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LASD Considers Extra School Days; Reconsiders Hybrid Learning

The Littlestown Area School District Board members gave a reluctant and nearly unanimous aye vote to accept the resignation of the district’s Business Manager, Michael Statler on Monday evening, February 22, 2021. The dissenting votes were cast to express sorrow at Statler’s departure.

Statler was hired to his position with the school district six and a half years ago, and will be concluding his term of service with LASD on June 30. The Business Manager position has been posted on the LASD website

“Mike has put his heart and soul into this district for the past six years,” said Dolores Nestor, board president. “I don’t know if we realize all the background work that Mike does for our district.”

Statler will be heading to Big Spring School District in Newville, PA where his new position will keep him closer to his home. Prior to the vote of the board members, Statler remarked, “I want to thank Mr. Bigger and the school board for the leadership and guidance over the last six and a half years. So, thank you.”

As the LASD looks forward to the end of the 2020-2021 school year, Superintendent Christopher Bigger reported that the pandemic team is once again beginning to meet. With an eye on the 2021-2022 school year, the team will formulate any modifications or updates to be made in the Health and Safety Plan within the school buildings and regarding extracurricular activities.

On the subject of teachers and staff being eligible for the COVID vaccine, Bigger said, “Educators are in the 1B group for vaccination, and are next in line after 1A is complete.  The timing of 1B is up to the state distribution of vaccines.”

Bigger also reported the district would be sending out teacher and parent surveys regarding the use of Flexible Instruction Days (FIDs). The district’s approved application allowed for five FID days per year in which classes are held virtually. These days can be taken for snow days and do not have to be made up by students at the end of the year. The administration is looking into whether the FID days can be expanded for this school year given the pandemic and weather conditions, as the district has already used all five FID days.

Currently, the district is providing in person learning, blended learning, and Lincoln Edge.  “We have to think about taking blended (education) away, because I don’t think we can sustain it for another year,” said Bigger. The district will be surveying the parents, especially those with students in blended learning, so they can make a choice on student learning options. There has been discussion about using blended education for a pre-planned period for a student if there is an illness or injury that keeps the student at home. The student would be able to be in the class virtually during the period he or she is out of school. More information will be presented at a future school board meeting.

The Board recognized January’s Students of the Month from all schools in the district.

First grader Guy Smith represents Alloway Creek Elementary School. He is an avid Dr. Seuss fan and collects the good doctor’s books. Guy’s favorite subject is reading.

Aiden Kurland is in the fourth grade at ACES. Nominated by his teachers, he is known for being a leader and a role model to his peers.

Maple Avenue Middle School’s Student of the Month is Peyton Unger, sixth grade. He enjoys his Math and Science classes. Outside of school, Peyton plays basketball, football, trumpet, and piano. He plans to one day be an electrical or civil engineer.

Seniors Connor Brown and Dakota Kroft are the Littlestown High School representatives. Connor is a Thunderbolt wrestler who recently celebrated his 100th career win. He is taking various Advanced Placement classes, including Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry. When he is not in school, he can be found working at his father’s business.

Dakota is also a wrestler and a member of the Thunderbolt Football team. Outside of classes, he enjoys going out with his friends and fishing. After graduation, Dakota would like to apprentice as an Electrician and eventually become a Master Electrician with his own business.  Congratulations to all the January Students of the Month.

The next LASD Board Meeting will be March 15, 2021 at 7:00 pm.

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Christina Grim grew up in Shippensburg, PA, Franklin County, and graduated from Shippensburg Area High School. She is an experienced interviewer, researcher, and news reporter, having worked for the Shippensburg News-Chronicle as a staff reporter during college. Driven by the desire to know the facts and answers to today’s issues, she takes seriously the importance of providing the best reporting possible. Ms. Grim earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Messiah College and has worked in her field, either in print or radio/streamed media for the last 25 years. As a single mother, she has learned that the best things in life come from hard work and multi-tasking. She is the mother of two adult children and two cats

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