars Area Centennial School has undergone a deep cleaning and as all students and/or staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 are now quarantining, the total number of active positive cases at the school reverts to zero (0), beginning with the first day that students and staff return.

 

Mars Area Centennial School was closed on Thursday, March 11, and Friday, March 12, while the building underwent a deep cleaning, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations as well as established District protocols. As of the evening of Wednesday, March 10, Mars Area Centennial School had reported three (3) positive COVID cases within a 14-day period; therefore, as the building is considered a “small school” (less than 500 students), it was required to close for a minimum of three (3) days while the building was thoroughly cleaned. (Note: All school closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.)

 

As fifth- and sixth-graders prepare to return to school, please note the following:

Traditional Instruction — As the building is reopening, those Mars Area Centennial  School students who shifted to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction during the closure, may return for traditional, in-person instruction on Monday, March 15.

 

Technology Return — Any Centennial School students who were provided with a District-issued device for use during the school closure and who are returning to Traditional Instruction, must return the device, fully charged and with any accompanying accessories (chargers, cases, etc.) to the Centennial School’s main office on Monday, March 15.

Face Coverings — As a reminder, Mars Area School District requires that face coverings (masks or shields) be worn at all times within our schools and facilities as well as when riding the school bus.


LSI Instruction Option
— For those parents/guardians and/or students who do not feel comfortable returning to school, students will continue to have the option to participate via LSI Instruction. Any student, who was previously participating in Traditional Instruction and will be remaining in LSI Instruction when the school reopens, is asked to notify the Building Principal as soon as possible. 

 

We are ready to welcome our students back to school and remain committed to doing so as safely as possible. We encourage all of our families to continue to follow all COVID safety protocols including washing and/or sanitizing hands, maintaining social distancing, and wearing a face covering (mask or shield), whenever possible. 


We appreciate your patience and support as our District is continuing to navigate through this pandemic. Thank you.


Sincerely,  


Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

 

This message is to inform you that Mars Area Centennial School will be closed, beginning Thursday, March 11, and continuing through Friday, March 12.

 

Earlier this evening (Wednesday, March 10), Mars Area School District was informed that a Mars Area Centennial School staff member is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19. This case brings the total number of active positive cases at the Centennial School to three (3).

 

In accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, which establish the minimum number of active COVID cases that require a building to close based upon the school’s enrollment, Mars Area School District is required to close Mars Area Centennial School for a minimum of three (3) days, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.

 

Note: As Mars Area Centennial School is considered a “small school” (less than 500 students), it is required that the school close for a minimum of three (3) days when 2-4 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 5 or more positive cases, while the building is thoroughly cleaned. School closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.

 

In addition to the closure, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. Any such individuals will be required to quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Any students, who are determined to have been a close contact, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


To prepare for this building closure, we also ask that you please note the following:


Switch to LSI Instruction
 — During the building closure, all Mars Area Centennial School students, who have attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need to switch to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction through which teachers will facilitate instruction from home on a period-by-period basis. Note: Building administrators, paraprofessionals and support staff members will be temporarily relocated to other schools, while custodial crews clean the building.


Technology
 — Students, who do not have access to a personal technology device, may be provided with a District-issue device, free of charge, during the closure period only. Those devices must be returned to the school immediately upon the students’ return to the traditional setting. Please be advised that any damages to the device are subject to repair or replacement costs being incurred by the parent/guardian. To obtain a device, contact the Mars Help Desk at marshelpdesk@bluechipsolutions.com.


Athletics/Activities
 — Any athletics events and/or activities scheduled at Mars Area Centennial School during the closure will be cancelled or relocated, where possible. Students are encouraged to contact their coach or activity sponsor for more information.

Food Services — During the building closure, the District will continue to offer free meals for students and anyone in a student's household who is under age 18. To arrange for meal pick-up, contact Bridget Buyna, Food Service Director, at (724) 625-1988 or bbuyna@marsk12.org.


Mars Area Centennial School students may return to participate in Traditional Instruction on Monday, March 15, pending the District’s review of the school’s COVID numbers at that time. (Note: Once a school has undergone a deep cleaning, the total number of active positive cases at that school reverts to zero (0), beginning with the first day that students and staff return.) Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

 

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Centennial School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

 

The student was last in school on Wednesday, March 3; therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the student.  

 

Any individuals, who are determined to be close contacts, will also receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

 

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

 

Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Centennial School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

The student was last in school on Wednesday, March 3; therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with that student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the student.  Any individuals, who are determined to be close contacts, will also receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Note
: Mars Area Centennial School has reported one (1) positive COVID cases, within the last 14 days. Therefore, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations as well as established District protocols, if one (1) additional case is reported at the school, then the building will be closed for a minimum of three (3) days to undergo a deep cleaning. In the event that the school is closed, all affected students will participate via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, with teachers facilitating lessons on a period-by-period basis.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s), 

The following is an update to the notification that was distributed yesterday (Monday, March 8) regarding the two (2) Mars Area Middle School students who tested positive for COVID-19. 


While one of the students was last in school on Thursday, March 4, and the other participates via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, the school has been informed that both students attended the Seventh/Eighth Grade Girls Volleyball Open Gym Nights, held Tuesday through Thursday, March 2-4. Therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that all those, who attended the Open Gym Nights and who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the students, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days.  


Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the student. Any individuals, who are determined to be close contacts, will also receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction. 


NOTE: Given the above information, tryouts for Mars Area Middle School’s Seventh/Eighth Grade Girls Volleyball Team are postponed and will now be held from 2:30 to 5 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, March 22-24. A parent meeting will be held at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, March 22; and, the team’s first practices will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday & Friday, March 25-26All events will be held at Mars Area Middle School. Any questions may be directed to the Dave Mayer at dmayer@marsk12.org. 

 

Any parent(s)/guardian(s) whose child tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the above information may be directed to the Building Principal. Thank you.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that two (2) Mars Area Middle School students are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


In the first case, the student was last in school on Thursday, March 4; therefore, t
he Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with that student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days.
Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the student. Any individuals, who are determined to be close contacts, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


In the case of the second student, who participates in school via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, as per health officials recommendations, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Middle School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

 

As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

 

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

 

Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Primary Center student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the student.


Any individuals, who may been in close contact with the student, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area High School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
 The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area High School student; one (1) Mars Area Middle School student; and one (1) Mars Area Centennial School staff member are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
 The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the appropriate building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is a follow-up to the notification, regarding a Mars Area Primary Center staff member who was quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19, that Mars Area School District distributed on Monday, Feb. 22.  


The message incorrectly stated that the staff member was last in the building on Friday, Feb. 19; when, in fact, the individual was last at Mars Area Primary Center on Monday, Feb. 22


We apologize for the error. However, please know that all contact tracing was conducted based upon the correct date (Monday, Feb. 22) and, as per the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the staff member, has been notified to quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. 
In addition, any individuals, who may been in close contact with the staff member, have received a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 
Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the appropriate building principal or to the superintendent.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you that one (1) 
Mars Area Middle School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional 
quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
 The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that, in unrelated cases, one (1) Mars Area Primary Center staff member; one (1) Mars Area High School student; and one (1) employee at Mars Area School District's Administration Office are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


In the case of the Mars Area Primary Center staff member, the individual was last in school on Friday, Feb. 15. Therefore
, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the staff member, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the staff member. Any individuals, who may been in close contact with the staff member, will also receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


In the separate cases involving the Mars Area High School student and the Administration Office employee,
 as per DOH recommendations, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
 The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the appropriate building principal or to the superintendent.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

 

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area High School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


The student was last in the school on Wednesday, Feb. 17; therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the student.


Any individuals, who may been in close contact with the student, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) additional Mars Area High School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

The student was last in the school on Monday, Feb. 8; therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the student.


Any individuals
, who may been in close contact with the student, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Note: Mars Area High School was closed through today (Thursday, Feb. 11), in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations. As Mars Area High School is considered to be a “large school” (more than 900 students), it is required that the school close for a minimum of three (3) days when 6-10 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 11 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning. All school closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building. Prior to the school closure, Mars Area High School reported a total of six (6) positive COVID cases.

 

As Mars Area High School is undergoing a deep cleaning; and, as all students and/or staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, both prior to and during the temporary closure, are now quarantining, the total number of active positive cases at the school will revert back to zero (0), when students and staff return to school on Friday, Feb. 12.

 

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

 

Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is a reminder that Mars Area High School will resume traditional, in-person instruction tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 12).


Please note that, as Mars Area High School has undergone a deep cleaning and as all students and/or staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, both prior to and during the temporary closure, are now quarantining, the total number of active positive cases at the school reverts to zero (0), beginning with the first day that students and staff return.


Mars Area High School was closed Tuesday, Feb. 9, through today (Thursday, Feb. 11), while the building underwent a deep cleaning, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations as well as established District protocols. As of Monday, Feb. 8, Mars Area High School had reported six (6) positive COVID cases within a 14-day period; therefore, as the building is considered a “large school” (more than 900 students), it was required to close for a minimum of three (3) days while the building was thoroughly cleaned. (Note: All school closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.)


As Mars Area High School students prepare to return to school, please note the following:


Traditional Instruction — As the building is reopening, those Mars Area High School students who shifted to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction during the closure, may return for traditional, in-person instruction on Friday, Feb. 12.

 

LSI Instruction Option — For those parents/guardians and/or students who do not feel comfortable returning to school, students will continue to have the option to participate via LSI Instruction. Any student, who was previously participating in Traditional Instruction and will be remaining in LSI Instruction when the school reopens, is asked to notify the Building Principal as soon as possible. 

Face Coverings — As a reminder, Mars Area School District requires that face coverings (masks or shields) be worn at all times within our schools and facilities as well as when riding the school bus.


We are ready to welcome our students back to school and remain committed to doing so as safely as possible. We encourage all of our families to continue to follow all COVID safety protocols including washing and/or sanitizing hands, maintaining social distancing, and wearing a face covering (mask or shield), whenever possible. 


We appreciate your patience and support as our District is continuing to navigate through this pandemic. Thank you.


Sincerely,  


Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area High School student and one (1) staff member are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


Both the student and staff member were last in the school on Friday, Feb. 5; therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with these individuals, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying anyone who may have come into close contact with the student or staff member.


Any individuals, who may been in close contact with the student or staff member, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Note: Mars Area High School remains closed through Thursday, Feb. 11, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations. As Mars Area High School is considered to be a “large school” (more than 900 students), it is required that the school close for a minimum of three (3) days when 6-10 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 11 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning. All school closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building. Prior to the school closure, Mars Area High School reported a total of six (6) positive COVID cases. As Mars Area High School is undergoing a deep cleaning; and, as all students and/or staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, both prior to and during the temporary closure, are now quarantining, the total number of active positive cases at the school will revert back to zero (0), when students and staff return to school on Friday, Feb. 12.

 

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

 

This message is a reminder that Mars Area Middle School will resume traditional, in-person instruction tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 10).

 

Please note that, as Mars Area Middle School has undergone a deep cleaning and as all students and/or staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 are now quarantining, the total number of active positive cases at the school reverts to zero (0), beginning with the first day that students and staff return.


Mars Area Middle School was closed Friday, Feb. 5, through today (Tuesday, Feb. 9), while the building underwent a deep cleaning, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations as well as established District protocols. As of Thursday, Feb. 4, Mars Area Middle School had reported five (5) positive COVID cases within a 14-day period; therefore, as the building is considered a “medium school” (500-900 students), it was required to close for a minimum of three (3) days while the building was thoroughly cleaned. (Note: All school closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.)


As seventh- and eighth-graders prepare to return to school, please note the following:


Traditional Instruction — As the building is reopening, those Mars Area Middle School students who shifted to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction during the closure, may return for traditional, in-person instruction on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Technology Return — Any Middle School students who were provided with a District-issued device for use during the school closure and who are returning to Traditional Instruction, must return the device, fully charged and with any accompanying accessories (chargers, cases, etc.) to the cart in their homeroom on Wednesday, Feb. 10.


Face Coverings
— As a reminder, Mars Area School District requires that face coverings (masks or shields) be worn at all times within our schools and facilities as well as when riding the school bus.


LSI Instruction Option
— For those parents/guardians and/or students who do not feel comfortable returning to school, students will continue to have the option to participate via LSI Instruction. Any student, who was previously participating in Traditional Instruction and will be remaining in LSI Instruction when the school reopens, is asked to notify the Building Principal and all teachers on the student’s schedule in one e-mail message as soon as possible. 

 

We are ready to welcome our students back to school and remain committed to doing so as safely as possible. We encourage all of our families to continue to follow all COVID safety protocols including washing and/or sanitizing hands, maintaining social distancing, and wearing a face covering (mask or shield), whenever possible. 

 

We appreciate your patience and support as our District is continuing to navigate through this pandemic. Thank you.

 

Sincerely,  

 

Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you
that Mars Area High School will be closed, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 9, and continuing through Thursday, Feb. 11.


Late this afternoon, Mars Area School District was made aware of four (4) Mars Area High School students, who are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19. These cases are in addition to the two (2) cases reported earlier today (Monday, Feb. 8), bringing the total number of positive cases at the High School to six (6).


In accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, which establish the minimum number of active COVID cases that require a building to close based upon the school’s enrollment, Mars Area School District is required to close the Mars Area High School for a minimum of three (3) days, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.


Note
: As Mars Area High School is considered a “large school” (more than 900 students), it is required that the school close for a minimum of three (3) days when 6-10 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 11 or more positive cases, while the building is thoroughly cleaned. School closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.

 

In addition to the closure, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the aforementioned students who tested positive for COVID-19. Any such individuals will be required to quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Any students, who are determined to have been a close contact, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


To prepare for this building closure, we also ask that you please note the following:


Switch to LSI Instruction
— During the building closure, all Mars Area High School students, who have attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need to switch to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction through which teachers will facilitate instruction from home on a period-by-period basis. Note: Building administrators, paraprofessionals and support staff members will be temporarily relocated to other schools, while custodial crews clean the building.


Technology
— Students, who do not have access to a District-issued technology device, will be provided with a device, free of charge, during the closure period only. Those devices must be returned to the school immediately upon the students’ return to the traditional setting. Please be advised that any damages to the device are subject to repair or replacement costs being incurred by the parent/guardian. To obtain a device, contact the Mars Help Desk at marshelpdesk@bluechipsolutions.com.


Athletics/Activities
— Any athletics events and/or activities scheduled at Mars Area High School during the closure will be cancelled or relocated, where possible. Students are encouraged to contact their coach or activity sponsor for more information.


Food Services — During the building closure, the District will continue to offer free meals for students and anyone in a student's household who is under age 18. To arrange for meal pick-up, contact Bridget Buyna, Food Service Director, at (724) 625-1988 or bbuyna@marsk12.org.


Mars Area High School students may return to participate in Traditional Instruction on Friday, Feb. 12, pending the District’s review of the school’s COVID numbers at that time. (
Note: Once a school has undergone a deep cleaning, the total number of active positive cases at that school revert to zero (0), beginning with the first day that students and staff return.) Thank you for your patience and cooperation.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent

Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) additional Mars Area High School student and one (1) Mars Area High School staff member are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


Both the student and staff member were was last in school on Thursday, Feb. 4; therefore
, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with these individuals, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student and staff member.


Any individuals
, who may have come into close contact with student or staff member, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you that one (1) additional Mars Area Middle School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


The student was last in school on Tuesday, Feb. 2; therefore
, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.


Any individuals
, who may have come into close contact with the student, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Note
: Mars Area Middle School remains closed through Tuesday, Feb. 9, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations as well as established District protocols, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning. As Mars Area Middle School is considered a “medium school” (500-900 students), it is required that the school close for a minimum of three (3) days when 4-6 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 7 or more positive cases. All school closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building. Within the last 14 days, Mars Area Middle School has reported five (5) positive COVID cases, including the case listed above. At this time, all Mars Area Middle School students, who were attending school for Traditional Instruction, have shifted to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction through the remainder of the closure.

 

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

 

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Centennial School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

 

The student was last in school on Tuesday, Feb. 2; therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

 

Any individuals, who may have come into close contact with the student, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

 

Note: Mars Area Centennial School has reported one (1) positive COVID cases, within the last 14 days. Therefore, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations as well as established District protocols, if one (1) additional case is reported at the school, then the building will be closed for a minimum of three (3) days to undergo a deep cleaning. In the event that the school is closed, all affected students will participate via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, with teachers facilitating lessons on a period-by-period basis.

 

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that Mars Area Middle School will be closed, beginning Friday, Feb. 5, and continuing through Tuesday, Feb. 9.


In accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, which establish the minimum number of active COVID cases that require a building to close based upon the school’s enrollment, Mars Area School District is required to close the Mars Area Middle School for a minimum of three (3) days, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.

 

As Mars Area Middle School is considered a “medium school” (500-900 students), it is required that the school close for a minimum of three (3) days when 4-6 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 7 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning. (Note: School closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.) Within the last 14 days, Mars Area Middle School has reported four (4) positive COVID cases. 


To prepare for this building closure, we ask that you please note the following:


Switch to LSI Instruction
— During the building closure, all Mars Area Middle School students, who have attending school for Traditional School students, will need to switch to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction through which teachers will facilitate instruction from home on a period-by-period basis. Note: Building administrators, paraprofessionals and support staff members will be temporarily relocated to other schools, while custodial crews clean the building.

Technology — Students, who do not have access to a District-issued technology device, will be provided with a device, free of charge, during the closure period only. Those devices must be returned to the school immediately upon the return of students to the traditional setting. Please be advised that any damages to the device are subject to repair or replacement costs being incurred by the parent/guardian. Any questions may be addressed the Mars Help Desk at marshelpdesk@bluechipsolutions.com.
  

Athletics/Activities — Any athletics events and/or activities scheduled at Mars Area Middle School during the closure will be cancelled or relocated, where possible. Students are encouraged to contact their coach or activity sponsor for more information.

Food Services — During the building closure, the District will continue to offer free meals for students and anyone in a student's household who is under age 18. To arrange for meal pick-up, contact Bridget Buyna, Food Service Director, at (724) 625-1988 or bbuyna@marsk12.org.


Students may return to participate in Traditional Instruction on Wednesday, Feb. 10, pending the District’s review of the school’s COVID numbers at that time. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent

Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you that one (1) additional Mars Area Middle School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


The student was last in school on Friday, Jan. 29; therefore
, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.


Any individuals
, who may have come into close contact with the student, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Note
: Mars Area Middle School has reported three (3) positive COVID cases, within the last 14 days. Therefore, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations as well as established District protocols, if one (1) additional case is reported at the school, then the building will be closed for a minimum of three (3) days to undergo a deep cleaning. In the event that the school is closed, all affected students will participate via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, with teachers facilitating lessons on a period-by-period basis.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Middle School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


The student was last in school on Friday, Jan. 29; therefore
, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.


Any individuals
, who may have come into close contact with the student, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area High School student and one (1) Mars Area Middle School student are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


The High School student was last in school on Monday, Jan. 25; and, the Middle School student on Friday, Jan. 29; therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the students, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the students.


Any individuals, who may have come into close contact with the students, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.


Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible.
The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 


Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.


Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s)


As Butler County remains in the “substantial” range in regards to positive COVID cases, Mars Area School District has received updated guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) regarding the number of days for which a school is required to close for cleaning based upon the building’s enrollment and the number of active COVID cases.


Note
: School closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.

 
  • Mars Area Centennial School (which is considered a “small school” — less than 500 students) would need to close for a minimum of three (3) days when 2-4 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 5 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.

  • Mars Area Primary Center, Mars Area Elementary School and Mars Area Middle School (which are considered “medium schools” — 500-900 students) would need to close for a minimum of three (3) days when 4-6 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 7 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.

  • Mars Area High School (which is considered a “large school” — more than 900 students) would need to close for a minimum of three (3) days when 6-10 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of 14 days with 11 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.

    To view Mars Area School District's "Reopening COVID Cases Chart," which summarizes the above information, visit www.marsk12.org.

In the event that a school is closed, all affected students will participate in lessons via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, with teachers facilitating instruction on a period-by-period basis. Building administrators, paraprofessionals and support staff members will be temporarily relocated to other schools, while our custodial crews clean the building. In addition, any scheduled athletics events and/or activities at that building will be cancelled or relocated, where possible.


Please note that, in addition to any building closures based on the total number of positive cases, individual school closures may be deemed necessary, if and when, required quarantines result in staffing shortages. Any building closure information will be communicated in a timely manner.


With the knowledge that Butler County remains in the “substantial” range, we believe that traditional, in-person instruction is the best way to educate our students and we remain committed to doing so as safely as possible. The District encourages social distancing, where feasible, and requires that face coverings (masks or shields) be worn at all times within our schools and facilities.


For those parents/guardians and/or students who do not feel comfortable returning to school, our instructional model continues to provide the option for students to participate via LSI Instruction. We ask all of our families to continue to follow all COVID safety protocols including washing and/or sanitizing hands, maintaining social distancing, and wearing a face covering, whenever possible. 


We appreciate your patience and support as our District is continuing to navigate through this pandemic. Thank you.


Sincerely,  


Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Elementary School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.


The student does not attend school for Traditional Instruction; therefore, as per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change, Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner


In addition, please note that, as the student has not been in the school building, this most recent positive COVID case does not count toward the District’s threshold for closing the school


Note
: To date, Mars Area Elementary School has reported three (3) positive COVID cases involving students and/or staff members in the building within the last 14 days. Therefore, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations as well as established District protocols, if one (1) additional case is reported at the school, then the building will be closed for a minimum of three (3) days to undergo a deep cleaning. In the event that the school is closed, all affected students will participate via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, with teachers facilitating lessons on a period-by-period basis.


The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s), 


This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Elementary School teacher is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19. 


As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change, Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner. 


Note
: At this time, Mars Area Elementary School has reported three (3) positive COVID cases, within the last 14 days. Therefore, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education and DOH recommendations as well as established District protocols, if one (1) additional case is reported at the school, then the building will be closed for a minimum of three (3) days to undergo a deep cleaning. In the event that the school is closed, all affected students will participate via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, with teachers facilitating lessons on a period-by-period basis. 


The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the building principal. 

Sincerely, 


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District 

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area High School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

While the student participates in school via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, the student is a member of a winter sports team; therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

Any students, who may have come into close contact with the High School student, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Elementary School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As the student was last in school Friday, Jan. 15, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with that student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

The parent(s)/guardian(s) of any student, who is determined to be a "close contact," will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which their child(ren) must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s Building Principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

Any questions regarding the information in this letter may be directed to the Building Principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Elementary School teacher is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change, the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross

Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s)

With the knowledge that Butler County remains in the “substantial” range in regards to positive COVID cases, Mars Area School District will return to traditional, in-person instruction for all students (K-12), effective Monday, Jan. 11.

Our Administrative Team has reviewed the current guidance from Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) as well as the number of positive COVID cases affecting our District’s schools, which have continued to remain relatively low. At this time, we believe that a return to traditional, in-person instruction is the best way to educate our students. For those parents/guardians and/or students who do not feel comfortable returning to school, our instructional model will continue to provide the option for students to participate via Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction.

With a renewed focus on safety as students return to school,

  1. The District will be requiring that face coverings (masks or shields) be worn at all times within our schools and facilities; and,
     
  2. In accordance with PDE and DOH recommendations, the District has established the minimum number of positive COVID cases that will require a temporary school closure based upon the enrollment at each building. Note: School closures are based upon a “rolling 14-day period,” which, as defined by PDE, begins with the date of the first positive case in each building.
    • Mars Area Centennial School (which is considered a “small school” — less than 500 students) would need to close for a minimum of three (3) days when 2-4 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of five (5) days with 5 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.
       
    • Mars Area Primary CenterMars Area Elementary School and Mars Area Middle School (which are considered “medium schools” — 500-900 students) would need to close for a minimum of three (3) days when 4-6 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of five (5) days with 7 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.
       
    • Mars Area High School (which is considered a “large school” — more than 900 students) would need to close for a minimum of three (3) days when 6-10 positive cases are reported or for a minimum of five (5) days with 11 or more positive cases, while the building undergoes a deep cleaning.

To view Mars Area School District's "Reopening COVID Cases Chart," which summarizes the above information, visit www.marsk12.org.

In the event that a school is closed, all affected students will participate in lessons via LSI, with teachers facilitating instruction on a period-by-period basis. Building administrators, paraprofessionals and support staff members will be temporarily relocated to other schools, while our custodial crews clean the building. In addition, any scheduled athletics events and/or activities at that building will be cancelled or relocated, where possible.

Please note that, in addition to any building closures based on the total number of positive cases, individual school closures may be deemed necessary, if and when, required quarantines result in staffing shortages. Any building closure information will be communicated in a timely manner.

We also ask that you please note the following:

  • Elementary Students Switching to LSI — Parents/guardians of any students, who were previously participating in Traditional Instruction and will be switching to LSI Instruction when schools reopen on Monday, Jan. 11, are asked to notify your child’s classroom teacher as soon as possible.
     
  • Technology — Any students who were provided with a District-issued device (iPad, Chromebook, Surface) for use during the school closure and who are returning to Traditional Instruction, must return the device, fully charged and with any accompanying accessories (chargers, cases, etc.), on Monday, Jan. 11.

    Elementary (K-6) students will be called to a collection desk to return their District-issued device during the school day. Middle School (7-8) students will be asked to return their devices to the cart in their homeroom. High School (9-12) students may return their District-issued device to the Technology Help Desk. Note: Secondary students, who have paid the $100 Technology and completed all necessary paperwork, may continue to take their District-issue device home to be used for educational purposes, in accordance with District Policy 237 Electronic Devices & Personal Technology Resources.
     
  • Transportation — Parents/guardians of any students, who were previously participating in Traditional Instruction and will be switching to LSI Instruction when schools reopen on Monday, Jan. 11, are asked to notify the District’s Transportation Office at jroth@marsk12.org. Please include your child(ren)’s name(s), grade level(s) and address.

    Also, as a reminder, please note that face coverings (masks or shields) are required to be worn at all times while riding the school bus.
     
  • Food Service — Mars Area School District will continue to offer free breakfast and lunch to all children, up to and including age 18, through the remainder of the 2020-2021 School Year. Parents of Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) and Mars Area Cyber Academy students may arrange for meal pick-up by contacting Bridget Buyna, Food Service Director, at bbuyna@marsk12.org.
     
  • Athletics/Activities — In the event of a school closure, any athletics events and/or activities that are scheduled at that building will be cancelled or relocated, where possible.

As a District, we are excited to welcome our students back to school and remain committed to doing so as safely as possible. We encourage all of our families to continue to follow all COVID safety protocols including washing and/or sanitizing hands, maintaining social distancing, and wearing a face covering (mask or shield), whenever possible. 

We appreciate your patience and support as our District is continuing to navigate through this pandemic. Thank you.

Sincerely,  

Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent
Mars Area School District
 

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that two (2) additional Mars Area High School students as well as one (1) staff member at Mars Area High School and one (1) staff member at Mars Area Centennial School are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

In addition, two (2) other staff members at Mars Area Centennial School are quarantining after coming into close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. Please note that all aforementioned cases are unrelated.

As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the individual building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s)

This message is to inform you that Mars Area School District is postponing the K-12 return to traditional, in-person instruction until Monday, Jan. 11. Therefore, when school resumes on Monday, Jan. 4, immediately following Winter Break, students (K-12) will continue utilizing remote learning.

The District had hoped to reopen our schools to students on Tuesday, Jan. 5; however, the decision has been made to extend the current closure in order to provide additional time after the holiday break for our Administrative Team to review and discuss guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Health as well as Butler County COVID transmission rates at that time. If it is determined that it is not safe to reopen our schools to students on Monday, Jan. 11, then the District may further push the return to traditional, in-person instruction to Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Throughout this extended closure, teachers will continue to offer live instruction from their classrooms and will be available to their students each period of the school day. Information regarding students’ lessons and assignments will be posted in the Schoology learning management system.

Mars Area School District closed its schools to students, beginning on Monday, Dec. 1, as a mitigation strategy throughout the Holiday Season. Please note that the closure was not prompted by any new or additional COVID cases in the District or our schools. The primary factors that led to the District’s decision to close our schools include:                                              

  • Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Health recommendations to move to full remote learning.
  • Butler County’s “Substantial” level of community transmission as well as the recent spikes in COVID cases during the last few weeks.
  • Significant capacity concerns at local hospitals.
  • A possible school district staffing and/or substitute shortage.
  • The increased risks associated with social gatherings and travel during the Holiday Season.

Mars Area School District encourages all of our families to continue to follow all COVID safety protocols including washing and/or sanitizing hands, maintaining social distancing, and wearing a face covering (mask or shield), whenever possible. We truly appreciate your patience and support as our District is continuing to navigate through this pandemic. Thank you.

Sincerely,  

Dr. Mark Gross, Superintendent
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area School District employee at the District's Administration Office is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the District's Administration Office.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) additional Mars Area Middle School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that, one (1) Mars Area High School student and one (1) Mars Area Middle School student are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As the Middle School student participates in a winter sport, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with that student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Health officials are in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student. Any students, who may have come into close contact with the Middle School student, will receive a separate communication from the school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

In the case of the High School student, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time as per the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Should those recommendations change, the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s) whose child tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

Any questions regarding the above information may be directed to the Building Principal. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

In adherence with the new mitigation orders set forth by Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Mars Area School District will “pause” its winter sports season, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, and continuing until 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4.

SPORTS — As per the order, no K-12 school sporting events/activities will be permitted from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, through 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4.

Those sporting events/activities that are planned for this afternoon and evening (Friday, Dec. 11) will be held as scheduled:

    • Girls Basketball — JV (3 p.m.) and Varsity (4:30 p.m.) at North Catholic High School
    • Swimming/Diving — North Catholic Varsity Invitational (3 p.m.) at Rose E. Schneider Family YMCA
    • Boys Basketball — JV (6 p.m.) and Varsity (7:30 p.m.) at Mars Area High School
      Note: The Boys Varsity Basketball game will be live-streamed on the “Mars Athletics” YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/channel/UChhmuaA3UMKtahpqNpeWaMw.
For updated Mars Area School District sports schedules, visit www.marswpial.org.

ACTIVITIES — In addition, as per the order, any all “in-person” extracurricular school activities, such as performances, club/group meetings, etc. are suspended through 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4. Such activities may be held virtually.


As COVID cases in Butler County, across the state and throughout the country continue to rise are anticipated to surge even higher during the Holiday Season, Mars Area School District shares in Gov. Wolf and health officials’ hope that these new, temporary mitigation efforts will help to curb the spread of COVID-19.The District will keep you informed of any future changes to gathering limitations and social distancing guidelines, as that information becomes available.

We appreciate your patience and support as our District continues to navigate through this pandemic and strives to protect the health, safety and welfare of our entire school community. Thank you.

Sincerely, 

Dr. Mark Gross
Superintendent

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Centennial School teacher is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change, the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area High School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19; and two (2) Mars Area School District staff members are quarantining after coming into close contact with a family member who tested positive for COVID-19.

In the case of the staff members, please note that, at this time, the staff members are not symptomatic and have not tested positive for COVID-19. However, because the staff members live in the same household as the family member who tested positive, the Pennsylvania Department of Health requires that they quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days.

As per the recommendations of health officials, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the Superintendent’s Office.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that, in unrelated cases, one (1) Mars Area Primary Center teacher and one (1) Mars Area High School student are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change; the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

 

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area High School teacher is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As per the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change, the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this message, may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


This letter is to inform you that two (2) additional Mars Area High School students are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As per the recommendations of health officials, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change, the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this letter, may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

 

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that two (2) additional Mars Area High School students are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

As per the recommendations of health officials, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change, the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this letter, may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that Mars Area School District was notified earlier today (Monday, Dec. 1) that a family member of a Mars Area Primary Center student has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Although the student has not tested positive for COVID-19 at this time, the Pennsylvania Department of Health classifies this case as a “presumed positive” because the student is symptomatic and is living in the same household as the family member who tested positive.

As the students was last in school Friday, Nov. 20, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with that student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

In addition, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of any student, who may have come into close contact with the student, will receive a separate communication from the Primary Center, noting the specific dates during which their child(ren) must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

Any questions regarding the information in this letter, may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that one (1) Mars Area Centennial School student is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19 and one (1) Mars Area Centennial School teacher is quarantining after being in close contact with an immediate family member who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

In the case of the teacher, although this individual has not tested positive for COVID-19 at this time, the Pennsylvania Department of Health classifies this case as a “presumed positive” because the teacher is symptomatic and is living in the same household as the family member who tested positive.

As per the recommendations of health officials, no additional quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change, the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this letter, may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you a Mars Area Centennial School teacher is quarantining after being in close contact with an immediate family member who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Although the teacher has not tested positive for COVID-19 at this time, the Pennsylvania Department of Health classifies this case as a “presumed positive” because this individual is symptomatic and is living in the same household as the family member who tested positive.

As per the recommendations of health officials, no student quarantines and/or contact tracing are required at this time. Should those recommendations change, the Mars Area School District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this letter, may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that Mars Area School District was alerted to one (1) additional case of COVID-19 involving a Mars Area Middle School student.

As the students was in school prior to the closure of Mars Area Middle School at the end of the school day on Friday, Nov. 20, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with that student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

Any students, who may have come into close contact with this student, will receive a separate communication from the Middle School, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s) whose child tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff.

Any questions regarding the above information may be directed to the building principal. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that Mars Area School District was alerted to two (2) additional cases of COVID-19 involving Mars Area High School students.

As one of these students was in school prior to the closure of Mars Area High School (at the end of the school day on Tuesday, Nov. 10), the Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with that student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.


Any students, who may have come into close contact with this student, will receive a separate communication from the High School, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

The second student has not been in school since before Mars Area High School closed to students. Therefore, Mars Area School District is not required to conduct contact tracing in this case.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s) whose child tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

Any questions regarding the above information may be directed to the building principal. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

As a mitigation strategy throughout the Holiday Season, Mars Area School District will close its schools to students and move fully to remote learning, beginning immediately after Thanksgiving Break (Tuesday, Dec. 1) and continuing through Monday, Jan. 4.


Please note that this closure has not been prompted by any new or additional COVID cases in the District or our schools. Mars Area School District acknowledges that COVID cases are on the rise; however, to date, little evidence exists linking increased transmission rates to schools. Rather, the increase in cases amongst students has been attributed to social gatherings (parties, sleepovers, etc.) and “at-risk” social behaviors occurring outside of school. In fact, each of the confirmed cases within our District, which, fortunately, have remained relatively few, have been consistently traced to other locations in the community.

COVID cases in Butler County have reached a “Substantial” level of community transmission for the third consecutive week and are anticipated to surge even higher as we enter the Holiday Season. Therefore, in adherence with recommendations from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), our District will move to full remote learning at this time.

To prepare students for remote learning during the upcoming closure, we ask that you please note the following:

  • LIVE-STREAM INTERACTIVE (LSI) INSTRUCTION — Throughout the school closure, all teachers will continue to offer live instruction from their classrooms and will be available to their students each period of the school day. All students, who have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need to shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, Tuesday, Dec. 1, through Monday, Jan. 4.  Any specific questions regarding LSI Instruction should be directed to your child’s individual teacher and/or the building principal.
     
  • K-6 TECHNOLOGY DEVICES — For elementary students (K-6) who may be in need of a District-issued device for use during the closure period, parents/guardians are asked to contact the Mars Help Desk to complete a Tech Ticket at marshelpdesk@bluchipsolutions.com to set up a time to obtain a device.

    Device Pick-up will be available at the District’s Technology Office entrance (behind the Administration Office) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, and Wednesday, Nov. 25; and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1, through Wednesday, Dec. 23. Parents/guardians are asked to call the Help Desk at (724) 302-3600 upon arrival at the Technology Office.

  • FOOD SERVICES — Throughout the closure, Mars Area School District will continue to offer free meals for students and anyone in a student's household who is under age 18. To participate, parents/guardians are asked to contact Bridget Buyna, Food Service Director, at (724) 625-1988 or bbuyna@marsk12.org by no later than Tuesday, Dec. 1.

    The first Meal Pick-Up Date will be between 12:30 and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Mars Area Middle School’s main entrance. Subsequent meal pick-ups will be held between 12:30 and 2 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday at the Middle School through Wednesday, Dec. 23, and resuming on Wednesday, Jan. 6, if needed. Parents/guardians must sign up for each Meal Pick-Up Date.​​​​

  • ATHLETICS — Just as Mars Area School District adheres PDE and DOH recommendation for instruction, we are continuing to rely upon PIAA for guidance regarding athletics and activities. At this time, participation in athletics, specifically the winter sports season, will continue as per the mandated PIAA protocols. Please note that PIAA officials are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, Dec. 9, and are expected to provide additional guidance to school districts at that time. More details will be forthcoming, as that information is received.

Mars Area School District is hoping to reopen our schools to students on Tuesday, Jan. 5; however, that decision will be based upon PDE and DOH recommendations as well as county transmission rates at that time. Our Administrative Team will meet on Monday, Jan. 4, to review and discuss all available data to determine whether it is safe to reopen our schools.

As a reminder, the primary factors that led to the District’s decision to close our schools include:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) recommendations to move to full remote learning.
  • Butler County’s “Substantial” level of community transmission as well as the recent spikes in COVID cases during the last few weeks.
  • Significant capacity concerns at local hospitals.
  • A possible school district staffing and/or substitute shortage.
  • The increased risks associated with social gatherings and travel during the Holiday Season.
Mars Area School District encourages our families to continue to follow all COVID safety protocols including washing and/or sanitizing hands, maintaining social distancing, and wearing a face covering (mask or shield), whenever possible.

In addition, with the predicted spike in COVID cases during the Holiday Season, we are also asking that District families limit travel and celebrate with only immediate or close family groups in an effort to limit the further spread of the virus and to provide our District with an opportunity to reopen to our students after the holidays.

We truly appreciate your patience and support as our District is continuing to navigate through this pandemic. It is our hope that closing our schools will aid in further protecting the health, safety and welfare of our entire school community.

Sincerely,  

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),
 
This message is to inform you that the bus driver, who drives the A.J. Myers & Sons’ Mid-day Kindergarten Pick-up Bus at Mars Area Primary Center and who also drives for a private school, has tested positive for COVID-19. The driver was last on the bus on Friday, Nov. 13.
 
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the bus driver, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student. 

Any students, who may have come into close contact with the bus driver, will receive a separate communication from the District, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.
 
Mars Area School District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Please note that, as per the District’s 2020-2021 Health & Safety Plan, A.J. Myers & Sons’ continues to clean and disinfect all school buses after every run.    


Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. 

Sincerely,  

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that Mars Area School District was alerted to one (1) additional case of COVID-19 involving a Mars Area High School student.

As this student was in school prior to the closure of Mars Area High School, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

Any students, who may have come into close contact with this student, will receive a separate communication from the High School, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Given an increase in the number of active cases at the time and based on health officials’ guidelines, Mars Area High School was closed at the end of the school day on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and will remain closed to students through Tuesday, Dec. 1. Throughout the building closure, all Mars Area High School teachers are continuing to offer live instruction and are available to their students each period of the school day. Mars Area High School students may return to participate in Traditional Instruction on Wednesday, Dec. 2, depending upon the current number of cases and county transmission rates at that time.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s) whose child tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

Any questions regarding the above information may be directed to the building principal. Thank you. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that a Mars Area Centennial School staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member was last in the school building on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Mars Area School District was notified of the positive case at 3:06 p.m. today (Wednesday, Nov. 18); and, as per the District’s most recent conversation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 4:35 p.m., no additional quarantines are required at this time. Should health officials’ recommendations change, the District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

Mars Area School District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this letter, may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

Since Monday (Nov. 16), Mars Area School District was alerted to two (2) additional cases of COVID-19 involving Mars Area High School students.

A Mars Area High School has been closed to students during the majority of the last two weeks and neither student was present on the day that school was open last week, Mars Area School District is not required to conduct any contact tracing.

Given an increase in the number of active cases at the time and based on health officials’ guidelines, Mars Area High School was closed at the end of the school day on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and will remain closed through Tuesday, Dec. 1. All other District schools remain open and are running on a normal schedule.

Throughout the building closure, all Mars Area High School teachers are continuing to offer live instruction and are available to their students each period of the school day. Mars Area High School students may return to participate in Traditional Instruction on Wednesday, Dec. 2, depending upon the current number of cases and county transmission rates at that time.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s) whose child tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff.  

The Department of Health recommends that anyone, who is identified as a close contact, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Regardless of whether or not you or your child are notified that you were in close contact with an identified individual, we ask that you continue to follow all COVID safety recommendations: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home. 
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

 

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that a Mars Area Middle School staff member left the school today (Tuesday, Nov. 17) after experiencing symptoms similar to those of COVID-19. This staff member, who has limited contact with students, has a family member who just recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending that three (3) additional Mars Area Middle School staff members, who may have come into close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the individual, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. As per health officials, no student quarantines are required at this time.

Mars Area School District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Any questions regarding the information in this letter, may be directed to the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross

Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that Mars Area School District has been alerted to one (1) case of COVID-19 involving a Mars Area Primary Center student.

In this case, the student is already in quarantine because of close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 at a non-District facility. The student was last in school on Friday, Nov. 6.

As per Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines, the District has contacted those individuals, who may have come into close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, and has implemented the necessary quarantines. 

Students, who may have come into close contact with the student and who have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need to shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction. Those students have been sent a separate communication from the Primary Center, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

The Department of Health recommends that anyone, who is identified as a close contact, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Regardless of whether or not you or your child are notified that you were in close contact with an identified individual, we ask that you continue to follow all COVID safety recommendations: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home. 
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

 

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This message is to inform you that Mars Area School District has been alerted to one (1) additional positive case of COVID-19 involving a student at Mars Area Middle School, which brings the school to a total of two (2) active cases.

As per Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines, the District has already contacted those individuals, who may have come into close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, and has implemented the necessary quarantines. 

Students, who may have come into close contact with the student and who have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need to shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction. Those students have been sent a separate communication from the Middle School, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s), whose child tests positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

The Department of Health recommends that anyone, who is identified as a close contact, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Regardless of whether or not you or your child are notified that you were in close contact with an identified individual, we ask that you continue to follow all COVID safety recommendations: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home. 
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

Over the weekend, Mars Area School District was alerted to two (2) additional cases of COVID-19 involving Mars Area High School students.

At this point, as Mars Area High School has been closed to students during the majority of the last two weeks and neither student was present on the day that school was open last week, Mars Area School District is not required to conduct any contact tracing.

Given an increase in the number of active cases at the time and based on health officials’ guidelines, Mars Area High School was closed at the end of the school day on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and will remain closed through Tuesday, Dec. 1. All other District schools remain open and are running on a normal schedule.

Throughout the building closure, all Mars Area High School teachers are continuing to offer live instruction and are available to their students each period of the school day. Mars Area High School students may return to participate in Traditional Instruction on Wednesday, Dec. 2, depending upon the current number of cases and county transmission rates at that time.

Any parent(s)/guardian(s) whose child tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to contact your child’s building principal as soon as possible. The District is continually working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. 

The Department of Health recommends that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the students, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. Regardless of whether or not you or your child are notified that you were in close contact with the identified student(s), we ask that you continue to follow all COVID safety recommendations: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home. 
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

In an effort to keep you informed, this message is a follow-up to the Mars Area School District communication that was distributed earlier this evening (Thursday, Nov. 12) regarding a positive case of COVID-19 that was reported at Mars Area Middle School.

Since the time of the previous communication, the District has received additional guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which has determined that no further contact tracing or quarantines are required at this time, as the student who tested positive has not been in school since Nov. 5. All those who may have come into close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student during a weekend activity have been contacted and asked to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

Those Middle School students, who may have come into close contact with the individual, have received a separate communication from the school detailing the specific dates during which they must quarantine and shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Any questions regarding the information in this letter, may be directed to the building principal. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that Mars Area School District was alerted earlier this afternoon (Thursday, Nov. 12) that a Mars Area Middle School student tested positive for COVID-19.

At this time, the District is awaiting formal guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Butler County health officials regarding the recommended quarantines and next steps. Once additional information is received, the District will communicate that information in a timely manner.

Please note that the Middle School has already contacted those who may have come into close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student. Pending further guidance from health officials, the District is recommending that those individuals quarantine at home and shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction until further instructions are received.

Regardless of whether or not you or your child are notified that you were in close contact with the identified student(s), we ask that you continue to follow all COVID safety recommendations: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home. 
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that, as per Mars Area School District’s conversation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 4:32 p.m. today (Wednesday, Nov. 11), the District has no information regarding a positive case of COVID-19 at Mars Area Centennial School.

Earlier this week, the District reported that a Mars Area High School student had tested positive for COVID-19. Because the High School student has a sibling who attends Mars Area Centennial School and this student was reportedly symptomatic, health officials recommended that anyone who may have come into close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with either student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days.

Please note that, as previously stated, the Centennial School student has not tested positive for the virus and there have been NO confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 at Mars Area Centennial School. Although the student has not tested positive for COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Department of Health classifies this student as “presumed positive” thus constituting the necessary student quarantines.

We apologize for any confusion that may have resulted from previous District communications. As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will continue to monitor our local COVID numbers and will make the necessary instructional decisions to best ensure the health, safety, and welfare of all District students and staff.  

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),
 
This letter is to inform you that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has identified one (1) additional positive case of COVID-19 at Mars Area High School, which brings the school to four (4) active cases or five (5) cases in total in the last 14 days. Therefore, based on health officials’ guidelines, Mars Area High School will be closed at the end of the school day today (Tuesday, Nov. 10) and will remain closed through Tuesday, Dec. 1. All other District schools will remain open and will run on a normal schedule.
 
All Mars Area High School students, who have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need to shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, Wednesday, Nov. 11, through Tuesday, Dec. 1. Students may return to participate in Traditional Instruction on Wednesday, Dec. 2, pending the current number of cases and county transmission rates at that time. Throughout the school closure, all teachers will continue to offer live instruction and will be available to their students each period of the school day.
 
All Mars Area High School teachers/staff members will be required to work from home on Wednesday, Nov. 11, and Thursday, Nov. 12, while the District conducts a deep cleaning of the entire building. On Friday, Nov. 13, all teachers/staff members may return the building, from where LSI Instruction will continued to be offered through Tuesday, Dec. 1.
 
Please note the following:
  • Athletics/Activities — All sporting events, including the PIAA playoff games for boys and girls soccer, will be held as scheduled. All winter sports and activities will continue as scheduled at this time.
  • Vo-Tech Transportation — The bus, providing transportation to Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School, will depart from Mars Area High School promptly at 12:20 p.m. Students, who are not quarantining and planning to ride the bus, must obtain their own transportation to Mars Area High School.

The District is working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. The Department of Health recommends that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the students, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

Regardless of whether or not you or your child are notified that you were in close contact with the identified student(s), we ask that you continue to follow all COVID safety recommendations: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home. 
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
  1. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  2. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that that, earlier today (Monday, Nov. 9), the Pennsylvania Department of Health identified one (1) positive case of COVID-19 at Mars Area High School.

This confirmed case affects both Mars Area High School and Mars Area Centennial School, as the identified student is a sibling of a student attending Mars Area Centennial School. Please note that the Centennial School student has not tested positive for the virus and there have been NO confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 at Mars Area Centennial School.

Regardless, out of an abundance of caution, the Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with either student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

Students, who may have come into close contact with either student and who have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction. Those students, who need to switch to LSI Instruction, will receive a separate notification from their individual school, noting the specific dates during which they must quarantine as well as the date that they may return to Traditional Instruction.

Whether or not you or your child are notified that you were in close contact with the identified student(s), we ask that you continue to follow all COVID safety recommendations: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home.
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has identified two (2) additional positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of three (3), at Mars Area High School. Therefore, based on health officials’ guidelines, Mars Area High School will be closed at the end of the school day today (Monday, Nov. 2) and will remain closed through the remainder of the week. All other District schools will remain open and will run on a normal schedule.

All Mars Area High School students, who have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need to shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction, Tuesday, Nov. 3, through Friday, Nov. 6. As Monday, Nov. 9, is a scheduled In-Service Day, students may return to participate in Traditional Instruction on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Throughout the school closure, all teachers will continue to offer live instruction and will be available to their students each period of the school day.

All Mars Area High School teachers/staff members will be required to work from home on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Wednesday, Nov. 4, while the District conducts a deep cleaning of the entire building. On Thursday, Nov. 5, all teachers/staff members may return to their classrooms, from where they will continue to offer LSI Instruction through Friday, Nov. 6.

Please note the following:

  • PARENT CONFERENCES — Parent Conferences at Mars Area High School will be held as planned on Monday, Nov. 9. Any parents/guardians with concerns about attending an “in-person” conference should contact your child’s teacher(s) as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements.
  • PLAYOFF GAMES — All sporting events, including the WPIAL playoff games for boys soccer and girls volleyball, to be held tonight (Monday, Nov. 2); and the girls soccer playoff game on Wednesday, Nov. 4, will be held as scheduled.
  • *UPDATE* - VO-TECH INFORMATION — Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School will move to remote learning for all vo-tech students, Tuesday, Nov. 3, through Wednesday, Nov. 11. Students may return for "in person" instruction on Thursday, Nov. 12.
  • SAT TEST — The SAT Test scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 7, will be held as scheduled.
 
The District is working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. The Department of Health recommends that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the students, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.
 
Regardless of whether or not you or your child are notified that you were in close contact with the identified student, we ask that you continue to follow all COVID safety recommendations: 
  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home.
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

This letter is to inform you that Mars Area School District was notified earlier today (Wednesday, Oct. 28) that a student at Mars Area High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

The District immediately contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is working with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. As a precautionary measure, the Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

Students, who may have come into close contact with the student and who have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction through Monday, Nov. 2. Those students, who will need to switch to LSI Instruction, will receive a separate notification from the District.

Even if you or your child are not notified that you were in close contact with the identified student, we ask that you please do the following for the next 14 days: 
  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home.
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at 1 (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that Mars Area School District was notified earlier today (Friday, Oct. 16) that an afternoon kindergarten student at Mars Area Primary Center has tested positive for COVID-19.

The District immediately contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is working closely with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff. As a precautionary measure, the Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the student, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the student.

Students, who may have come into close contact with the student and have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction through Friday, Oct. 23. Those students, who will need to switch to LSI Instruction, will receive a separate notification from the District.

 

Even if you or your child are not notified that you were in close contact with the identified student, we ask that you please do the following for the next 14 days: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home.
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at 1 (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

Sincerely,


Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

This letter is to inform you that Mars Area School District was notified  on Thursday, Oct. 8, that a family member of two students attending Mars Area Primary Center has tested positive for COVID-19. Please note that the students have not tested positive for the virus and there have been no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 at Mars Area Primary Center.

The District has contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is working closely with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff. As a precautionary measure, the Department of Health is recommending that anyone, who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with the students, quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be notifying any individual who may have come into close contact with the family member and/or the students.

Students, who may have come into close contact with the Primary Center students and who have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need to shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction through the remainder of the week. Those students, who will need to switch to LSI Instruction, will receive a separate notification from Mars Area Primary Center.

Even if you or your child are not notified that you were in close contact with the identified student, we ask that you please do the following for the next 14 days: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home. 
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at 1 (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let your health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinator
Mars Area School District

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

Mars Area School District was notified on Monday, Oct. 5, that a Mars Area High School ninth-grader, who is also a member of the school’s Junior Varsity (JV) Soccer Team, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Mars Area School District has contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is working closely with health officials to implement all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff. The Department of Health is in the process of conducting contact tracing and will be contacting any individual who may have come into close contact with the student. A close contact is defined as any individual within six (6) feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.

Please note that the identified student was last in school on Friday, Sept. 25, and has remained quarantined at home since that date. Anyone, who may have come into close contact with the student, is asked to remain at home through Friday, Oct. 9. As per Department of Health, since the student has not been in school since Friday, Sept. 25, the recommended 14-day quarantine period for any close contacts will conclude on Friday, Oct. 9. If any additional close contacts are identified, those individuals should be contacted by the Health Department.  

Students, who may have come into close contact with the student and have been attending school for Traditional Instruction, will need shift to Live-Stream Interactive (LSI) Instruction through the remainder of the week. Those students, who will need to switch to LSI Instruction, will receive a separate notification from Mars Area High School. In addition, any members of the Mars Area High School JV Soccer Team should note that the team will not be participating in any practices and/or games until after Friday, Oct. 9.

Even if you or your child are not notified that you were in close contact with the identified student, we ask that you please do the following for the next 14 days: 

  1. Take your temperature and your child(ren)’s temperature once daily to check for fever (a body temperature of 100.4 or higher).
     
  2. Watch for other symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
     
  3. You and your child(ren) should wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from any person while outside the home. 
     
  4. Practice the following hygiene measures:
     
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover any coughs or sneezes with an elbow, not hands.
    • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
       
  5. Be aware of any persons in your household who may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, including individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised (e.g. someone with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy), or have another condition or illness such as diabetes or asthma. You and your child should practice physical distancing around those persons.
     
  6. If the Pennsylvania Department of Health or its representatives contact you, please cooperate with monitoring and follow all instructions so that other people do not become sick.

If you or any members of your household develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms worsen, please notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health immediately at 1 (877) 724-3258 and contact a health care provider. Before seeking medical attention, let the health care provider know about the possible exposure to a case of COVID-19.

More information on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact your building principal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Gross                                   
Dr. Elizabeth McMahon
Pandemic Coordinators             
Mars Area School District