School Reopening 2020-21
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11/13/20 Community Update
Dear Hatboro-Horsham Staff and Families,
As shared earlier this week, Montgomery County and many parts of Pennsylvania and the U.S. are seeing increases in COVID positivity rates and incidence rates.
Next week will be the second consecutive week that Montgomery County will fall into the substantial level of community transmission of COVID-19, per the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the PA Department of Health metrics. This is a result of daily incidence rates of greater than 100 cases per 100,000 residents. This guidance, available HERE, suggests monitoring public health data and adjusting instructional delivery models after two consecutive weeks upon newly entering a different level.
To proactively address the potential for school-based transmission of COVID-19, and in anticipation that families will be gathering and traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Montgomery County Board of Health today voted to order all public and private K-12 schools to move to virtual/remote learning only between November 23rd and December 6th. This order applies to all students and requires that schools suspend extra-curricular activities and sports through December 6.
In the upcoming school days, students who are scheduled to return in-person on any given day may elect to remain at home and access their instruction remotely. We want to extend additional flexibility to families who may have heightened concern with the numbers.
Some important notes about the shift to remote learning:
- The directed closure includes seven student instructional days.
- The school calendar will not be impacted. November 26 and 27 (Thanksgiving) and November 30 (staff development) were previously scheduled as non-school days for students and will remain this way.
- We will maintain the current class rosters and daily schedules that are in place now. This will allow smooth transition back to our current program upon return. This includes maintaining the current start and end times at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Students who recently changed teachers or schedules during our reorganization for hybrid will keep their current schedule and teacher. Hatter Academy students and teachers will remain intact.
- Services for students that are currently scheduled will be maintained but delivered remotely.
- Between November 23 and December 6, all non-essential staff will work remotely. Teachers will not teach from their classroom during these two weeks. Staff and students should make the necessary preparations next week to gather materials, bring home devices, and prepare for remote instruction.
- All HHSD facilities, including schools, district buildings, athletic fields, stadiums, playgrounds, and properties will be closed. All use of the facilities by community groups will be cancelled during this two-week period.
- Pre-K and before- and after-school care programs will mirror the in-person school and hybrid experiences. These will not operate during this time.
- Food Service and meal distribution will continue. Communication about specific times for available pick-up will be released soon and updated HERE.
Improving our local health data is necessary to help return our students to in-person instruction. We need a community commitment to do so. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and vigilance with safety measures (masks, distancing, hygiene) both in and out of school, as well as the careful monitoring of students for illness in the mornings.
Wishing everyone good health. Please stay safe and be well.
Scott T. Eveslage, Ed.D.