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5/7/21 Community Update
May 7, 2021
Dear Hatboro-Horsham Families:
As we welcome May and experience nicer weather, I hope that you and your families are safe, healthy, and able to fully enjoy spring. Below are several important community updates:
- Health & Safety: As the community rate of Covid-19 infection fluctuates and the number of vaccinated individuals increases, public guidance regarding health and safety best practices is updated frequently by organizations such as the CDC and the PA Department of Health. Additionally, we take direction from both the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Montgomery County Office of Public Health in shaping our District health and safety guidelines. Because changes to general guidance can come unannounced and the recommendations from these various agencies can be unaligned at times, it is important not to presume that our health and safety practices in Hatboro-Horsham School District have changed until we modify our Health and Safety Plan and communicate those changes. This week we learned that effective Memorial Day, Pennsylvania will be lifting mitigation orders except masking. While the recommendation remains in place to adhere to CDC guidance, the social distancing requirements in effect since last spring are not a government order. We will not be changing any of our current distancing practices in the schools at that time, with just over two weeks of school remaining in June. Masks are still a state requirement, but there are provisions for that to be returned to a local decision once PA hits the vaccination target of 70% or more of PA residents 18+ being fully vaccinated. End-of-the-year events are being planned by schools, being mindful of the revised guidelines. Details will be communicated by our principals.
- Vaccinations: Most students we serve remain unvaccinated. Our Health & Safety Plan reflects the recommended safety measures when in the presence of unvaccinated individuals. With a vaccine approval for children ages 12+ expected as soon as next week, we once again will be partnering with local pharmacies to offer vaccine opportunities for students. Dedicated times for Hatboro-Horsham students will be set aside at sites to be determined. Details will be shared early next week. Also, Montgomery County announced that there is walk-up availability at all county-wide vaccination sites, details available here. We join our health professionals in encouraging everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine.
- In-Person School Board Meetings: Effective May 17, the Hatboro-Horsham School District Board of School Directors will resume holding regular public meetings in person twice a month. These meetings will be held at Hatboro-Horsham High School in the Auditorium beginning at 7:00 PM. Community attendees are welcome but will be asked to sign-in and follow the health and safety guidelines that are in place including masking and distancing. These meetings will be live streamed via Facebook and recorded. The meeting can also be viewed on the local TV channel, Comcast Channel 28 / Verizon Channel 33. Community members can share their comments with the Board through either in-person comments or via electronic communication. Details of the meetings are available via the school district website.
- Internet Access: Finally, we wanted to make our families aware of a new government program to provide internet access for families in need. The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, which will provide free Internet to qualifying low-income household during the COVID emergency, will begin accepting enrollments on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Information is available HERE. The program is open to all qualified low-income households, not just those with school-age children.
Thank you for your continued partnership.
Scott Eveslage, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools