October 30, 2020

    Dear Parents,

                  The administration, teachers, support staff and board are working hard to plan for the second semester of this school year in the midst of the world wide pandemic and require your immediate action to commit to one of two instructional environments. 

    Our goals are:

    • To keep our students, staff and community safe.
    • To determine if we can operate under our current model with creative adjustments, or if we have the need to develop a new model for the second semester.
    • To provide the maximum amount of in-person instruction within our facilities for educational continuity while reasonably adhering to safety and social distancing guidelines.
    • To provide the maximum amount of teacher/student live interactive instruction to students who choose to attend our online instructional option (Johnnie Learning Academy which could be adjusted in format depending on student enrollment and staffing. This could mean less teacher/student live interaction and/or more self-directed learning at certain grade levels).
    • To provide instruction within our in-person and online environments with as much educational continuity as possible.

    The recent parent survey revealed to us a tremendous amount of support for our current model of instructional service delivery.  Parents of those attending in-person were pleased with the safety protocols put in place and practiced; yet, some parents indicated that they will be choosing the online option for the second semester.  Likewise parents of those attending the Johnstown Learning Academy online were very pleased with the instruction and system; however, some struggled and have indicated they would be sending their children to in-person instruction for the second semester.  We are also hearing from some parents that they continue to be concerned about sending their children to in-person learning until this COVID-19 virus is more under control.  We respect our parent’s varying experience and opinions as we move through this pandemic.  To be able to meet the educational goals listed above, and adequately prepare for second semester staffing and services, it is imperative that we set the number of students who are enrolled in-person or online immediately.  Why?  The number of students enrolled in each of these instructional environments will dictate how we must set up our facilities and assign staff to best accommodate the educational and safety needs of our students for second semester. 

    We are doing our best to provide for the continuation of our current instructional model in the second semester as it best meets the educational needs of our students and is the most accommodating to the varying work schedules of our parents.  We are trying to avoid having to move to an alternative model such as split sessions which would greatly reduce the amount of in-person instructional time all of our students are receiving.  However, depending on the total number of students enrolled for in-person learning versus Johnnie Learning Academy, we may need to make some physical changes to our classrooms and/or changes in staffing for second semester that could impact who your child has as a teacher in some grade levels.  We want you to know this is a possibility; however, we cannot tell you exactly what changes, if any, would be needed until we have the commitment of parents to enroll their children either in the in-person instructional environment or in the Johnnie Learning Academy for the second semester.    And now is the time we must have your commitment.

    All parents are required to go to our district website at and commit to having their children enrolled in either the “in-person instructional environment” or the Johnnie Learning Academy for the second semester.  This must be completed by 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3rd in order for us to make major decisions related to staffing and facilities for the second semester to accommodate our efforts to keep the current instructional model.  Should we not receive a response of commitment from a parent of a student by 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3rd we will automatically assign that student to the same instructional environment to which they were assigned for the first semester.

    Together, as one Johnnie community, we are working our way through this most difficult time.  We are learning how to live with this virus and continue to be hopeful of its defeat in the near future.  I thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding as we attempt to apply common sense solutions to an extraordinary situation.

    Click below for the link to the semester commitment form.


    Dale L. Dickson,


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