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Welcome Back Information

EASTERN Cares Logo ColorDear EASTERN Families,

We look forward to welcoming our students to our school on Thursday, September 9th and assisting them as they explore, clarify, and prepare for their future careers.  To prepare, we would like to remind everyone of the safety protocols we have in place and provide some important updates.

Safety Protocols

  • Staff and students are required to wear a mask while in the building
  • Social distancing of 3 feet between students, and 6 feet between staff and students
  • Stay home if you are experiencing COVID symptoms
  • Students who are close contacts to a person who tested positive for COVID must quarantine unless vaccinated.  Vaccinated students who are not symptomatic do not have to quarantine but should be tested within 3-5 days of exposure.   Pending approval from our Joint Operating Committee, we will be able to assist with this testing with parent permission.

Reporting Absences


  • Follow your district calendar.  If your district is scheduled to be closed, then students are not expected to report to EASTERN unless the district is providing transportation to EASTERN.


  • Bus transportation is provided by the high schools.  EASTERN does not receive or maintain transportation information.  Please contact your high school or district transportation department for questions about bus transportation.

Summer Renovations

  • Our summer renovations included renovating Automotive Technology, our main office, nursing suite, and a Practical Nursing classroom.  Our instructional areas are almost complete, and we can’t wait for our Automotive students to see their improved space!  Our main office is still under renovation, so much of the staff has moved to our Seminar Room and other locations throughout the building.  Our nursing suite is located between Protective Services and Automotive Technology which is the same location it was temporarily placed last year.

New Students

  • New to EASTERN and unsure where to go?  Our staff will be placed at the entrances of our building to assist new students in finding their program areas.

Student Drivers

  • Only students who have received temporary parking permits via email may park at EASTERN.
  • Drivers should be prepared to provide a copy of their temporary parking permit email and ID upon arrival.

Student Drop Off

  • Follow sign to entrance/exit ramp
  • Students should not be dropped off until the school doors open
  • Doors open:
    • Morning Session 7:30
    • Afternoon Session 11:45

Student Pick Up

  • Follow signs to ramp
  • We will begin the year with a staggered dismissal, so students will be dismissed by district
  • Scheduled dismissal times:
    • Morning Session 10:15 – 10:30
    • Afternoon Session 2:30 – 2:45

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. 

Administrative Contacts:

Mr. Gerry Rooney, Career and Technical Education Supervisor,

  • Registration, class changes, attendance, parking, special education

Mr. Joe Greb, Assistant Director,

  • Uniform and supplies, industry certifications, program curriculum and instruction

Dr. Cathleen Plesnarski, Executive Director,

  • General feedback or suggestions, pandemic-related safety

Check out my Director’s Update so you can read about the great things happening at EASTERN!  V10 Director Update.pdf

Looking forward to a great year,

Cathleen Plesnarski, Ed.D.
Executive Director

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Parent Portal Information


You received an email from earlier today. The email will include your login credential for the EASETERN Parent Portal and a link to the Information Verification page. It is EXTEMELY IMPORTANT that you use the credentials to log into your account and complete the verification before the first day of school.

Students will not be permitted to participate in hands on or technical training until the information is verified.

Please forward any questions or concerns to:

Wishes for a happy and safe holiday weekend!

Gerry Rooney
Supervisor of Career & Technical Education
Eastern Center for Arts & Technology
215.784.4800 ext. 217
215.784.4801 (fax)

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EASTERN Awarded Top Workplace 2021 Honor

Top Places to Work 2021 PlaqueEastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by The Philadelphia Inquirer Top Workplaces, to be published in their August 21, 2021 edition. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC, a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“I am proud of our staff, faculty, and administration for achieving this honor in such as unique year and under such difficult circumstances,” said Dr. Cathleen Plesnarski, EASTERN’s Executive Director. “We worked together to ensure the school was ready for the various methods of instruction employed throughout the school year. We maintained the family-like atmosphere throughout this unprecedented time, and focused on our safety and wellbeing, as well as the safety and wellbeing of our students and the surrounding community. Thank you to Mary McDonnell, EASTERN’s Practical Nursing Department Administrative Assistant, for nominating the school, and thank you to the staff and faculty for their honest feedback.”

EASTERN staff outside of the school

“During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”

EASTERN is a public school serving students in nine Eastern Montgomery County school districts. Those districts include Abington, Bryn Athyn, Cheltenham, Hatboro-Horsham, Jenkintown, Lower Moreland, Springfield, Upper Dublin and Upper Moreland. Students benefit from specialized career programs that give them a competitive edge in college or in a career. The campus is at 3075 Terwood Road in Willow Grove. For more information please contact Amy Shields, Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator, at 215-784-4806, or visit the school’s website at Like Us? Become a fan on Facebook –, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @EasternCenter.

Making the world a better place to work together. TM Energage is a purpose-driven company that helps organizations turn employee feedback into useful business intelligence and credible employer recognition through Top Workplaces. Built on 14 years of culture research and the results from 23 million employees surveyed across more than 70, 000 organizations, Energage delivers the most accurate competitive benchmark available. With
access to a unique combination of patented analytic tools and expert guidance, Energage customers lead the competition with an engaged workforce and an opportunity to gain recognition for their people-first approach to culture.

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Student Parking at EASTERN

EASTERN Cares Logo ColorBelow are some details about parking at EASTERN for the 2021-22 school year. Please read the details so you are
prepared to complete the application when it opens on August 26th. Additional details can be found on page 7 of the EASTERN Student Handbook and should be reviewed before completing the application. Click here to open the Student Handbook.

2021-2022 Parking

Due to increased enrollment and limited space, parking permits will only be issued to 12th grade students. *If more spaces become available, we will open the process to 11th grade students.

No students are permitted to park at EASTERN at any time without a permit. *This includes the days at the beginning of the school year.

Spaces will be assigned on a first come first served basis.

Student drivers may transport other students with permission from the parents/guardians of both students (driver & passenger).

Student Drivers need to complete a 2021-22 Parking Permit Application.

Student Passengers need to complete a 2021-22 Passenger Application.
*Each of these documents can be accessed on this website under the “Parents and Students” tab beginning on August 26th.

Once approved, parking passes will be delivered to students in their technical classrooms at EASTERN.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Gerry Rooney
Supervisor of Career & Technical Education
Eastern Center for Arts & Technology
215-784-4804 (fax)

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Public Notice


The September 8th, 2021 Joint Operating Committee Agenda Session will be held at 7:15 p.m. and the meeting of the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology’s Joint Operating Committee meeting will be held at 8:00p.m. No public will be admitted to EASTERN due to Governor Wolf’s directives. For your safety and convenience, the meeting will instead be live streamed, and members of the public are invited to attend the meeting virtually and participate in public comment sections of the meeting via Zoom. The meeting agenda can be reviewed here after 8:00 p.m. on September 2, 2021.

The link to register for the Zoom meeting is:

Directions regarding the procedures for public comment through the use of Zoom are as follows:

Persons wishing to comment during the meeting should email their comments to Linda
McAlpine, Board Recording Secretary, at up until 12:00 pm on
Wednesday, September 8, 2021 regarding any agenda or non-agenda item. Such comment will be read publicly at the appropriate time during the meeting. Please note that your name and school district of residence is required in order for your comment to be read publicly during the meeting.

The Board President, at the appropriate time during the meeting, will read those comments publicly, limited to the three (3) minute time limit except at the discretion of the President. Comments and questions shall be limited to issues and should not include any personal or discriminating remarks.

Thank you for your cooperation during this time. Please direct any questions regarding this matter to Linda McAlpine, Recording Secretary.

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Cheryl Steacker Appointed as Long-Term Substitute Culinary Arts Aide

Cheryl Steacker, Culinary Arts Long-term SubstituteCheryl Steacker has been selected as the Culinary Arts Long-Term Substitute Culinary Arts Aide for the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) for three months beginning September 1, 2021. Ms. Steacker will be assisting EASTERN Culinary Arts Instructors, Chef Zachmann and Chef Vozzo, with program instruction, and will be providing individualized assistance to students in the Culinary Arts program.

Ms. Steacker studied at Penn State University Abington campus before discovering her love of the culinary field. Upon deciding to pursue a career in culinary, she obtained her ServSafe certification. The National Restaurant Association, through its ServSafe certification program, aims to educate food-service managers, food-handlers and anyone working in the food-service industry, on best practices for food safety.

Prior to her role at EASTERN, Ms. Steacker was a Philadelphia food event host, on-air demonstrator and culinary content creator, working alongside major appliance brands such as Viking & Subzero. Ms. Steacker also has background in pastry, serving as Pastry Chef and Social Media Manager in bakeries throughout Philadelphia’s surrounding counties.

…continue reading the story called Cheryl Steacker Appointed as Long-Term Substitute Culinary Arts Aide

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EASTERN Safety Protocols Update

EASTERN Cares Logo ColorDear EASTERN Families,

As we prepare to welcome students into our building September 9, 2021 to begin our new school year, we are closely monitoring the level of community spread within our county and the subsequent guidelines and recommendations made by our county’s Department of Public Health.  Click the link for a copy of our updated safety protocols effective today August 16, 2021:  EASTERN Safety Protocols August 16 2021  This document is also posted on our website.  Some of the changes include:

  • Masks:  No change, universal masking mandate indoors for all still in effect.
  • Social Distancing Indoors:  Clarification that staff must distance 6 feet between each other and between themselves and students.  Students must distance a minimum of 3 feet between each other.
  • Quarantine for Close Contact:  The MCOPH does not require vaccinated staff and students who are asymptomatic to quarantine, but they must be tested in 3-5 days after exposure.  Non-vaccinated staff and students must quarantine for 10 days after exposure but can return after 7 days with a negative PCR or antigen test on day 5 or thereafter.


Signature image Cathleen Plesnarski




Cathleen Plesnarski, Ed.D.
Executive Director

EASTERN Administrative Contacts:

Mr. Gerry Rooney, Career and Technical Supervisor,

  • Registration, class changes, attendance questions, parking passes

Mr. Joe Greb, Assistant Director,

  • Uniforms and supplies, industry certifications, curriculum, and instruction

Dr. Cathleen Plesnarski, Executive Director,

  • General feedback or suggestions, pandemic safety protocols
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Welcome, New and Returning Students!

EASTERN Cares Logo Color

Dear EASTERN Families,

We look forward to welcoming our new and returning students to Eastern Center for Arts and Technology on September 9, 2021.  We are dedicated to helping our students clarify and achieve their career goals.  Last year, we launched the school year in a 100% virtual model then transitioned to various hybrid models.  This year we will offer 100% in-person instruction and maintain the recommended safety protocols.  We will not be offering a virtual model for students.  We will open our school for in-person learning five days per week for all students.  We will maintain the same sanitation protocols as last year, but our requirements for masking and social distancing will change as conditions change.  When EASTERN makes these decisions, we look to our county Office of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and our districts to determine protocols for keeping our students safe.  We will start the school year requiring everyone in the building to wear a mask and social distance at least three feet.  As conditions change and our protocols change, we will communicate these changes to parents via our School Messenger email system and by posting updates on our website.  You can access our Health and Safety Plan and current Safety Protocols on the main page of our website.

Safety Planning:  We made extensive modifications to our building last year to increase safety in response to the pandemic.  These include the following:

  • Sanitizing Stations:  Hands-free sanitation stations have been installed at every entrance and sanitizer is available in every classroom
  • Restrooms:  Converted to hands-free functionality (soap, water, towels, and flushing)
  • Water fountains:  Replaced to include filtered fill-stations
  • HVAC System:  Increased air flow and filtration and installation of bipolar ionization
  • Nurse’s Suite:  Moved to larger space to allow for social distancing and isolation room

Safety Protocols:  We have safety protocols in place that adhere to CDC recommendations.  These protocols will be monitored and strictly enforced.  These include:

  • Masks:  Everyone must wear a mask while inside our building.  Masks must be worn correctly, with complete coverage of the mouth and nose.  All masks must have two or more layers of fabric and may not have exhalation valves.  Students and staff will not be permitted to enter the building without a mask.
  • Social Distancing:  Students and staff must always maintain a minimum of 3 feet of social distancing.
  • Water Fountains:  Water fountain “bubblers” have been disabled, but students may refill a water bottle at the fill-station part of the water fountain.  Four of these have been installed in our building.
  • Cleaning/Disinfecting:  High-touch areas will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day and classroom/lab areas will be disinfected after each session.
  • Screening/COVID Reporting:  Staff and students will be asked to self-screen before coming to EASTERN.  Please keep symptomatic students at home.  If your child tests positive for COVID or has been a close contact and is required to quarantine, please email this information to
  • Transportation:  Transportation to and from EASTERN is provided by the districts, but we do have parking for student drivers and a drop off point for parents to use when transporting their children to us.  Please note that you should reach out to your high school for transportation questions about bus schedules and our parking for students is limited.  Due to limitations in parking and an increase in enrollment, only Seniors may apply for a driving pass.  You will be receiving an email from our Career and Technical Supervisor, Mr. Gerry Rooney, with more information. Students must arrive or be dropped off for the AM session between 7:30 and 7:45.  Students will not be able to enter the building until 7:30.  Students must arrive or be dropped off for the PM session between 11:45 and 12:00.  Students will not be able to enter the building until 11:45.

EASTERN Administrative Team:  We have three administrators at EASTERN, including myself.  You should have already received communication from our Assistant Director, Mr. Joe Greb, about uniform purchases and SkillsUSA.  Below is a list of our administrators, their contact information, and areas of responsibility.  Please feel free to contact us.  We love to hear from our parents.

Mr. Gerry Rooney, Career and Technical Supervisor,

  • Registration, class changes, attendance questions, parking passes

Mr. Joe Greb, Assistant Director,

  • Uniforms and supplies, industry certifications, curriculum, and instruction

Dr. Cathleen Plesnarski, Executive Director,

  • General feedback or suggestions, pandemic safety protocols


Cathleen Plesnarski, Ed.D.
Executive Director

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