VIRTUAL LEARNING SUPPORT INITIATIVE

Starting this Fall

September 1st, 2020
(Age Group Update)

We are now accepting students in K-12 grade.

August 23, 2020
(Updated Letter.  Scroll down to see our August 5th letter for our original plan)

A few weeks ago, we wrote to you about our Virtual Learning Support Initiative, a program we are offering to help families who may need a safe, structured place for their children to pursue their virtual learning.  Today we have some important updates:

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

We are extremely excited that our program is being led by Kelly Dyke.

  • A 1989 graduate of State College Area High School
  • Received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Elementary Education from Penn State in 1994.
  • 18 years of experience in the public school system working as a day-to-day substitute, a long-term substitute, and in homebound instruction.

Kelly and her team will be here every day to help keep children on-task and to provide support wherever possible.

FLEXIBILITY FOR ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Just as many school districts and families have been working hard to come up with the best solutions in an ever-changing situation, so have we.

  • We are now opening this program up to ALL virtual learners from 4th grade through high school.
  • The program hours will remain 7:30 AM – 3:40 PM but the schedule within the day will be flexible to help as many as we can; so we are open to students from all school districts.
  • We will work with different schedules and group students with similar needs together to the extent possible.

FLEXIBILITY IN SCHEDULING OF DAYS (NO MINIMUMS)

  • Our program is configured to allow you to register for just one day or as many as 90.
  • We offer a discount if you register for a certain number of days up-front but you do not need to commit to a particular schedule or to any specific days.
  • Register for just the days that work for you, register week-to-week, or register day-by-day.

SIBLING DISCOUNT

  • If a family would like to enroll more than one child, the fee for the first child will not be discounted but the fees for each subsequent child will be discounted 20%.

This program offers structure, stability, and interaction for virtual learners and we want to be as flexible as possible for you.  For more information on the program, please click HERE.  If you wish to talk with someone to discuss more details, please do not hesitate to call our facility at (814) 689-1802.

Warm Regards,

Nittany Valley Sports Centre Staff

August 5, 2020
Original Letter

Dear Nittany Valley Sports Centre Family,

I am writing to you today with an important and timely message.  It’s a little lengthy but it contains important information and I encourage you to read it in its entirety.  My name is Michael Lee and I am the Owner and General Manager of the Nittany Valley Sports Centre.  When I set out to develop an indoor sports facility to serve this region I did so with the hope of providing more opportunities for everyone to play and recreate throughout the year in a comfortable environment.  I also wanted to find ways that this facility could offer something more to the community whenever possible.  We now feel that we have an opportunity to do just that.

As most of you probably know, the State College Area School District will be going back to school this fall with a modified schedule that will have many middle school and high school students physically attending school every other day and doing their learning virtually on the alternate days.  There is also the option to choose virtual learning for the entire year for both secondary students and elementary school students.  As a father of four children, I understand that this arrangement, while allowing the school district to manage the in-school educational experience more safely, is extremely challenging for many families.  The questions of how to manage a schedule with children that will be home every other day and how to ensure that on-line learning is progressing properly are difficult to answer.

Our building, located just two miles from Beaver Stadium and one mile from the airport, currently has over an acre of wide-open space, with 35’-0” ceilings, and a ventilation system sized to accommodate over 1200 people.  When our second phase is completed in November, the open floor space will be increased to 90,000 square feet.  Additionally, during the school year, almost all our programming happens after school hours.  After considering all these factors and the challenges facing families with school-aged children, we have created a program that can provide relief.  I am proud to announce Nittany Valley Sports Centre’s Virtual Learning Support Initiative.  This program will provide a place for children on the days they are not in school where they can pursue their virtual learning in a safe and structured program, have progress on their schoolwork monitored, and get some recreation to help break up the day and assist with focus during work times.  This program will follow the State College Area School District academic calendar and can provide a lot of opportunity for many families.  However, since the education of your children is such a personal decision and there is a lot for everyone to consider, I want to be very clear about what this program will offer and what it will not.

This program WILL:

  • Be open to students entering 4th grade and older from any school district with a virtual learning plan.
  • Provide a team of dedicated adults led by a professional educator who is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to guide/proctor your student(s) during their online learning.  The proctor/student ratio will be no less than 1:20.  The exact ratio may vary depending on the enrollment for each day.
  • House students in a clean, comfortable, well-lit facility with plentiful restroom facilities and a cleaning and sanitizing program meeting Pennsylvania Department of Health and CDC recommendations.
  • Require participants to comply with the latest COVID-related safety requirements issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Governor’s office.
  • Provide sufficient space with desks/tables configured to allow for the amount of social distancing that the State College Area School District will be implementing for their in-person learning
  • Monitor each individual student’s schoolwork requirements/assignments, assist in keeping the students on-track to fulfill those requirements, and keep parents/guardians apprised if it appears that the student is not keeping up for whatever reason
  • Provide high-speed internet via Wi-Fi, and power for laptop charging
  • Provide for breaks between structured learning times where students can take part in directed recreational activities or quietly relax on their own
  • Allow for the option of purchasing lunch and/or snacks through our café

This program WILL NOT:

  • Be a substitute for parents or teachers.  With our professionally led staff we will be able to support your students with structure, some direction, and maybe some occasional assistance with some questions.  However, we will not be able to provide instruction for either individuals or groups.  We be monitors and supporters, not teachers.
  • Necessarily provide daily updates on students’ progress.  Our staff will be monitoring the schoolwork requirements and each student’s progress toward completing their work and we will provide feedback to parents should we observe a student failing to complete their assignments or generally appearing to struggle.  Each student and their parents/guardians will still be responsible for verifying that all school requirements are being met and for reaching out to teachers or other school district officials for all educational support.
  • Provide support services for students with 504 or IEP plans.  We want to offer a resource to as many as possible, but our staff does not have the credentials to offer support to students with these plans.  Students with special support needs are encouraged to continue to work directly with the school district to receive that support.
  • Provide computers for students’ use
  • Provide transportation

We are very excited to use our facility to provide an important option as our community navigates the difficult decisions surrounding the upcoming school year.  Information on the daily schedule, registration and cost information, the proposed layout of our facility, and related details for this program are presented on the following pages.  We also have a portal open at our website for you to submit your anonymous questions to us.  This will remain open until the program starts.  To allow everyone to benefit from others’ questions, we will respond to each question as quickly as possible and post both the question and our response on our website.

Thank you to so many of you for your support of our facility since we opened last year and a special thank you for your time today.

Warm Regards,

Michael Lee

General Manager
Nittany Valley Sports Centre

  • K-12 Grade.
  • Students from all school districts with virtual learning options are welcome.
  • The program is limited to 150 participants per day to allow us to properly distance students and provide a comfortable environment.
  • We are flexible with arrival and departure times based on your school schedule and family situation.
  • Arrival from 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM and departure at 4:00 PM. After-school activity for an additional fee is available until 6:00 PM.
  • We will provide structured recreational opportunities during breaks in the school days according to the schedules for each particular day. Recreation will occur either outside or in a specifically designated area to avoid mixing of groups.
  • To the extent possible we will be meeting or exceeding the distancing between students that the State College Area School District will be employing within their schools.
  • We will be limiting groups to 25 or fewer and each group will stay together for the entire day. Mixing of groups will be avoided with planned movement of groups at prescribed times.
  • Please see the attached building diagrams for additional information on the planned configuration of the building.
  • Our facility diagram is below (click to enlarge):
  • $45 per day to register for individual dates
  • If you register for at least 40 sessions, you will receive a $225 discount, which will be applied at checkout.
  • Lunch (optional) – $7.00 per day (choose one of three entrees, a side, and a drink)
  • After-school activity (until 6:00 PM) – $12.00 per day.
  • All registrations are subject to a $40.00, non-refundable administrative fee.
  • Refunds for reasons other than state-mandated COVID-19 closures, will be offered until August 23, 2020. All refunds after that date will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and will be issued as account credit only.
  • If the program must be altered or stopped due to a COVID-19 mandate from a state or local authority, full refunds for any unused days, minus the administrative fee, will be provided.
  • Registration is available for all dates through January 19, 2021, which is the end of the semester on SCASD’s academic calendar.
  • Registration for later dates will occur in November.

FAQs

At this time we do not plan to offer any recreational opportunities during the school day, except for those registered for the program. There will, however, be an after-school program available.

We are suggesting that children with IEPs do not attend because we cannot support their needs properly and, as a result, the situation could become problematic for that student and the other students. We are willing to discuss specific situations individually.

The after-school program available for people not registered for the school day.