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3/12/21 Community Update
Dear Hatboro-Horsham Families:
I hope this finds you enjoying the early spring weather and a chance to be outside as we end a long winter. May the wonderful weather be a sign of bright and healthy times ahead for us all.
Please review this communication carefully as there is significant information to share today.
Questionnaire Responses: We recently sent a questionnaire to measure family preferences and help gather information to assess the feasibility of returning additional students to in-person instruction. The results will be included in Monday’s School Board meeting presentation. The results of the questionnaire and some analysis have been posted on the website and are available to be viewed HERE.
Public Health Metrics: Data made available today indicates that Montgomery County continues its declining COVID-19 numbers, including both incidence rates (87.1) and positivity rates (4.8%). This means that Montgomery County will transition to the Moderate range of transmission. This is a pivotal change as the community presence of the virus is diminishing. Metrics have been updated on our website and posted HERE.
Recommendation for Returning Additional Students: At the Legislative/Action School Board meeting on Monday, March 15, the administration will be presenting a recommendation for the Board’s consideration to return students in grades 2-12 to five days of in-person instruction. With Kindergarten and 1st-grade students currently back 5 days, this would mean all students K-12 would have the opportunity for an in-person 5-day instructional program. This presentation will include an assessment of the impact of return within the broader context of our declining metrics and strengthened layered mitigation strategies. Also included will be the projected student enrollments in each instructional model.
Adjusted Schedule for Vaccinations:
Monday 3/15: Reminder that due to the Commonwealth’s educator vaccination program, we have a significant number of staff members receiving the vaccination on Monday afternoon and evening. As a result, the instructional day for students was adjusted. All district schools will operate on an AM instructional day for in-person and remote learning. Asynchronous learning will occur in the PM. Early dismissal times are 11:30 am for High School, 12:00 pm for Middle school, and 12:30 pm for Elementary Schools.
Tuesday 3/16: The vaccination for county schools began this week. As we have learned from other school districts experiencing the mass vaccination of staff using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the impact of short-term side effects of the vaccine has inhibited functionality with staffing and transportation. As such, we are designating Tuesday, March 16th as a 100% virtual day for students. Most students will receive live, synchronous instruction. However, there may be cases where teachers will need to provide asynchronous assignments to students. Teachers and principals will connect with families about the details of this no later than the beginning of the day on Tuesday. This decision is being made proactively to avoid the likely possibility of early Tuesday morning functional closures. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause your family. The decision was not made lightly as we want our students in school as many days as possible, however, we are grateful for the opportunity to have most of our staff vaccinated.
Thank you for your attention to these important issues.
Scott T. Eveslage, Ed.D.