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Important Messages From the Principal

The following information below were emails sent home from the acting principal, Mr. Thompson.  These emails contain important information about the end of the year activities during these changing times.  

 

Parent communications


May 21, 2020

Good morning,

I hope this email finds you and those important to you safe and healthy during this difficult time.

This message is to inform our graduating seniors of the plan to collect all school materials. Our plan is compliant with current state guidelines.

Due to this unique circumstance we have created a safe method to collect textbooks, outstanding deficiency items that need to be cleared and other school owned supplies. To comply with group gathering requirements in the “yellow phase” we are scheduling students to enter the high school by homeroom (each homeroom has less than 25 total students).

 The schedule and directions are below. Please adhere to these guidelines and times to ensure everyone’s safety:

All cars should park in the South Lot.

 

  • Students should all wear a mask. Students without masks will be turned away. Masks will not be provided.

  • Students should enter through the doors located at A-2 (auditorium entrance).

  • If necessary, students should go to their locker to retrieve books or personal items.

    • Any items left in lockers will be discarded.

  • Students should have their name and their teacher’s name on a post it style note, or a piece of paper attached to the outside cover of each book being returned.

  • Students will then take the stairs to Center Court where tables will be set up for the return of items. There will be a designated space to return items for each of the following:  all subject areas, library books, athletic items and to return items listed in deficiencies or pay for them. Payments can be made on site with cash or checks. 

    • Checks should be made payable to Mt. Lebanon School District. All deficiencies must be cleared prior to receiving your Cap and Gown (all caps and gowns will be distributed at a later date).

  • Lunch account deficiencies can be paid at this time as well. If there is a question regarding a lunch account please email Mr. Nolen Fetchko at nfetchko@mtlsd.net

    • Lunch deficiencies must be paid with a separate check than deficiencies paid for all other items.

  • Students should check their Dashboard accounts prior to entering the building so that they are aware of any deficiencies that must be cleared.

  • After turning in the books and other items students will proceed down the grand staircase and exit through C-20 and proceed to the South parking lot.

  • Staff will be in the building to ensure safe social distancing. 

  • To minimize the time spent in the building we ask that students not socialize and instead quickly complete the necessary tasks and exit the building.

  • Please adhere closely to the scheduled times listed in the table below.

  • Items not returned at this time will be submitted as a deficiency. 

  • District Chromebooks will be collected at a different time so students can continue with their classes.

 

Time

Tuesday May 26

Wednesday May 27

Thursday May 28

9:00-9:30AM

Lumish-12-101

Savarese-12-201

Walters-12-301

9:45- 10:15AM

Johnson-12-102

Shultz-12-202

Raspanti-12-302

10:30-11:00AM

Quintero-12-103

Jones-12-203

Booth-12-303

11:00AM-1:00PM

     

1:15-1:45PM

Merriman-12-104

S.Miller-12-204

Meer-12-304

2:00-2:30PM

Ritchey-12-105

Passodelis-12-205

Lucas-12-305

2:45- 3:15PM

Villa-12-106

Lewis-12-206

Davidson-12-306

3:30- 4:00PM

Rizzo-Parkway 12th grade only 

 E. Miller-12-207

Dinardo-12-307

Thank you,

 

 

Daniel T. Ridge

Acting Unit 1 Principal


 

May 19, 2020

Dear Class of 2020,

As we have said before, the way that this year will end is certainly not as anyone expected. While we loved seeing you recognized on social media for your contributions to athletics, the arts, and activities, and we enjoyed being a part of the Lebo Seniors’ Blue and Gold Spirit Week (April 20-24) and participating in the Virtual Spirit Week (May 11-15) hosted by the Class of 2020, we wanted to do something special to commemorate your last day of school.

On May 29, 2020, in partnership with the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department, the Mt. Lebanon Police Department, and the Mt. Lebanon Municipality we have organized a “Class of 2020 Senior Salute.” Starting at 9:00AM vehicles with representatives from each of the organizations involved will drive slowly past every individual seniors’ house. While this mini-parade of vehicles will not stop at any homes, our vehicles will be decorated and we will be sure to make plenty of noise to recognize you.

We invite seniors and their families to come out of their homes to see the vehicles as they pass by each home. While it is hard to know exact time, please use the following times as a rough estimate of when to expect to see us:

By Neighborhood

Sunset Hills / Howe……………………………….. 9:00 AM

Castle Shannon Business District………………. 10:00 AM

Mission Hills………………………………………...10:30 AM

Sunridge Neighborhood…………………………...11:00 AM

Hoodridge Hilands / Foster Neighborhood……....11:15 AM

Markham Neighborhood……………………………12:00

Carleton Manor……………………………………...1:00 PM

Cedarhurst Manor…………………………………..1:15 PM

Jefferson Neighborhood…………………………....2:00 PM

Virginia Manor……………………………………….2:30 PM

Twin Hills / Beverly Road Neighborhood…………3:00 PM

Uptown Mt. Lebanon………………………………..4:00 PM

While we hope to see you outside of your homes, please be sure of the following:

  • Follow all current Allegheny County Health Department and Center for Disease Control guidelines for social distancing

  • Do not congregate in large groups

  • Do not join the parade by foot or any type of vehicle

We expect this event to last the full day and we have made every effort to include the home of each senior. We will do our best to tweet out our location as we move throughout the community @MTLSD and @JThompsonMTLSD.  I want to thank the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department who created the route for this event and the Mt. Lebanon Police and the Mt. Lebanon Municipality who are supporting us in the activity. This is truly a community effort to celebrate your last day of school. 

Once again, congratulations on making it to the end of this school year. We cannot wait to see you along our route!

 

Sincerely,

Mr. Joel Thompson

Acting Principal


May 6, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

 

 With Advanced Placement (AP) exams beginning next week we wanted to provide an update on deadlines to submit assignments for students who are taking AP exams. All AP exams will be administered in the afternoon and to stay consistent with past practice, students will be marked excused (SCH) in PowerSchool on the day of the exam. That means students will not have to turn in any work the day of their exam. Instead, work will be due the following day by 11:59PM.  Teachers will be informed of this policy as well and we hope that this approach allows students who have worked hard all year to focus their energy solely on their AP exam(s) on that particular day without having to worry about work in additional classes. 

 Also, a detailed email was sent from the School Counseling office to all those taking an AP Exam with a lot of critical information from College Board. Please take the time to review this email (titled "AP Testing: Final Preparations") before your first exam and don't hesitate to reach out to your teacher or Mr. Bowles, AP Coordinator, cbowles@mtlsd.net,  with any questions. 

 Sincerely,

Joel Thompson

Acting Principal


May 1, 2020

Dear Parents and Students,

I know this year is not what we ever anticipated for the 2019-20 school year and for the Class of 2020. We continue to adapt as information becomes available with regard to holding major milestone events such as Commencement and Prom.  It has become clear based on the recent article that quotes Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, that our in-person graduation ceremony will not occur on June 9, 2020.  Although the ceremony is not possible on June 9, please know that Seniors will be considered an official graduate having completed all requirements as set forth by the Mt. Lebanon Board of School Directors and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Throughout my conversations with members of the Class of 2020, it is clear that students want to have a Commencement ceremony on the field at Mt. Lebanon High School.  I remain hopeful that we will be able to conduct an in-person graduation ceremony on our new date of July 28, 2020.  

We will continue to monitor guidance provided from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health and Governor’s office relating to our new date.  In light of this news, we moved up a scheduled construction project on the turf to make the July 28 date possible.      

As announced earlier this week and in anticipation of the social distancing guidelines being extended, we have created a second Prom date on July 23. In conjunction with the postponement of Commencement, we have decided to officially move the date of Prom to July 23, 2020. Lastly, we are working on rescheduling Senior Reception, Senior Picnic in the Park, and Commencement Rehearsal to align with our new Prom and Commencement dates in late July. 

We will provide an updated list of events as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Mr. Joel Thompson 

Acting Principal


Dear Class of 2020,

Thank you for your participation in the survey to determine the date and location of Prom 2020. After tallying the votes, the clear decision is to set an alternative Prom date for Thursday, July 23, 2020 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. The plan would be to follow the format used in previous years with respect to the times, activities, and entertainment during the Prom.

While we are excited to have an alternative date, I want to make it clear that Prom 2020 is still planned for Thursday, June 2 at the Omni William Penn Hotel.  We will continue to monitor guidance provided from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health and Governor’s office about potential restrictions on large group gatherings. We will alert you if we need to officially move to the alternate date of July 23, 2020.

Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and work to provide the opportunity for these important milestone events.

Sincerely,

Mr. Joel Thompson

Acting Principal


Dear Student and Parents/Guardians,

I hope that this email communication finds you and your family well during this time. I, again, want to thank you for your continued patience as we all attempt to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. As you are aware, the closure of school and government restrictions on social gatherings have created significant changes to many of our typical end of year programs and activities. Over the last several weeks the administration has met with various students, parents, organization sponsors, and teachers to determine how to preserve the many wonderful end of year activities at Mt. Lebanon High School. I thank all of those involved in the conversations as their feedback and ideas have helped us identify possible solutions. While we do not have complete details for all events I wanted to share what we know to date for events that were scheduled to occur within the next month and Senior specific events:

Event

Original Dates

Update

Evening Theater Company production of A Wrinkle in Time

March 19-21, 2020

A recording of a dress rehearsal will be shared with students and families. We do not have a release date at this time. More information about the Evening Theater Company show will be communicated by the Director, Ms. Jennifer Majetic.

National Honor Society Ceremony

April 2, 2020

On Tuesday, April 21, an email was sent to our newest inductees to notify them of their selection into NHS. An interactive website will be launched on May 7 to recognize each individual inductee.

Mini-THON

April 3, 2020

The Mini-THON in-person event has been canceled. However, the Mini-THON co-chairs are still hard at work raising money online. Interested individuals can participate until April 30. To learn more click Mini-THON Update.pdf 

2020 Mt. Lebanon High School Annual Art Show

April 24, 2020

This in-person event has been canceled. We are currently working to create a virtual show that we will share with students and families. More information about the Art Show will be communicated by Mrs. Jennifer Rodriguez.

Percussion Recital

April 24-25, 2020

This in-person event has been canceled. More information about the Percussion Recital will be communicated by the Director of Mt. Lebanon Percussion, Mr. Jeremy DeLuca.

High School Musical

May 7-9, 2020

The government restrictions prohibit members of the musical cast and crew to gather to practice and/or build the set. Because the musical requires many hours of in-person practice time we will be unable to perform the musical this year. Our staff is hard at work to create a means to feature our students and highlights our seniors. More information about the musical will be communicated by the Producer, Mr. Ethan LaPlaca

Percussion Concert

May 21-23, 2020

This in-person event has been canceled. Our staff is hard at work to create a means to feature our students and highlights our seniors. More information will be communicated by the Director of Mt. Lebanon Percussion, Mr. Jeremy DeLuca.

Senior Reception

May 21, 2020

The Senior Reception is postponed. This event will be rescheduled if we are forced to postpone Prom and Commencement. More information will be forthcoming

High School Awards Ceremony

May 26, 2020

We have continued our normal process to gather award winners from the various award sponsors. The High School is working with the many sponsors to determine possible next steps. We will notify our award winners of their selection prior to the originally scheduled May 26th date. More information about how we are recognizing those students will be forthcoming.

Class of 2020 Prom

June 2, 2020

The Prom is still scheduled to be held on June 2, 2020 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. However, we recognize that government restrictions on social gatherings may force us to postpone this date. We are finalizing three additional dates in late July to hold the Prom. The location of the Prom will depend on the date selected. Seniors will receive a Google Form survey Friday, April 23 to help make the final decision about the date and location for the event.

Senior Picnic in the Park

June 8, 2020

The Senior Picnic in the Park is still scheduled to be held on June 8, 2020 in Mt. Lebanon Park. However, we recognize that government restrictions on social gatherings may force us to postpone this date. If we must postpone this event we will reschedule it close to the time of the rescheduled Prom and Commencement (if necessary). More information will be forthcoming.

Graduation

June 9, 2020

Commencement is still scheduled to be held on June 9, 2020 at Mt. Lebanon High School. However, we recognize that government restrictions on social gatherings may force us to postpone this date. We understand the importance of advance notice and we will soon finalize another possible Commencement date for later in the summer. More information will be forthcoming.

In addition to the changes above we have decided to cancel Semester Exams for all students. This decision was made, in line with many others, to lessen undue stress on our students. This means that the last day of school for the Class of 2020 will be May 29. Students in grades 9-11 will have normal S@H days on the previously scheduled Semester Exams dates (June 1, 5 & 8). The final day of school for all underclassmen will be June 9, 2020 (as originally planned).

We continue to recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has created increased uncertainty and stress for our students, families, faculty, and staff. We are committed to continuous improvement with respect to our S@H model and greatly appreciated the feedback we received from the most recent survey. Additional surveys will be used in the future to access more feedback. Lastly, we are working tirelessly to find new and different ways to highlight our students and recognize our very special senior class. I cannot thank you enough for your patience, empathy, and kindness as we all come together to create a new way forward.

Sincerely,

Joel Thompson

Acting Principal


April 9, 2020

Dear Students,

While it will take time to fully process Governor Wolf’s announcement today that school, in our physical building, is now closed for the remainder of the academic year, I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts. 

It is difficult to calculate all that this closure has cost us - the countless smiles and jokes exchanged in our classrooms, halls, and Center Court; thought provoking classroom discussions with teachers and classmates; the moments of exhilaration before, during, and after a performance; the exhaustion and pride of celebrating a win with our teammates; and all of the other moments that make being a part of Mt. Lebanon High School so special. To our underclassmen, I look forward to the day when we reunite and are able to continue on with the many wonderful traditions of our proud school. When we return, use the blueprint provided by the Class of 2020, as well as the many other alumni who have come before you, to combine your unique personalities with the wonderful opportunities available to you.  I am grateful to the class of 2020.  I hope that you have learned as much from them as I have about what it means to be a Blue Devil.

Seniors, of all of the students in our school, it is each of you that I feel for the most at this moment. While I feel for all of you, I know I cannot fully grasp what this closure means to each of you.  You deserve a far better end to your remarkable careers at Mt. Lebanon.

As I’ve talked with various groups of seniors over the past two weeks, I’ve heard about your interest and shared our desire to maintain milestone moments, moments that everyone should be able to fondly recall as they think back on their high school experience. That last performance, the final game, Senior Reception, Prom, and Commencement. This pandemic has significantly changed our lives, your school experience, and how these milestone experiences will look and whether they will happen at all. 

I know that what makes these milestone moments so special is that we share them together. It is deeply unfortunate and troubling that the moment we are currently in calls upon us to be physically apart.  I know you have questions about these events.  At this moment, unfortunately, I do not have the answers to all of your questions. However, I can promise you that we will continue to consider and work on how we can facilitate some of those experiences, even if they are not in the traditional format. 

Although the Governor's decision today dramatically changes how our year will end, it does not end our year. We will, as Mt. Lebanon High School, continue to learn, grow, and change. In virtual ways we will laugh, smile, and joke with one another; we will engage in discussions with our teachers and classmates; we will find new ways to develop a sense of community; and we will work to preserve traditions that we all cherish. Together, we will get through this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Joel Thompson

Acting Principal


April 3, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian and Students,

First, I hope that this message finds you and your family well. Additionally, I hope that your first week of online learning allowed you to reacquaint yourself with your classmates, teachers, and courses. While I know this mode of instruction is different from instruction in the building, please know that your teachers are working incredibly hard to find ways to continue to provide high quality instruction that aligns with the course curriculum and allows all students to access the learning according to each individual student's needs. 

With Governor Wolf’s announcement that schools throughout the state of Pennsylvania will be closed indefinitely, we are now shifting to a more robust online learning environment called School @ Home (S@H). As we transition from Flexible Instruction Days (FIDs) to S@H starting on Monday April 6, I wanted to point out a few items.

  • Starting on Monday, April 6 students will be able to access assignments starting at 8:30 a.m. (instead of 10:00 a.m. with FIDs). Students are expected to complete each day’s activity by the end of the day (11:59PM unless otherwise specified by a teacher)

  • IMPORTANT- Student Attendance: Parents/guardians who know their child WILL NOT be able to participate in learning on a particular day (personal illness, medical or dental appointment, etc.) must complete this FORM as an excuse for the day’s instruction. All students will be considered PRESENT and expected to complete their work unless we receive a submitted FORM.

  • Our school counseling department continues to be available for students and families with questions and concerns. Their most recent newsletter is full of good tips and helpful resources, including a google form that students can fill out to schedule a time to “meet” with their counselor.

  • Move information about S@H can be found on the district website using this LINK. Including the following topics:

    • Office Hours, AP Testing, Grades, Future College Admissions and many other topics.

Lastly to our students, I know there will be some growing pains, for both you and your teachers, but I am confident that, through resilience, collaboration,  resourcefulness and working together, we will find a positive way forward. As I told the Senior Council Executive Officers during a recent Google Meet, we are still Mt. Lebanon High School, and we will work to ensure students still receive the high school experience they deserve. 

Sincerely,

Joel Thompson

Acting Principal


March 26, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,

Thank you again for your continued patience during this extended school shut down. I hope that you and your family are well and finding ways to meaningfully spend this time together. We are all looking forward to a return to instruction which begins with Flexible Instruction Days (FID) on Monday, March 30, this will be considered a Day 3 in our day rotation. Please note, this is a different day in the rotation from where we left off when school was initially closed. The change was made to align the high school with the other buildings in the district to reduce confusion within families. Students are expected to check Dashboard at 10:00AM to find assignment information. Students should then work throughout the day to complete the assignments. Teachers are available to answer student questions between 10-12 and 1-3. More information about FID can be found at this LINK

Additionally, per Governor Wolf’s order on March 23, the high school will remain closed until at least April 6, 2020. While this does not impact our online instruction beginning March 30, it does mean that all sports and activities are cancelled until we return to normal school operations. Specifically, the following events will be postponed.

  • March 27- Spirit Assembly (during the school day)- Postponed

    • The Student Council Executive Officers, Mrs. Judith Kolko, and the High School Administration are currently working together to determine if/when this event could be rescheduled. More information will be provided at a later date.

  • April 1- Choral Concert at Mt. Lebanon Methodist Church- Postponed

    • We are currently looking for opportunities to reschedule this event. More information will be provided at a later date.

  • April 2- National Honor Society (NHS) Induction Ceremony- Postponed

    • The NHS induction committee is almost finished reviewing applicants. Individuals who meet the requirements of the NHS will be notified soon.  We are currently looking for opportunities to reschedule the induction ceremony for a later date or the potential to hold an alternative virtual ceremony. We ask for your patience as the COVID-19 evolving situation will determine how we are able to recognize and honor our newest inductees.

  • April 3- Mini THON- Postponed

    •  We are working with the student chairpersons, Judith Kolko, and the High School Administration to determine if/when we can host this event. More information will be provided at a later date.

Lastly, students who need materials from the school to complete online learning should contact their Unit Principal. Unit Principals are communicating with one another to ensure no more than ten students are in the building at the same time. While we are not in the building, your teachers, counselors, and administrators are still here to help you. Please feel free to email any of those individuals if you have questions or concerns. Again, I sincerely appreciate your patience during this extended school closure. We recognize that this pandemic has changed many of our daily routines and added new stressors to students and families. As we transition back to instruction, we will provide the flexibility and support for our students to continue to be successful.

Sincerely,

Joel Thompson


March 19, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As we now enter the final days of the week I want to touch base about a few questions and concerns that we have received, as well as, provide some links to virtual learning opportunities for students.

First, please know that the safety and well-being of our students, families, and greater community are our number one priority. For that reason, in addition to closing school, Athletic Director John Grogan informed all coaches that starting Monday March 16 (until further notice) there should not be any organized practices, “Captains Practices”, in-person group film sessions, or workouts for Mt. Lebanon High School sports. In addition to our coaches, students and families should refrain from organizing in-person group athletic activities. All students and families should follow guidelines set by the State of Pennsylvania  and Presidential Guidelines in collaboration with the Center for Disease Control with respect to social gatherings and social distancing. 

Next, I know that many students and families are looking for educational activities and opportunities to continue learning while school is closed. Thanks to the collaborative effort of teachers and the Unit Principals, I offer you the following LINK which has a number of resources appropriate for our high school aged students.

Lastly, we have received questions and concerns about various deadlines that are approaching, including long range projects assigned by teachers before the school closure was announced, community service hours, and others. All deadlines will be modified once we return to instruction. Communication will be shared by the appropriate party (teacher, counselor, administrator, etc.) when new deadlines are established.

In the meantime, I again offer my thoughts and support as we all experience the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that we all are looking forward to the start of instruction again and the administration is working hard to ensure it happens as soon as possible. Stay safe!

 

Sincerely,

Joel Thompson

Acting Principal