4/5/21 Community Update

April 5, 2021

 

Dear Hatboro-Horsham Families,

I hope you and your families had a restful and peaceful Spring Break.

As a reminder, our five-day per week in-person instructional model is set to begin on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. The decision to return to this instructional model was made at our Legislative/Action meeting of the Board of School Directors on Monday, March 15. Since then, there has been some revised guidance for schools formally released by both the CDC, Center for Disease Control (available HERE), and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education (available HERE). Concurrently, we are seeing a recent rise in the positive case counts in this region.

We continue to monitor and communicate cases with our families and cooperate with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) to assist with contact tracing. Additionally, we have maintained the District Dashboard (available HERE) and added some detailed explanations of the metrics displayed. This Dashboard is updated every school day at 4:00 pm. With evolving guidance and rising cases, we have the support of public health officials to move forward with our recent shifts in our instructional program, given a strict commitment to health and safety protocols and ongoing communication with MCOPH. If a school case count gauge reaches the threshold, the district will consult with MCOPH regarding a recommended response to the situation given the context of the cases.

As we return more students to in-person instruction, your cooperation with and adherence to our Health and Safety plan are extremely important, notably:

· Masks and Face Coverings must be worn at all times, except during scheduled coordinated mask breaks or when students are eating. When eating, students will be distanced at 6’ apart.

· Physical Distancing in schools will continue to remain as close to 6’ as possible but will be no less than 3’ between students. The minimum distance between students and instructors will be kept at 6’.

· The Antigen Testing program is being expanded to include testing options for students or staff who are exposed to COVID-19 while in school or during a school-related activity. If a student or staff member is identified as a close contact with a COVID-positive individual, testing can be completed by the school nurse on day 5 after the exposure to reduce the quarantine period from 10 days to 7. This testing is only conducted with parent/guardian permission.

· Daily Check-in with your child is important. If your child is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, please keep your child home from school.

· Hand Hygiene and Cough Etiquette will continue to be reinforced in school and practiced regularly.

· School Transportation will be fully offered, but 3’ distancing on the school buses and vans cannot be guaranteed. Other protocols will be in place (masking, ventilation, seating charts, and distancing to the extent possible) to mitigate risk and assist with contact tracing if necessary.

· Notifications of COVID-19 will continue to be sent to families if a positive case was on-site at any point within the previous two weeks. Close contacts of positive cases are notified directly. Your cooperation communication with our school nurses is extremely important during this process.

We look forward to welcoming more students back to our schools this week. While this is a time for hope and optimism, it is also a time where we know that continued discipline with our protocols will help us get where we want to be even sooner. Thank you for your ongoing cooperation in committing to Hatboro-Horsham being a healthy school community.

 

Thank you,

Scott T. Eveslage, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools