8/7/20 Community Update

Dear Hatboro-Horsham School District Families:


Let me start off this communication by saying that our district teachers and administrators wanted more than anything to see the smiling faces of Hatboro-Horsham students in their classrooms on September 8.  Based on our community surveys, I know that many of you wanted this too.  As we considered options, our team worked tirelessly on structuring a plan that would enable students to return to our buildings safely. 

Unfortunately, the unpredictable nature of this pandemic, which has seen case counts rise in our district and in the county, has underscored the need to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff over all else.  On August 3, the Hatboro-Horsham Board of School Directors approved the recommendation from the administration that our District begin the 2020-21 school year with remote learning through the first quarter of the school year (November 11, 2020). As we explore transitioning students to return to the building in a hybrid model, we will continually monitor relevant health data, consult with the Montgomery County Department of Health and local experts, and refine health and safety procedures.  

In an effort to support students with special needs, some small group, in-person instruction will be provided on a case-by-case basis during the first quarter of the school year. In these instances, health and safety protocols will be fully implemented. We will be communicating directly with these families to coordinate programming.

I think it is important to point out that the delivery of remote education this year will be a more robust learning experience for students than it was in March, when the District was abruptly thrust into home-based instruction.  Teachers have already begun participating in a series of summer professional development opportunities aimed to enhance technology skills and improve instructional strategies for engaging students in a remote learning environment.  I know they are eager to begin their remote work with our students. Families and students can expect a structured school day with multiple opportunities for real-time connections with teachers and staff.

Procedures for device distribution to all students, K-12, have been established. We want all students to receive their devices in August, prior to the start of school. Information about how to pickup a device can be found here.

Recognizing that our families will have many questions as the September 8 start of school approaches, we will be preparing an FAQ to address questions about reopening, with additional content posted on the website and pushed out to district families as details are firmed up. I encourage you to use the email set up to collect questions at reopening@Hatboro-Horsham.org . Also, if you missed the August 3 Board meeting with the presentation on reopening our schools, I invite you to view it here. The PowerPoint presentation on Reopening Schools, which includes survey results, can be seen here.

 In summary, please know that I share with your family the disappointment of accepting that students will not be in their schools this fall. We are committed to keeping you informed about relevant information and the progress of our assessment as we work to safely return students to school. You can expect regular updates from me and communication from your principals soon about reopening details by building.   

 

Until then, stay safe and healthy.

 

Sincerely,

Scott Eveslage, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools