9/3/21 Community Update

September 3, 2021 

Dear Hatboro-Horsham School District Families: 

We hope that you and your family are safe and well after this week’s storm and tornado. It had a profound impact on our community, and our thoughts are with those families dealing with significant property damage. We are thankful to the first responders and emergency response teams who have been so helpful in supporting our residents and communities. The generous response we have seen from neighbor to neighbor has been warming and speaks to the strength of our community. 

The storm also disrupted our back-to-school preparations. We have been assessing the impact on our schools, cleaning up school sites, and planning our return to normal operations. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our Operations, IT, and Security Departments in the storm’s aftermath. They have worked tirelessly to return our facilities to normal. Below are a few pertinent updates:  

  • The District resumed normal operations on Friday, September 3, 2021. 
  • Simmons Elementary School was significantly impacted by the storm. Numerous trees were downed, and the building is still without power. Simmons will remain closed until power is restored.  
  • The downed trees and power lines along Babylon Road in Horsham have also significantly affected our IT network.  Several of our district systems are down. We are currently unable to send and receive emails, and we do not have an estimated time for when the network will be restored.  Our telephone systems are operating somewhat unreliably but phone calls to the district, including leaving voicemails, is the recommended means for communication at this time. We understand that this is frustrating as we approach the beginning of the school year and apologize for the inconvenience. We have been sharing updates via Twitter, Facebook, and the website. 
  • The Device distribution schedule needed to be revised, including the postponement of the Friday, September 3 distribution.  If you had a previously scheduled appointment that you could not attend due to the weather, you do not need to re-register. You may pick up your student’s device during any of the following pick-up windows:  
  • Saturday, September 4: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (extended 2 hours) 
  • Tuesday, September 7: 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM  
  • Wednesday, September 8 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (newly added date) 
  • Buildings and Offices will now be open on Wednesday, September 8. The District was previously scheduled to be closed on this date, but this change was necessary for proper preparation for the school year. 
  • Open Houses and building tour events that were postponed will be rescheduled for Wednesday, September 8.  Each school will communicate specific details with families. We recognize that this adjustment is not optimal as many in our community will be observing a holiday on this date. We hope you understand the need for this reschedule. Open Houses occurring prior to school beginning are important to supporting students’ transition into the new year. Our apologies to families who will be unable to join the Open Houses at this time. We are committed to working with all families to ensure students feel connected with teachers and their school communities. 

 

We eagerly anticipate welcoming our students back to the new school year on Thursday, September 9. Our District staff is preparing for the start of the school year. Included here are some important reminders and information for the start of school. We understand and apologize that the current network status may temporarily limit some of your access to this information. 

  • Health and Safety: Pertinent Health and Safety information regarding the safety measures in place for the year is available on the website. Included on this page is the District’s Health and Safety Plan, weekly metrics, and COVID Dashboard. We seek to transparently communicate about relevant health and safety measures and report case incidents in the event they occur. 
  • Masking: We are following the CDC and Montgomery County Office of Public Health guidance for face coverings. Per an order from the PA Secretary of Health, all students, staff, and visitors are required to universally mask while indoors and on school transportation, unless a documented medical condition or disability precludes the wearing of a face covering at school. Appropriate face coverings should follow the most recent CDC Guide to Masks, which means a face mask should: 
  • Fit properly, snugly, and comfortably, fully covering the nose, mouth, and chin with no large gaps. 
  • Have two or more layers of breathable fabric. 

The following are not acceptable face-coverings: single-layer neck gaiters, face-shields without prior district approval, masks that are too loosely fitting, open-chin bandanas, masks with exhalation valves or vents, face covering with fabric or holes that let light pass through (e.g., mesh). 

  • PowerSchool Parent Portal: Important student information is available via the PowerSchool parent portal. This video shows how you can access key information, including your child’s schedule, homeroom, counselor, bus details, emergency contact information, and your notification preferences. Questions about accessing the portal can be directed to appsvcs@hatboro-horsham.org 
  • Bus Information: In addition to the parent portal, bus routes can be found on the transportation website. 
  • School Supplies: Details of school supplies for students in grades K-8 are posted on the website. 
  • Meals: School meals are free for all students for the 2021-22 school year. If you need free meals while you are unable to attend in-person school, please contact Jessica Oldsey, Director of Food Service, at joldsey@hatboro-horsham.org 
  • HHSD Voluntary COVID-19 Student Vaccination Form for Families: To make the contact tracing efforts of our nurses more efficient, we sent an email to secondary school families last week asking for them to voluntarily submit their student’s vaccination status. Thanks to the hundreds of families who have already submitted this information. As there are different contact isolation and quarantine guidelines for vaccinated individuals when identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 positive individual, our having this information will make for fewer disruptions for you and your student during the year ahead. Please reference the email sent to KV and high school families on Friday August 27 for the form link. You will be asked to upload a file to verify your child’s vaccination status. A photo of their vaccine card is sufficient. 
  • Hatboro-Horsham School District now has a new mobile app! This app accompanies our newly refreshed district website. We will use the app to update our school calendars, send out district communications, and provide emergency weather updates alongside our phone and text blasts. Head to the app store and download our new app by searching “Hatboro-Horsham Schools,” or visit our communication page for detailed information. 

We will continue to update the community on the status of power, site, and network restoration. Please check the website and social media for updates. Families can expect additional building-specific information about the start of the year to be shared by our principals. We look forward to partnering with you to ensure a wonderful school year for our students. Please reach out to us if we can be of assistance. 

Sincerely, 

Scott T. Eveslage, Ed.D. 

Superintendent