General Information

Absentee Hotline: 610-351-5900 Extension 21711

Absentee Email: KRATTENDANCE@parklandsd.org  

Hello Returning and New Kratzer Families,

I hope you are having a nice summer and that your families are healthy.  Our staff is excited to have our students back in school, and I am eager to start my 11th year as the principal at Kratzer. The school and staff will be ready for the first day of school on Monday, August 31, 2020. Although it is my 27th year in public education, in some respects, it feels like my first year.  I am confident in our staff, students, and families that we share common goals for a safe and healthy return. Thank you for taking the time to read this important document. If you have any questions about the information, feel free to call the main office at 610-351-5820.  Please note that the student day begins at 8:50 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. this year.

Mrs. Karen Aulisio
Principal

TRANSPORTATION:

It is imperative that the school and you are on the same page with transportation.  If your transportation routines are changing for this year, please ensure that the Office knows this information.  If your transportation needs change AFTER school starts, please call the main office ASAP (610-351-5820) and let your child’s teacher know as well.

Become familiar with the district’s return to school health & safety plan:

Return to School Health and Safety Plan

IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT-Every morning before sending your child to Kratzer, take 1 minute to complete the wellness screener.  Complete one for each child. The link for Kratzer students will be sent to you in the near future.  It will also be on our homepage.  The Parkland School District is taking proactive steps to protect our schools during this infectious disease outbreak. It is the goal of the Parkland School District during this time to strive to operate effectively and ensure all essential services are continuously provided and students are safe within our schools

NO MORE BUS CARDS  Beginning last school year, you will no longer receive bus cards in the mail.  Instead, parents MUST go to Home Access Center (HAC) to get this information.  Home Access Center (HAC) username and password letters were mailed out a week or so ago. Beginning August 24th @ 8:00 AM  you can log into HAC to access your child’s bus, teacher, and homeroom information.

FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL:

For ALL Kindergarten through 5th Grade HYBRID students:

For just the first week of school, please send your children to school (whether on the bus or dropping them off) holding an index card with two pieces of information:

  • Their first and last name
  • Name of their homeroom teacher

With us having a virtual sneak peek and because our students will be in face coverings, we will have extra hands to ensure our students safely locate their homeroom.  Please do not put it inside the backpack.  Have them hold it. 

Kindergarten and 1st Grade Students will receive a tag for their backpacks that will help all staff and bus drivers know what bus they are going on or if they are a walker or car rider.  This tag should always be kept on their backpacks  for the entire school year.

SUPPORT:
For Technical assistance accessing HAC, please contact HAC Support by emailing  HAC@parklandsd.org. Please do not call your child’s school for this information.

To access Home Access Center: http://pldhomeaccess.spihost.com 

For Home Access Center instructions: http://bit.do/HAC-parent

The annual Kindergarten/New Student Orientation and Sneak Peek of your child’s classroom will be on Thursday, August 27 and it will be virtual!  Links will be sent out to you so that you and your child can see a virtual picture of their homeroom.  These links will be pre-recorded and you can view them at your leisure.

Open House will also be virtual on Thursday, September 10.  We will miss seeing you at school for Open House, but we will still provide you with the necessary information needed to have a great year. I will email the teachers’ Open House presentation at 5:00 PM on the evening of September 10.  After you review, contact your child’s teacher with any questions to help you feel prepared.  These links will also be pre-recorded and you can view them at your leisure.

FACE COVERINGS (recommendation from CDC):

Face coverings are required for students and staff.  Students are encouraged to have a backup face covering in their backpack.  Be sure your child’s name are on their face coverings.  K-5 students will receive face covering breaks throughout the school day maintaining 6 ft. social distancing during breaks. 

All students K-12 will wear a face covering 

person with mask
  • at the bus stop if unable to maintain social distancing (6 feet)
  • directly and prior to entering and on the school bus
  • when entering and exiting the building
  • in the classroom
  • during recess
  • when passing classes
  • during any movement through building
  • in the cafeteria, however once seated 6 feet apart to eat, the face covering   may be removed until the student finishes eating

K-5 students will receive face covering breaks throughout the school day. They will maintain 6 ft. social distancing during breaks. 

WHEN WILL MY CHILD WASH OR SANITIZE THEIR HANDS?

hand washing

Students will wash their hands:

  • Before eating lunch (in their classroom)
  • After recess(in their classroom)
  • Before and after gym class (in their classroom)
  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing

Students will sanitize their hands:

  • Prior to and after eating breakfast (in the gym)
  • After lunch and before going onto the playground (gym exit)
  • Exiting the nursing suite
  • As necessary within the classroom

SOCIAL DISTANCING AT KRATZER

  • Family Communication: There will be a section added to weekly E-communications on how families can help Stop the Spread.  The information will be consistent across schools.  
  • School’s weekly TV programs will make announcements &/or show videos about behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Students will be taught hand washing, hand sanitizing, social distancing, and mask procedures during the first two weeks of school.  The lessons will be taught in conjunction with the Kratzer Pride lessons.
  • Signs will be posted in prominent locations and will describe how to Stop the Spread of Germs.  
  • Signs will also be posted to remind students about hygiene and social distancing around school.
  • Hallways will be taped to encourage students to walk in a single file line and keep students on the sides rather than walking in the middle of the hallway.
  • Students will be socially distanced when sitting in their classroom (minimum of 3 feet between desks), classroom bathroom breaks, during emergency preparedness drills, lunch serving line.

CLEANING, SANITIZING AND DISINFECTING AT KRATZER

  • Cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting will be performed in accordance with current CDC, and DOH guidelines. EPA approved products will be used in accordance with labeling requirements and staff will be trained on how to appropriately use these products.
  • Water fountains will be closed for use in both hallways and classrooms. Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle.
  • Students will unpack and pack at their desks/seating location. They will keep their personal belongings (including packed lunches) at their learning spaces.  Our closets or coat hooks will not be utilized.

LUNCH AT KRATZER

  • Lunch will be in the gym this year.  Children will have an assigned seat.  They will eat lunch before recess.
  • Menu choices will be reduced. No ala carte items except milk and water.
  • Students MUST wash hands with soap & water before going to lunch.  Classroom teachers will be responsible for overseeing hand washing.
  • Lunch boxes will be stored in student backpacks until lunchtime.  Students will carry their own lunch boxes to lunch.  You are encouraged to use disposable items when packing.  Lunch boxes will be placed at recess following social distancing guidelines.
  • Each menu item is displayed and student points to order. 
  • Servers will bag or box meals and add appropriate silverware and condiments.
  • Server allows students to grab a bag or box at the end of line. 
  • Cashier identities student by picture and homeroom.
  • Students must sit 6 feet apart to remove mask and eat.  
  • Students may not get out of seat without putting mask on.

VISITING KRATZER THIS YEAR

  • Staff will utilize virtual meeting tools (Zoom, Google Meet) to conduct meetings with visitors to the greatest extent feasible. Examples include but are not limited to parent/guardian meetings and IEP meetings.
  • Visitors and volunteers are by appointment only and with the authorization of administration.
  • All authorized visitors will complete the Visitor/Volunteer Wellness Form at school.
  • All visitors will use the QR code to complete an electronic health form prior to receiving administrative approval to enter. 
  • PTO meetings will be held virtually. 

SURVEILLANCE CAMERA SYSTEM

Surveillance camera systems are installed in all Parkland buildings. The new cameras interact with our building access system, allowing employees to enter buildings with a swipe card. The system always allows all schools to keep all outside doors locked . The security cameras record movements that can be reviewed on computers and are accessible by law enforcement computers across the school district. The technology is significantly advanced as it can hone in on various angles, backtrack to a time when movement was detected on the camera, and take snapshots of people that appear in the video. Thus, the technology allows administrators and law enforcement to quickly scan for suspicious activity and identify individuals if a situation ever arises that causes concern. 

If you observe suspicious activity on Kratzer school grounds after/before school, contact the South Whitehall Township Police Department at 610-437-5252

RIDING THE SCHOOL BUS

If you chose Parkland transportation:

  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for students and drivers on each bus/van.
  • Drivers will have extra masks for students who do not have face coverings.
  • Until further notice, there will be no field trips
  • Buses will operate with a maximum of two students per seat.
  • Siblings should sit together on the bus.
  • Elementary School buses will be loaded back to front except for kindergarten and first grade students who will sit in the front of the bus.
  • The bus drivers will sanitize buses with sprayer using disinfectant solution after the morning runs and following the end of the day runs.
  • Students should socially distance while loading and exiting the bus and while waiting at their bus stop.
  • The bus drivers will air out the bus/van before and after runs, weather permitting.

VESTIBULE AREA

The elementary school is always locked , and all visitors are required to enter the school through the main entrance.  The Parkland School District has initiated a security protocol, which may require all visitors, including parents, to show identification upon arrival.  Be prepared to show your identification.

After you buzz into the school and enter the school, we ask that you remain in this vestibule area. This vestibule waiting area is where you will:

  • sign in a student if late or returning to school from an appointment
  • sign out a student if he/she is leaving school early
  • drop off papers for the school office
  • drop off forgotten lunches/instruments
  • drop off papers for our PTO
  • pick up your student’s homework
  • pick up your child from the nurse
  • meet the Nurse to drop off medication for your child.

If you have a meeting or a scheduled appointment inside the school, please share that with the school secretary when you first buzz in.  The office staff will then buzz you through a second set of doors to gain entrance into the main office.  It is a possibility you will not gain entrance into the school if no appointment was made, if there is insufficient information regarding the purpose of the visit, or you do not have an acceptable form of ID.

BUILDING CLOSES @ 4:00

Also, for building security measures, Kratzer Elementary School is open until 4:00 PM.  This is important to remember if you are picking up homework for your child because of an absence. The building is closed after 4:00. 

 PLEASE ALERT OR CALL OUR MAIN OFFICE (610) 351-5820 WITH ANY NEW CUSTODY AGREEMENTS OR REVISIONS.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Students will be only be released to their custodial parent unless written or verbal permission from the custodial parent is received to do otherwise.

STUDENT BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

There will be no food or non-edible birthday treats exchanged in school.  Also, birthday invitations will not be exchanged in school this year.

ST MATH

Ji Ji the penguin will be at it again this year. Your child’s classroom teacher will explain ST Math as it pertains to your grade level at Open House.  

LUNCH & MILK COSTS

Cost of Student Lunch - $2.70 (last year $2.70) 

Milk - $.50 (last year $.50) 

Reduced Price Lunch - $.40 (application)          

Breakfast- $1.50 (last year $1.50)

Reduced Breakfast - $.30 (application)

Parkland School District has made it faster and easier for parents to apply for free and reduced meals! https://www.schoolcafe.com

This free service enables families to receive program benefits faster than using the paper application. Your application is electronically submitted directly to the child nutrition office for processing.

MYSCHOOLBUCKS

The MYSCHOOLBUCKS System can be used in our school cafeteria to assist parents and students in managing lunch money. www.myschoolbucks.com

Signing up is free, simple, and secure.  You get low balance alerts and you can pay on the go.

No deposits (cash or checks) will be accepted at school this year.  Checks made payable to PSD Cafeteria will be accepted at the food services office, located at The Troxell Building 2219 N. Cedar Crest Blvd., Allentown 18104.

You will be alerted when students have a low balance.  If an account reaches a negative balance, a letter requesting additional money will be sent home.  Please keep your balance up to date.

KRATZER BREAKFAST

We serve an OPTIONAL breakfast for our students.  Breakfast begins at 8:35 in the cafeteria and is over by 8:50.  Breakfast will NOT be available on the first day of school (August 31 and September 2).  Students who receive free or reduced lunch are eligible for the same breakfast benefit.  The cost of breakfast is $1.50 or $0.30 for reduced. Breakfast includes a choice of cereal or a whole grain breakfast item, low fat milk, and either juice or fruit.  If you have any questions, contact Debbie Fernandes, head cook, at 610-351-5900 ext. 23530.  Upon arrival, students will report directly to their homerooms prior to going to the gym for breakfast.

WEEKLY E-COMMUNICATIONS (Weekends)

  • In effort to save paper and ensure that some information does not get misplaced/lost, be sure to check out the Weekly Updates page on our website.
  • This is where we post important information, PTO news, upcoming events, and need-to-know school handouts.
  • https://kratzer.parklandsd.org/weekly-updates

ABSENTEE REPORTING PROCEDURES

  • School attendance is required and a state law.  In addition, students are more likely to reach their potential when present.  However, I recognize students get sick and unexpected events occur that require your student to miss school.  Thank you for following our absentee procedures when this happens.
  • If your child is absent, please call the absentee hotline number at 610-351-5900 extension 21711 NO LATER than 9:30 AM.  State your child’s name, their teacher’s name, and the reason for the absence.
  • By reporting your child’s absence, we can ensure that all students have arrived at school safely.  The office staff will keep a log of all calls made before 9:30 AM and, therefore, a blue excuse card will not be necessary.  You may also request homework when you leave a message.
  • If an absence is NOT reported by 9:30 AM, a secretary will call the designated number to inform the parent of the child’s absence.  If they are unable to speak with anyone, a message will be left.  Please send in an excuse note upon your child’s return. If we do not receive a phone call or a note after 3 school days, the absence could be considered unexcused/illegal.  A letter will be sent home for all unexcused/illegal absences. Regular illegal absences are cause for a required school improvement conference and possible court action. 
  • If you are requesting assignments/homework, in fairness to our teachers, call the main office @ 610-351-5820 BEFORE 11:00. 

VACATIONS

Vacations are not encouraged during the school year.  If a vacation is planned during the school year, you should complete a Vacation/Emergency Form at least one week before the leaving date.  This allows time to inform teachers and organize their expectations of missed schoolwork.  Contact the school office for this form.

  • Avoid vacations/appointments during these important dates:
  • Grade 1
    • Otis Lennon School Ability Assessment February 1-5
  • Grade 3
    • PSSA ELA Assessment April 20-22
    • PSSA Math Assessment April 26-27
  • Grade 4
    • PSSA ELA Assessment April 20-22
    • PSSA Math Assessment April 26-27
    • PSSA Science Assessment April 28-29
  • Grade 5
    • PSSA ELA Assessment April 20-22
    • PSSA Math Assessment April 26-27

 

STUDENT DROP-OFF

  • In the event you are driving your child to school, do not drop off your child earlier than 8:35.  The doors are not open, and we do not have supervision until 8:35.
  • Use the entrance by the flagpole for student drop off and pick up.  Parents are NOT permitted to enter the bus loop to drop off or pick up a child.
  • If you arrive earlier than 8:35, keep your child in your vehicle until you hear the 8:35 school tone.  You will also see the doors open at 8:35.
  • 8:35 is when students are able to enter the school building.
  • Follow the traffic flow in the Gym parking lot and drive very slowly.
  • Several staff members are there to assist the students.
  • If you arrive after 8:50, please find a parking spot, enter the Main entrance, and sign-in your child in our vestibule area.  Your child is late if he/she arrives after 8:50. 
  • Try your best to teach your child how to get out of the vehicle independently.
  • Have all materials (lunches, backpacks, etc.) prepared and ready.
  • Wait for the car in front of you before pulling away and leaving.  Do not pull around a car even though your son/daughter is already out.
  • Drive slowly for the safety of our students. 

STUDENT CAR PICK-UP (for students not taking the bus)

  • DISMISSAL IS AT 3:00 P.M. THIS YEAR!!!!
  • Use the Gym parking lot following the traffic pattern.
  • Students will exit the Main entrance starting at 3:05.
  • Several staff members are there to monitor the safety of the students.
  • Students will wait at one of the paws on the sidewalk.  You will be instructed to pull up. 
  • Once your car has come to a complete stop, your child will be able to enter your vehicle.
  • For the safety of the children and a timely dismissal process, remain in your car.  If your child needs assistance getting buckled, you will be asked to pull up out of the loading zone or find a parking spot to assist your child.   Teach your child how to get into your vehicle safely and properly.
  • Be aware of all children and drive away slowly. 
  • If you walk home with your child, be sure a note has been sent to their teacher, and plan on meeting him/her at the flagpole.  Parents should socially distance while waiting.  If you are not a walker, stay in your vehicle and stay in the car line. 

IF A STUDENT NEEDS TO BE DISMISSED EARLIER THAN THE REGULAR SCHOOL DAY:

  • A parent must send a written request in the morning, and it should be given to the classroom teacher first thing in the morning.  In the event of an unplanned event, which requires a student to leave early, verbal permission will be allowed.  Be prepared to show proper identification. Contact the school office at 610-351-5820.   Prevent any changes after 2:30 to the greatest extent possible.
  • When picking up your student, park your car in a parking spot, buzz into the school, and enter our vestibule area.
  • You will sign them out in the vestibule area.
  • Your student will come to the office first and then be dismissed to you.  They will meet you in the vestibule area.
  • In all cases, students will be released only to their custodial parent unless written or verbal permission from the custodial parent is received to do otherwise.

IMPORTANT “BEGINNING OF YEAR” DATES

Thursday, August 27-Virtual Kindergarten/New Student Orientation

Thursday, August 27-Virtual Sneak Peek

Monday, August 31-First day of school for students

Friday, September 4-Holiday/Schools Closed

Monday, September 7-Holiday/Schools Closed

Thursday, September 10-Virtual Open House

Monday, September 28-No school for students (staff development day)

Monday, October 12-No school for students (staff development day)

November 19-25-1:45 Early Dismissal/ Virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences

paw with heart

Looking forward to seeing our students again on the first day of school; Monday, August 31, 2020.

Remember to follow our school on Twitter @KRCougars and share with family, grandparents, and other friends. You will have the chance to see daily pictures across our classrooms and see what is happening inside our GREAT school.