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6/21/21 Community Update
June 21, 2021
Dear Hatboro-Horsham Families,
Last week marked the final student days of the 2020-21 school year. With that, I write to both reflect and look forward. First, thank you for all you have done throughout this challenging year. It has truly been a community effort to ensure that our students were able to successfully complete the school year. The many ways that families, staff, and students were asked to adjust and adapt proved difficult for all. Yet, you were able to do so successfully. Our summer programming has begun, and we continue to plan for next school year.
Our current public health metrics look the best they have since the onset of the pandemic. Montgomery County is now in the Low transmission range for the first time. The positivity rate is less than 1% (0.6%) and the incidence rates are in single digits (6.9). To put this in perspective, our highest positivity rates were at 28%. And in December of 2020, the positivity rates were over 13% with the incidence rate at 442. With the numbers being so low, the virus is considered “suppressed” in this area. Effective 6/21, County Health officials revised guidance to shift toward masking being optional for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals for summer camps and summer schools. Even with low incidence rates, public health officials still strongly encourage all eligible people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We will continue to monitor numbers over the summer and remain in regular communication with officials from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health.
It is shaping up nicely for us to have a normal return to school in the fall. With masking in school being optional this summer, we anticipate that also being the case for the fall. We have proven to be able to adjust if needed and will be prepared to do so next school year. Epidemiologists have predicted that there is a seasonality to the COVID-19 virus and the possibility exists of a winter uptick in cases, much like flu season. If that is the case, we will be prepared to adjust in school to the guidance of health experts. We are optimistic and hopeful for a normal 2021-22 school year.
- Summer Health and Safety Plan: All school districts are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to complete a Health and Safety Plan for both summer programs and the 2021-22 school year. Our summer plan can be found HERE. The Health and Safety Plan for the 2021-22 school year will be presented to the Board to School Directors for approval at the July 19, 2021 Legislative/Action meeting and then posted to the district’s website.
- Summer Programs: Expanded summer programming will be in place. Students identified as potentially benefiting from our elementary Academic Summer Program were contacted by their schools earlier this spring. A communication to middle and high school families was sent last week describing opportunities for district-funded participation in summer programs. More information about the options for secondary students is available HERE.
- Summer Meals: The HHSD Food Service Department will be serving free meals all summer to children ages 0-18 years old. The program will run from June 29th- September 1st. Meals will be distributed via curbside pick-up on Tuesdays at Hallowell Elementary between 9:30-11:30 am. We will also be launching a mobile van that will be at designated locations within the community on Wednesday afternoons, please see this flyer (HERE) for details. Students who participate in the Summer Academy Program will be offered breakfast on-site and carry-out lunches. Details about food service are available on the website (HERE). Please reach out to Jessica Oldsey with any specific questions, email@example.com
2021-22 School Year
- The 2021-22 School Calendar is available HERE. There are two weather emergency days (or snow days) built into the calendar. If conditions call for this, the first two days that we encounter will be “traditional” snow days. Any days beyond that would transition to virtual instructional days.
- Bell Schedules 2021-22 have been adjusted slightly as reflected below. With school schedules changing multiple times over the past two school years, having this information now will assist with planning. These minor adjustments will improve student safety at arrival and dismissal by helping significantly with bus availability for student departure promptly at the end of the student days.
School Hours 2021-2022
7:30 – 2:30
8:00 – 3:00
8:50 – 3:30
- Virtual Programs for the fall: Families who participated in virtual learning to close the 2020-21 school year were surveyed regarding interest in maintaining virtual programming in the Fall of 2021-22. If you were not using one of our virtual learning options this spring but have interest in learning more about those options for the fall, descriptions of those programs can be reviewed HERE. Please note that the currently proposed formats for K-8 virtual offerings are dependent on sufficient community commitment and these formats may change. If you would like more information, please contact Supervisor of Curriculum Dr. Brea D’Angelo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your partnership throughout the school year. I wish you and your family a wonderful and restful summer.
Scott Eveslage, Ed.D.