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Coronavirus Information: May 20, 2020

Coronavirus Information: May 20, 2020

Collecting of Devices:

This letter is in regards to district owned devices, either iPads or Chromebooks, that have been signed out by students and families during this pandemic.  The Cornell School District will NOT be collecting at the conclusion of the school year and will allow families to keep them throughout the summer months.  The reason for this is twofold.  First, there are a number of summer learning options available that will require students to have devices.  Summer PRIDE for example, which is open for students currently in grades 3rd – 8th grade, will be held remotely and students will need access to technology devices.  The second reason is that the district is not sure what will transpire in the fall at this time.  There is a very good possibility that remote learning will still be in place in some form or fashion at the start of the 2020-2021 academic school year.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that school will be 100% remote.  However, the latest guidance from the CDC does suggest that due to social distancing guidelines school may be at 25% - 50% occupancy.  What this would look like is some students physically at school on certain days (Mondays and Wednesday for example) while the other students have remote learning responsibilities.  The other days of the week (Tuesdays and Thursdays as an example) would be the opposite.  Again, it is too early to definitively say what the fall will bring, but we need to be prepared for it.  Having devices already in the hands of the students would help immensely if remote learning was in place. 

If it turns out that we are able to go 100% face-to-face then we’ll make plans and arrangements for device return before school officially starts.  It can’t be stated enough; the Cornell School District sincerely appreciates the understanding and support from our parents and community members.  This has truly been a difficult time for a variety of reasons, but we’ve been able to make it work due to collaborative efforts from everyone! 



Cornell School District Administration 
May 1 Update Below
Please see below a message from Dr. Thomas addressed to the senior class.

May 1, 2020 

Cornell Class of 2020:

Earlier this week Governor Tom Wolf, along with Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine announced that “In-person graduation events likely won’t be in the cards for the Class of 2020.” 

Cornell Administration has been exploring many alternative options to celebrate graduation and the Class of 2020.  We know these alternative options can never replace the experience of walking across the Cornell stage to receive your diploma dressed in your cap and gown, but they are the best we can do with the current situation.  It is still too early to make a final decision at this time, however I wanted to reassure you of the following:

  • You will graduate as scheduled.
  • We all are sympathetic to the disappointment of ending your high school experience like this.
  • As soon as it is safe and permissible, we will announce plans to celebrate the Class of 2020.

Depending what happens in the next few weeks we can determine what our next steps will be in terms of graduation.  If allowable we can do a later summer ceremony, if not we can plan on a fall or even winter ceremony.  We also think it is appropriate to plan for some sort of virtual recognition.  Regardless, it is important that you and your families feel you were able to appropriately close this important chapter of your life, and be recognized for your accomplishments and achievements.  You all deserve a fantastic send off, and we’ll do what we can to do that.  In the meantime, continue to work on your academic responsibilities.  Continue to work and communicate with your teachers and end your academic career at Cornell on a high note.  All of you still have work to do, finish strong because it isn’t over yet!  Keep practicing the recommended safety precautions, stay safe, and use this time the best way you can.  I encourage all of us to use this time to connect with family, read a book you never thought you would, listen to music, tinker with an instrument, or start a new hobby!  Keep safe and more to come!


Dr. Aaron Thomas



Coronavirus Information: April 9, 2020

Cornell Families:
Due to the Coronavirus situation, the Cornell School District will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic school year.  Please see the latest update (and past updates) below.  Food and meal distribution information is below as well.
April 9, 2020 (Letter Posted Below)
Cornell Families:

Earlier today, the Pennsylvania Department of Education contacted all school districts to announce that all schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic school year.  Governor Wolf also made this announcement publicly a short time after.  This announcement does NOT impact our remote learning plan which we have been implementing the past three weeks.  School districts are to continue with remote learning, and conclude the academic year with the alternative learning plan that is in place.  The final student work day for the 2019-2020 academic school year will be Friday, May 29. 

Cornell Administration understands that this announcement creates a number of questions and uncertainties about such items as:  end-of-the-year events, 2020-2021 student scheduling, spring athletics, Prom, Graduation, and retrieving student materials from lockers, just to name a few.  We will make these decisions in the coming weeks, and we’ll be making these decisions with the social distancing guidelines and recommendations in mind. 

As a reminder, throughout the remote learning days meals will continue to be distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the three location sites:  Cornell cafeteria, Cottage Park on Neville Island, and the Gazebo on 5th Avenue in Coraopolis. 

Thank you again for the understanding and flexibility!  We will continue to address this together and we will get through this.  Thank you and I hope you enjoy the extended weekend with your family!

 -Dr. Aaron Thomas - Superintendent
April 8, 2020

Cornell Families:

This is a two-part update for all Cornell families regarding two school make-up days, and meal distribution during the upcoming holiday weekend.

The first week of the Corornavirus shutdown the school was considered not in session, and no students were required to do any school work.  Due to those days this Thursday, April 9 and Monday, April 13 are remote learning instructional days.  So students are expected to participate in school work on these days.   No students are expected to complete any work on Friday, April 10, and staff will not be available for communication on this day.  Please continue to look for communication from your teacher(s) in regards to assigned work for Thursday and Monday. Please note that the school year will NOT be extended beyond Tuesday, June 2 at this time. 

Also, due to the upcoming holiday weekend, there will be NO meal distribution on Friday, April 10.  Instead the district will be distributing meals from our three location sites (Cornell cafeteria, Cottage Park on Neville Island, and the Gazebo on 5th Avenue in Coraopolis) on Thursday, April 9 from 11 am to 12 pm.  The meals being handed out will last through the extended weekend. 

As we conclude our 3rd week of remote learning we once again want to thank families and students for their understanding and flexibility during this time.  Continue to work from home, continue to communicate with your teachers and we'll continue to get through this together.  Have a great day and a great extended holiday weekend!

~ Cornell Administration

March 31, 2020

Cornell Families:

I hope this letter finds you and your family doing well.  We have one full week under our belts with our remote learning, and we are well on our way with week 2.  Once again, I would like to thank you for your patience and flexibility as we transition to this new educational platform.  We know this situation isn’t ideal.  Ideally, we want our students at school, but the times aren’t allowing for that and we’ll adjust and provide educational opportunities the best we can. 

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Wolf announced stay-at-home orders are extended through April 30, and he announced that all schools in Pennsylvania are closed, “indefinitely.”  More information will be shared with districts in the coming days, but districts have been encouraged to continue with their alternative educational plans during this pandemic.  What we do know is that school is physically closed through the month of April, and there is a chance that will be extended into the month of May.  If school closure extends into May, we’ll communicate that, and administration is starting to plan for the possibility of school being closed for the remainder of the year.  We are unsure if that is the case, but it would be wise to plan for the possibility.

The district is working hard trying to identify and coordinate with families who need a device.  High school students should communicate with their 1st period teachers if they are in need of a device, and elementary parents can communicate with their child’s teacher about device issues.  The district does have a limited number of devices (Chromebooks and iPads), and we’re trying to prioritize based on need at this time.  The district is also working on the possibility of providing internet services to families who don’t have internet access, but this won’t be a quick project.   Again, we appreciate your understanding and flexibility and we’ll continue to make the most of this unique situation, and continue to provide educational material to our students.  More to come!

Dr. Aaron Thomas - Superintendent

March 25, 2020
Attached below is an article for parents to read if you are looking for way to talk with your child about the Coronavirus.
March 19, 2020
New Student Meal Service Information
We have received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education Division of Food and Nutrition to provide meals for students for the weekend.

Beginning this Friday, March 20, weekend meals will be distributed from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Cornell School District – Cafeteria Entrance
Paul Triko Gazebo – 1015 5th Avenue; Coraopolis
Cottage Park Pavilion – Cottage Avenue & River Front Road; Neville Island

For Friday, March 20, breakfast will be served from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM and lunch will be served from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
Beginning on Monday, March 23, there will be a change in meal distribution. Meals will only be distributed three days per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the site locations listed above.
MONDAY Distribution will Include: Lunch for Monday, Breakfast and Lunch for Tuesday, and Breakfast for Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY Distribution will Include: Lunch for Wednesday, Breakfast and Lunch for Thursday, and Breakfast for Friday.
FRIDAY Distribution will Include: Lunch for Friday, Breakfast and Lunch for Saturday, Breakfast and Lunch for Sunday, and Breakfast for Monday.
With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 and social distancing preventing students to attend school, the district wants to help ensure the students have meals available to them during this uncertain time.
We encourage students to visit the meal distribution sites to pick up meals to take home during the mandated school closure.
Take care and stay healthy!