Alerts

In the event of a school emergency or other alerts  at any of our schools, we will post information and updates  on this page to keep you informed. 


May 26, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon Families,

As you may have heard this afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has moved Allegheny County to a high level of COVID-19 community level transmission. Therefore, in accordance with the CDC guidance, the District strongly recommends indoor masking for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Friday, May 27, 2022. While this is not how we hoped to finish out the last three and a half days of school for our students, it is extremely important that we follow the CDC’s recommendations and hope that this need will be short-lived.  

We will continue to monitor the community transmission level through the end of the school year, as we want to ensure our students and families start the summer safely and without illness.  In addition, stay home if you are not feeling well, take advantage of testing, follow proper hygiene and handwashing. 

Thank you for your continued support to keep our students, faculty, staff, and administrators safe. 

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


May 24, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon School Community,

As we process through yet another horrific act of violence in our nation's schools, we wanted to take a moment to reach out to our families. Our thoughts are with the Uvalde, TX community, as well as all who have experienced the tragedy of gun violence.

For many years, the District has worked collaboratively with our community first responders to build safe school campuses. Our comprehensive safety plans, practice drills, and partnerships are designed to keep violence out of our schools and the buildings safe. Additionally, we rely on our community members to be vigilant and report any concerns or questions to our building principals and the Mt. Lebanon Police.

We expect significant news coverage of this event, as we have seen with similar tragedies. Learning of these events certainly may create unease and fear, particularly in our younger children. If your child has heard the recent news and has concerns or questions, please see these resources on the District website linked HERE.  

If you need additional support for your child, don't hesitate to get in touch with their school counselor and/or principal. Also, know that our schools handle tragic events like these in a developmentally appropriate manner. As in the past several years, Listen, Protect, Connect, Model, Teach will be used to address any student concerns that may arise.

Please know that we greatly appreciate and value our partnership with families when these incidents occur. Together we will ensure that our students finish the school year safely and successfully.

Sincerely, 

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools


April 19, 2022

Dear High School Families,

Dr. Joel Thompson has served admirably as the Acting Principal of the high school since October 2019.  I am pleased to announce that the School Board approved Dr. Thompson as the Principal of the High School this evening.  

Before joining the Mt. Lebanon School District in 2015, Dr. Thompson served as a teacher in Upper St. Clair and Greensburg Central Catholic School Districts.  Dr. Thompson completed his Undergraduate, Graduate, and Doctorate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.  

Dr. Thompson believes that Mt. Lebanon High School’s success is possible because of the wonderful support by our residents, the visionary approach by our School Board, a strong partnership with our parents, and the outstanding work provided by our teachers, support staff, and administration each day. Dr. Thompson further believes that Mt. Lebanon High School is truly a special place.

I am confident that Dr. Thompson will continue to provide exceptional leadership of our High School. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Thompson as the Principal of Mt. Lebanon High School.

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


April 11, 2022

Dear JMS Families,

I am writing to inform you that earlier today, we found a racial slur used to demean and denigrate Black Americans found on the inside of a calculator cover in a Twister classroom.  Hateful speech is never acceptable. The use of any racial slur is hurtful to our students, particularly those of diverse backgrounds. 

We are taking this incident very seriously. An investigation began immediately to include contacting the families of the students in that classroom for any information they may have about this incident, and the Mt. Lebanon Police Department is involved.  The administration will take appropriate disciplinary action for those found responsible for this incident.

In light of this, I want to reinforce my belief that Jefferson, our students and our community at large are committed to a safe and inclusive school environment and as such, any use of slurs and epithets are not tolerated.    

This incident serves as a reminder that this challenging yet important work needs to continue at JMS and in our community.  Some children may not be aware of the impact these types of words may have on others.  Racial conversations, while necessary, can be difficult and uncomfortable to navigate through, especially with children. The Resources listed on the District website may be helpful in facilitating these conversations.

It is important that we respond to situations like this as a community. We continue to meet with students on a regular basis, including during our Tuesday Talks, to stress the importance of maintaining a positive and welcoming environment for every student and we encourage you to do the same at home.

Sincerely,

Sarah Shaw, Ed.D.

Principal


April 6, 2022

Dear WES Families,

Today upon arrival, we learned that a Washington student had a bullet in their coat pocket.  The student had found the bullet several months beforehand.  The teacher was immediately notified and turned the bullet into the school office. The Mt. Lebanon Police were notified and helped us process this with the student and their family.

While the bullet was not used to threaten anyone, we know this may be concerning to students and their families.  Please know that at no time was any individual at the school in danger. 

Incidents such as these provide an excellent opportunity for families to talk to their children about how to handle similar situations should they occur.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Dr. Patti 


March 18, 2022

Dear High School Families and Students,

This evening, a drawing of a swastika and a racial slur were found inside a bathroom stall at the High School. Hateful symbols and speech are never acceptable. This action is hurtful to our students, particularly those of diverse backgrounds. We are taking this incident very seriously.  

An investigation began immediately, and the Mt. Lebanon Police Department is involved. The administration will take appropriate disciplinary action for those found responsible for this incident.

We value that Mt. Lebanon High School includes students and families from many different backgrounds. We have and will continue to act swiftly to address any issues that violate our policies and practices of nondiscrimination. There is zero-tolerance for discriminatory behavior in our school.

Should you have any information that may assist us in our investigation, please contact the MLPD or the school administration.  We are committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all of our students that emphasizes respect for all. 

Sincerely,

Joel G. Thompson, Ed.D.

Principal


March 16, 2022

Dear Families,

In an effort to keep you apprised of changes regarding our Health and Safety Plan, I am informing you of an update, particularly as it relates to our procedure for contact tracing. 

In the two weeks following the removal of the universal masking requirement in our schools, we have not seen any significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases within our District.  Due to the continued diminished spread of the virus, we have begun to adapt other areas of mitigation to ensure our processes are valuable and assist in keeping both students and staff healthy.

Our modified approach to contact tracing in our schools comes as a result of reviewing information from the Centers for Disease Control and the Allegheny County Health Department, and input from our District’s physician.  While Allegheny County is in the Low or Medium phase according to the CDC, we will contact trace when there is a spike, or cluster, of cases in any given area.  This could include a classroom, athletic team, activity group, etc.  If Allegheny County moves into the High phase according to the CDC, we will continue to contact trace individual cases.

We continue to offer updates to the Dashboard on our website, Pool Testing, and the Test-to-Stay program for families and staff. On March 21, 2022, Mt. Lebanon School District, in partnership with Concentric by Ginkgo Bioworks, will implement symptomatic, rapid antigen COVID-19 tests to permit students and employees with COVID-19 symptoms to remain in person provided there is a negative test result.  Any student or employee who wishes to participate in this symptomatic testing program, and is not registered in our Pool Testing program, must complete the consent form to do so. 

We will continue to properly respond to COVID positive student and staff cases, enforcing the 5-day quarantine and 5-day post-quarantine masking protocol.  And we remind families to keep symptomatic individuals home or participate in the District’s programs.  

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


March 8, 2022

Dear High School Students and Families,

The outpouring of support from the community for the McFeeley family and those who Brian has had a positive impact has been tremendous. Thank you.  

We respect that many of our students, families, faculty, and staff may want to celebrate his life by attending the Mass on Thursday morning at 10 am at Resurrection Parish, St. Thomas More Church.  To facilitate this opportunity, Mt. Lebanon High School will operate an asynchronous instructional day on Thursday, March 10, 2022; high school students will not report to school on Thursday.  High School faculty will communicate to their students how to access instructionally appropriate learning activities to complete in lieu of attending their classes throughout the day. 

The asynchronous instructional day only applies to the High School.  Other schools will be operating on a regular, in-person schedule.  

The range of support that has been shown for the McFeeley family illustrates the impact that he had since he joined our District in 1995.  The McFeeley Strong website houses more information on Mr. McFeeley’s life and legacy, and we encourage you to take time to look there to learn more about his dedication to the students, faculty, and staff within the Mt. Lebanon School District.
 

Sincerely,

Joel G. Thompson, Ed.D.

Principal


February 25, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon Families,

As you may have heard this afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance for masking related to transmission levels in the community. 

The CDC has identified Allegheny County at the low level. Therefore, in accordance with the CDC guidance, the District will no longer require masks indoors, but wearing a mask remains optional for any individual. Know that some of our faculty and staff may choose to remain masked. We encourage staff and students who prefer to wear a mask to continue to do so. We will continue to have well-fitting masks available.

The District will be updating its Health & Safety Plan. Current guidance regarding isolation and quarantining may require individuals to follow the masking protocol. In addition, stay home if you are not feeling well, take advantage of testing, follow proper hygiene and handwashing. We will continue to offer a K-12 Asynchronous Instruction option for the remainder of the year. More information about this option can be found in the Education Plan.  

Thank you for your continued support to keep our students, faculty, staff, and administrators safe. 

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


February 17, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon High School Students and Families,

I am writing to inform you that a racial slur was found written in a bathroom stall at our High School today. There is no place for this type of behavior in our school and community. This action is hurtful to our students, particularly those of diverse backgrounds. Behaviors like this will not be tolerated. 

We have a wonderful school with excellent students supported by outstanding families. Fortunately, incidents such as this are not the norm for our school.  We take this very seriously and will act swiftly to address any issues that violate our policies and practices of nondiscrimination. 

There is no tolerance for discriminatory behavior in our schools. The school administration and Mt. Lebanon Police Department are thoroughly investigating this incident, and we will take appropriate disciplinary action for those found responsible. 

I, along with the entire High School faculty, staff, and administration, are committed to providing a safe and welcoming school environment for all of our students.  I want every one of our students to be a valuable member of the High School community.  And our District is resolute in focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion as an integral part of the work to educate all students to prevent future incidents like today’s.

We all remain committed to fostering a culture of acceptance and understanding in our school and work every day to cultivate a place where everyone is treated with kindness, respect, and dignity. 

Sincerely,

Joel G. Thompson, Ed.D.
Principal


February 14, 2022

Dear Washington Families,

I am pleased to announce that Brook N. Webb was unanimously approved by the School Board this evening as the new principal of Washington Elementary School. 

Ms. Webb is currently serving as principal of the Grow Academy, a public charter school near Bakersfield, CA. This school utilizes a blended learning model that includes a full garden and kitchen for students in grades K-8. In addition, she held school leadership roles in elementary and middle schools in the Panama-Buena Vista Union and Rosedale Union School Districts.  She also served as a program specialist in the Bakersfield School District, assigned to lead the transition of nine schools to a science academy model. Before becoming an administrator, Ms. Webb taught grades 2 through 6. Across all roles, she enhanced student growth, social and emotional well-being, and access to technology.

Ms. Webb holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters in Educational Administration, both from the University of California, Bakersfield. She holds California licenses for teaching and administration. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne, teaching both Digital Literacy and Instructional Technology as well as a Senior Seminar for elementary education students.

As you know, the search process to fill this position was thorough, thoughtful, and rigorous. Although Ms. Webb’s start date is still to be determined, she plans to begin working with Dr. Patti on her transition plan, so she is well prepared to support the Washington community. We will continue to update you on the transition as the plan develops.  

Please join me in congratulating Ms. Webb as the new principal of Washington Elementary School.

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


February 8, 2022

Dear Lincoln Families,

I wanted to make you aware that earlier today, we were directed by the Mt. Lebanon Police Department (MLPD) to Shelter in Place with all students and staff.  This occurred at approximately 9:10 a.m. while the MLPD responded to an incident in the area. An ALL CALL Shelter in Place announcement was made immediately to inform the students and staff. At 9:15 a.m., the Mt. Lebanon Police Department directed us to lift the Shelter in Place as the incident was resolved. At no time were our students or staff in any danger from this incident.

Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out directly to me.

Respectfully,

Dr. Ron Kitsko, Principal


February 2, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon Families, 

On Monday, February 7, 2022, Mt. Lebanon School District will launch the Test-to-Stay (TTS) program.  

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which is in partnership with Concentric by Ginkgo Bioworks for this program, Test-to-Stay (TTS) is a COVID-19 strategy that enables school-aged students and staff to continue in-person learning while minimizing the disruption of quarantine on students, families, and schools.  Specifically, 

  • TTS allows individuals who are identified as a close contact to a case of COVID-19 in certain school settings to continue in-person learning, so long as they remain asymptomatic and serially test negative for COVID-19. 

  • Students and staff, who are not required to quarantine under CDC guidance, do not need to participate in TTS to continue in-person learning, as long as they remain asymptomatic. 

  • Individuals who were exposed to COVID-19 in non-school settings (e.g., household or community exposure) are not eligible for TTS and should continue to follow the standard CDC-recommended protocol for exposure.

Therefore, if you are 1) an in-school close contact, 2) asymptomatic, and 3) not or partially vaccinated, your school nurse can arrange for your participation in this program.  Participation includes:

  • Completing the required consent form.  Note: This is the same consent form to participate in the Pool Testing program.  If you have already consented to participate in the Pool Testing program, there is not a need to complete the form again.  

  • Administering a Rapid antigen tests on-site through our school testing program* or a Rapid antigen tests administered through a healthcare provider.

    • *The onsite program will be coordinated with the Pool Testing program.

    • At this time, at-home tests are not considered eligible for participation in TTS.

More details about this program can be found on the PA Department of Health’s FAQ page.  We appreciate your continued partnership in keeping our schools safe and students being able to learn in-person.

Best Regards,

Deanna Hess, MSEd, BSN, CSN, RN

Chair, Health Services Department


January 28, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon School District Families,

In our ongoing effort to keep you apprised of local issues, I am sending you information that I received from the Mt. Lebanon Municipality concerning the upcoming cull from February 1  through March 31, 2022.  

I have attached a letter from Assistant Municipal Manager Ian McMeans with details about the program and a link to more extensive information on the Municipal website at Deer Management Program Summary | Mt. Lebanon, PA - Official Website.  This same information is also being shared with our principals, teachers, and support staff. Please do not hesitate to contact the Mt. Lebanon Municipality or Mt. Lebanon Police Department should you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

2022 Deer Management Letter - MTLSD.pdf 


January 25, 2022

Dear Families,

I am writing to notify you of an adjustment to our school calendar.  Friday, February 18, 2022 will be a noon dismissal for all students K-12 to allow our faculty and staff to participate in professional learning. 

Through our dedication to the important diversity, equity, and inclusion work in our District, our staff has the opportunity to take part in a presentation by educator, writer, and facilitator for equity and racial justice, Dr. Ali Michael.  As part of a partnership between the District and Municipality, Dr. Michael will return to her hometown of Mt. Lebanon to work with K-12 educators, as well as preschool educators and local faith leaders. We are happy to have one of our alumni back with us who has become so accomplished in this field of study. 

In addition, the entire community is invited to a discussion led by Dr. Michael focussed on her perspective of a positive and productive multiracial community: Building the Beloved Community: How Everyone Can Play Their Part.  We encourage your participation in this community-sponsored discussion scheduled on Sunday, February 20, at 6:30 p.m., in the Auditorium of the High School.   

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

-----

 

Dear Elementary Families,

As a follow up to the email you received from Dr. Steinhauer regarding the noon dismissal on February 18, please know that this means that the previously scheduled early dismissal for elementary only on February 11 is canceled.  February 11 will be a full day of school for all students K-12.  February 18 will be a noon dismissal for all students K-12.

Marybeth D. Irvin, Ph. D.

Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education


January 7, 2022

Dear Families,

As we continue to adapt our processes and procedures due to the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape, we have developed a universal COVID Symptoms/Exposure Notification Form for our families to use instead of emailing the school nurse, teacher, or using a building-specific form. This form will assist our nursing staff in responding more efficiently to COVID notifications. 

Beginning now, families who have a student with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, experiencing symptoms, or exposed as a close contact to a confirmed or suspected case, should use this LINK in order to notify your school.  The form will also be located on the District website and each school’s homepage. 

The COVID-19 environment is rapidly changing, and we continue to monitor developments and make modifications to our plans as necessary. If you have specific questions, please contact your student’s school nurse. 

Sincerely, 

Deanna Hess, MSEd, BSN, CSN, RN

Chair, Health Services Department


January 7, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon Faculty and Staff,

As we continue to adapt our processes and procedures due to the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape, we have developed a new COVID Symptoms/Exposure Notification Form to use in lieu of emailing our health services department if you are experiencing symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. Beginning now, staff should pivot to using this LINK to alert our Health Services Department of pertinent COVID information.  Also, the form will be accessible from the staff homepage.

Additionally, we have created a second COVID Symptoms/Exposure Notification Form for our families to use. Families will use this link in order to notify the school about their student’s case. This form will be located on the District and building websites. Please be reminded that this form is different from the staff form.  If families contact you to report COVID concerns, please refer them to the student link.

The COVID-19 environment is rapidly changing, and we continue to monitor developments and make modifications to our plans as necessary. 

Sincerely, 

Deanna Hess, MSEd, BSN, CSN, RN

Chair, Health Services Department


January 4, 2022

Dear Elementary Families:

When circumstances, like inclement weather, warrant the District to move to Remote Instruction, all students will be learning from home.  Please see Dr. Steinhauer’s letter from November 2, 2021.  

A few reminders about Remote Instruction:

  • It will include the use of the District’s online platforms (Schoology or Classroom) to facilitate teaching and learning, as well as synchronous and asynchronous instruction. 

  • Faculty will make their Zoom or Google Meet link available to students and families.

  • Synchronous experiences may vary in length by subject depending on the instructional objectives and activities as established by the faculty.  If instructionally appropriate, students will be expected to work on and submit any asynchronous activities assigned by their teacher. 

  • When circumstances allow, faculty will provide students with hard copies of resources and materials necessary for learning. This includes devices.

  • Students will follow a schedule similar to their in-person instruction schedule, including encores. Students should attend all synchronous class periods and use their camera as directed by the teacher. 

  • The building’s bell schedule will be followed as in a typical school day.  

Students enrolled in Asynchronous Learning through Waterfront Learning will continue their instruction according to their typical schedule.

When conditions require a school delay, closing, or remote instruction, you will receive a call or text from our Phone Alert System. Delay, closing, or remote instruction information is also announced on the website at www.mtlsd.org, District social media (FacebookTwitter), and local cable TV stations. Typically, when school is canceled, after-school and evening activities are canceled, but always check the website for up-to-date information. 

The best way to be alerted to changes in the school schedule is through the District's Phone Alert System. You can receive an automated phone call or text to the primary phone number you have listed in Dashboard. Only one call per family is made. Calls are typically made no later than 10:00 p.m. and no earlier than 6:00 a.m. On rare occasions, the Superintendent may need to change the decision after 6:00 a.m. due to a significant change in weather conditions. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this winter season. 

Sincerely,

Marybeth D. Irvin, Ph.D.

Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education


January 4, 2022

Dear Students and Families,

When circumstances, like inclement weather, warrant the District to move to Remote Instruction, all students will be learning from home. Please see Dr. Steinhauer’s letter from November 2, 2021.  

A few reminders about Remote Instruction:

  • It will include the use of the District’s online platforms (Schoology or Classroom) to facilitate teaching and learning, as well as synchronous and asynchronous instruction. 

  • Faculty will post their Zoom or Google Meet link on Dashboard.  Additionally, faculty might also post it to their appropriate online platform.

  • Synchronous experiences may vary in length each period of each day depending on the instructional objectives and activities as established by the faculty.  If instructionally appropriate, students will be expected to work on and submit any asynchronous activities assigned by their teacher. 

  • Students will remain with their assigned teacher(s) and follow a bell schedule identical to their in-person instruction schedule. Students are required to attend all synchronous class periods and to use their camera as directed by the teacher. If students do not attend these sessions, they will be considered absent from the class. 

  • The start time and end time for the school day shall be the same as a typical school day, and the building’s bell schedule will be followed as in a typical school day.  

Students enrolled in Asynchronous Learning through Waterfront Learning will continue their instruction according to their typical schedule.

When conditions require a school delay, closing, or remote instruction, you will receive a call or text from our Phone Alert System. Delay, closing, or remote instruction information is also announced on the website at www.mtlsd.org, District social media (FacebookTwitter), and local cable TV stations. Typically, when school is canceled, after-school and evening activities are canceled, but always check the website for up-to-date information. 

The best way to be alerted to changes in the school schedule is through the District's Phone Alert System. You can receive an automated phone call or text to the primary phone number you have listed in Dashboard. Only one call per family is made. Calls are typically made no later than 10:00 p.m. and no earlier than 6:00 a.m. On rare occasions, the Superintendent may need to change the decision after 6:00 a.m. due to a significant change in weather conditions. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this winter season. 

Sincerely,

Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education


January 3, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon Families,

The Allegheny County Health Department released Isolation and Quarantine Basics for the General Population on December 30th and again today that clarified the language on isolation and quarantine in light of the new CDC guidance.  In summary: 

  • Students may return to school after testing positive when: 

    • They have completed 5 days of isolation – starting from the day they first experienced symptoms of COVID-19 AND if they are 24 hours free of fever (without the use of medicine to reduce the fever) AND symptoms are improving. 

    • The District continues to enforce universal masking, which supports the additional guidance that masks must be worn for an additional 5 days whenever around people. 

  • If symptoms are not improving and/or if they are still running a fever (without the use of medicine to reduce the fever), students must remain in isolation beyond 5 days. They must be fever-free for at least 24 hours, and symptoms need to be improving. 

  • If they never had symptoms, they can return to school 5 days after the date of their positive test (the date the sample was taken). They must wear a mask for an additional 5 days whenever they are around people. 

  • If they were hospitalized for COVID-19, isolation may be up to 20 days. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. 

  • It is not recommended to get another PCR test for COVID-19 for the next 90 days unless they develop new symptoms. It is common for a PCR test to remain positive for up to a couple of months, even though they are no longer able to spread the virus.

A student will not need to quarantine if they were identified as a close contact:

  • And have received a booster vaccine dose OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months: 

    • Wear a mask around others for 10 days. 

    • Get a test 5 days after your exposure. 

    • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home. 

A student will need to quarantine, if they was identified as a close contact:

  • And have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and have not yet received a booster dose OR completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and have not yet received a booster dose OR are unvaccinated: 

    • Stay home for 5 days. 

    • After that, continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. 

    • Get a test, ideally 5 days after your exposure. 

    • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

Today the FDA authorized Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine boosters for 12- to 15-year-olds, and the CDC will be considering this in the near future. Once the booster has been approved, we strongly encourage families to take advantage of this to limit the need to quarantine. 

Families should continue to inform their School Nurse if a student tests positive for COVID-19 to determine the official return to school date based upon their specific case circumstances.  The COVID-19 environment can rapidly change, and we will monitor developments and make modifications to our plans as necessary.

Sincerely,

Deanna Hess, MSEd, BSN, CSN, RN

Chair, Health Services Department


January 3, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon Faculty and Staff,

The Allegheny County Health Department released guidance on December 30th and again today that clarified the language on isolation and quarantine for employees in light of the new CDC guidance.  In summary: 

  • You may return to work after testing positive when: 
    • You completed 5 days of isolation – starting from the day you first experienced symptoms of COVID-19 AND if you are 24 hours free of fever (without the use of medicine to reduce the fever) AND your symptoms are improving. 
    • The District continues to enforce universal masking, which supports the additional guidance that you must wear a mask for an additional 5 days whenever you are around people. 
  • If your symptoms are not improving and/or if you are still running a fever (without the use of medicine to reduce the fever), you must remain in isolation beyond 5 days. You must be fever-free for at least 24 hours, and your symptoms need to be improving. 

  • If you never had symptoms, you can return to work 5 days after the date of your positive test (the date the sample was taken). You must wear a mask for an additional 5 days whenever you are around people. 

  • If you were hospitalized for COVID-19, your isolation may be up to 20 days. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. 

  • It is not recommended to get another PCR test for COVID-19 for the next 90 days unless you develop new symptoms. It is common for a PCR test to remain positive for up to a couple of months, even though you are no longer able to spread the virus. 

Additionally, the Allegheny County Health Department released Isolation and Quarantine Basics for the General Population.  You should continue to inform your Principal, School Nurse, and me if you test positive for COVID-19.  I will provide an official return to work date based on each person’s circumstances. The COVID-19 environment can rapidly change, and we will monitor developments and make modifications to our plans as necessary.

Sincerely,

Deanna Hess, MSEd, BSN, CSN, RN

Chair, Health Services Department


January 2, 2022

Dear Mt. Lebanon Families,

I hope you enjoyed a relaxing winter recess with family and friends. As school resumes tomorrow, we are focused on safely welcoming our students back to our classrooms. Since the beginning of the school year, we have prioritized in-person learning for our students and will continue to do so.

Over the break, our administrative team has closely monitored COVID-19 in our community and region.  The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases has raised considerable concern regarding the continued safe operation of our schools.  The layered mitigation strategies in our Health & Safety Plan will provide a safe learning environment for students and staff.

We will continue to require universal indoor masking for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. In addition, we will continue with the special considerations made for our lunch periods, physical distancing to the maximum extent, and increased ventilation throughout our buildings. 

All of our faculty, staff, and students have had the opportunity to receive the vaccine at one of our clinics. However, if your student was not able to attend a clinic, we encourage you to contact your healthcare provider for more information on obtaining the vaccine, which is readily available throughout the community for all people aged 5+. 

All ten of our schools continue to participate in the pool testing program offered by the PA DOH, and we will begin the “test-to-stay” program in the near future. Please visit our website for more information on joining the pool testing program.  Pool testing is an important part of our layered mitigation strategy and allows us to identify asymptomatic, COVID-positive individuals better. While testing remains important, health experts report that vaccinations continue to be the best strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Recently, the CDC issued revised guidance regarding isolation and quarantine protocols following exposure to COVID-19. Although emerging research suggests that vaccinated individuals may not develop severe illness, they must isolate themselves when infected. The Pennsylvania Department of Education and ACHD have indicated that they will provide additional guidance to schools in the coming days. 

We will monitor individual classrooms and schools and make remote/quarantining decisions as targeted as possible. However, our goal is to remain open for in-person learning to the greatest extent, as long as we have adequate staffing to ensure instruction, supervision, and food service. 

Layered mitigation strategies provide the greatest level of protection. Please assist us in keeping our schools open by following these strategies:

  • Self-screen each morning for COVID-19 symptoms and stay home if not feeling well

  • Correctly wear a well-fitting mask when in school buildings and on school buses, regardless of vaccination status

  • Wash hands often 

  • Maintain physical distance whenever possible 
  • Cooperate with our nursing staff to report positive cases and assist with contact tracing
    • If you contacted the health office over the break, please wait for their return call 
  • Sign up and participate in our pool-testing program

  • Take advantage of vaccination and booster opportunities 

The COVID-19 environment can rapidly change, and we will monitor developments and make modifications to plans as necessary. If you have specific questions, please contact your child’s school nurse. 

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


December 16, 2021

Dear Families,

The Mt. Lebanon School District has become aware of a troubling post that has been shared widely this week on the social media platform TikTok. The post refers to a general threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17.

The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district. We have heard reports from professional associations, who offered this communication template to all schools in the Commonwealth, that the same post is circulating around the country. While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously.

Additionally, the District has contacted the Mt. Lebanon Police Department regarding the post. As a result, we may have an increased police presence in and around our buildings on Friday as an added precaution. 

This situation serves as a good example of why it is important to avoid sharing posts online that refer to school safety threats. Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. Therefore, we ask our families to monitor their children’s social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online. 

If you or your child become aware of any specific threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify the Mt. Lebanon Police Department or your school’s Principal.

As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.

Superintendent


December 12, 2021

Dear Mt. Lebanon Families,

We are excited to welcome home our 2021 PIAA 6A State Champion football team this afternoon.  The team will arrive back to Mt. Lebanon around 2:30 p.m. with a police escort provided by the Mt. Lebanon Police Department.  The team bus will be escorted down Washington Road, which will be closed to traffic between Cedar Boulevard and Lebanon Avenue. 

We encourage our community to line Washington Road, in the area of the closure, for the welcome home parade from 2:00 - 2:30 p.m.  If you are planning to attend, we recommend parking in the North and South garages. Please refrain from parking along the street.

Come out wearing you Blue and Gold and show your LEBO pride for our football team and their undefeated 15-0 season!

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.

Superintendent


December 11, 2021

Dear Mt. Lebanon School District Community,

As you may be aware, yesterday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated the Department of Health’s mask mandate for schools.  At this time the District will follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and the Allegheny County Health Department to continue requiring universal masking for all individuals in our schools and facilities regardless of vaccination status. Universal indoor masking remains a critical component of our layered mitigation strategies, which also include physical distancing, pool testing, and contact tracing.

The safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community is always our highest priority. In addition, we remain committed to providing the Best Education Possible for Each and Every Student.  We believe our low case rate, limited close contacts, and lack of school spread are due to our careful adherence to the mitigation strategies outlined in our Health & Safety Plan. This has allowed us to keep our schools open for in-person instruction.  

We will continue monitoring our community conditions and make adjustments to our Health and Safety Plan only when the circumstances are warranted, or as recommended by public health and safety agencies.  

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.

Superintendent 


December 3, 2021

Dear Jefferson Middle School Families and Students,

Today, we identified a student responsible for drawing what appeared to be a swastika in a restroom stall.  The Mt. Lebanon Police were contacted, and appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken.  This behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. 

Although we know that the student’s behavior particularly has a negative impact on our Jewish families, our initial investigation suggests that this student’s behavior was not intended to target those in the Jewish community. 

We remind our students about the importance that education plays in preventing hateful rhetoric and symbols in our school.  We continue to meet with students on a regular basis, including during our Tuesday Talks, to stress the importance of maintaining a positive and welcoming environment for every student.  

We continue to investigate the similar incidents that have occurred this school year.  A priority at JMS is our commitment to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all of our students that emphasizes respect for all. 

Sincerely,

Sarah Shaw, Ed.D.

Principal


December 1, 2021

Dear High School Families and Students,

I want to follow up from the message I sent last evening regarding a potential threat of a school shooting that was posted on the social media platform, Yik Yak, against a number of schools including Mt. Lebanon High School. The Mt. Lebanon Police, assisted by federal law enforcement authorities, deemed the threat non-credible. 

Late last night, law enforcement made contact with the college student who made the threat. Their interview with this individual confirmed that the threat was not credible.  The college student was upset that the App was being used by high school students, and this individual made the comment hoping that high school students would stop using the App.

The Mt. Lebanon School District will pursue all applicable criminal charges in this case.

The safety and security of your children and our students remains my and the District’s number one priority. We appreciate your patience and support while we worked alongside law enforcement to resolve this matter.

Sincerely,

Joel G. Thompson, Ed.D.

Principal