May 2021

Dear Lackawanna Trail Community,

The month of May has indeed presented us with challenges related to COVID-19. It has been a struggle for us to remain fully open for in-person instruction in both the Elementary Center and the Junior-Senior High School.  As per our Health and Safety Plan, when positive cases of COVID-19 are identified among our students or employees beyond thresholds established by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, we temporarily pivot to full virtual instruction mode.  During the pivot we work tirelessly and meticulously completing contact tracing, cleaning and disinfecting classrooms and common areas, and preparing to return to full in-person instruction when it is safe to do so.  These are data driven decisions based on the health and well-being of our school community.  Academics are important, but safety is our priority.

June 10th, the last scheduled day of class for our students, will be here before you know it.   Let’s make a commitment to reach the finish line together.  We may need to pivot back and forth over the next few weeks if conditions warrant, and we will do so to keep everyone as safe as possible.  I’ve been encouraging everyone to continually wear properly fitted masks, maintain physical/social distance when possible, frequently wash your hands, and now I’d like to encourage everyone to consider going a few steps further both inside and outside of school.

I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.  There are many opportunities for people ages 16 and older to make an appointment or walk into a clinic.  The more of us who get vaccinated against COVID-19 the safer we all are in the long run.

I encourage students who are not feeling well to stay home from school.  In years past we did not take this approach, but circumstances have changed.  If you don’t feel well, especially if you experience flu-like symptoms, stay home and take advantage of the synchronous virtual option.  Once a student arrives at school who is already ill, he/she needs to be sent home as soon as possible.  If that student later tests positive for COVID-19, or is classified as a presumed positive case, we will likely need to send others home and initiate quarantine protocol.  Parents, please help us in this area.  When students who are ill don’t come to school, we are all safer.

Finally, if you are involved in any of our community-youth programs I encourage you to contact the administration if any of our students become ill while involved in your programs.  Time is often of the essence, and we have the resources, contacts, and experience to move quickly to help identify probable cases which can potentially spread  among our students and employees. We can’t carry out these tasks if we don’t have knowledge of students who become ill outside of school time.

In closing, let’s make that commitment to reaching the finish line together by doing all we can do collectively.  With teamwork we can cross the finish line safely on June 10th.


Thank you,


Matthew Rakauskas



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