Log In

Reset Password

NL continues to weigh graduation options

Northern Lehigh School District seniors can graduate at the end of this school year, but exactly how things will shake out has yet to be determined.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tania Stoker discussed the graduation guidance policy related to COVID-19 during a meeting the school board streamed Tuesday via the district’s Media YouTube channel.

Stoker said that the Pennsylvania Department of Education put out graduation guidance.

“We’ve had some questions recently about what that may look like and what requirements have to be met in order for graduation,” Stoker said. “Can seniors graduate at the end of the 2019-20 school year? Yes they can.”

Stoker said that’s similar to what it would be during the normal year in that they have to pass the required classes, earn enough credits, and that the district can also note on its transcripts, if it wants, that there are unusual happenings during this time.

“High school graduation is permitted to be held virtually,” she said. “Right now if we were to hold a large event, we can’t have more than 10 people under the current guidance, so we can’t have a graduation ceremony currently, but the guidance that we have from PDE does permit either a virtual graduation or another get-together of some sort to graduate students later on once the ban is lifted. Again that’s something we’re trying to determine what that may look like.”

Stoker also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the district to change the way it operates its schools.

She said PSSAs, Keystone and PASA scores, at the local level, are being told to review the district’s policies to see if they meet the circumstances as well.

Stoker said the board is continuing to look at those policies, which will eventually be given to the district’s policy committee and then to the school board to see if it needs to be suspended or rewritten.

Superintendent Matthew J. Link said the district was prepared for the governor closing schools for the rest of the year and has implemented its Continuity of Education Plan.

“Our attendance/participation grade is now at 95 percent or above at each school building, which we are very proud of for our student body and for our teachers,” Link said. “That’s some of the highest participation rates that I’ve seen published so far, so congratulations to all of our students and staff.”

The board streamed the meeting via the district’s NLSD Media YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvk3pHXE7xX7BFleiVMC-JA.

At the onset of the meeting, the board suspended a policy that limits no more than two board members to be permitted to teleconference at any one meeting. The suspension will remain in effect throughout the state emergency disaster declaration.