Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Does T/E Have an Actual School Reopening Plan – A District Elementary School Teacher Weighs In

We learned this week that Gov. Wolf has announced additional restrictions on indoor dining, alcohol consumption and large gatherings in Pennsylvania to regain control after a resurgence of COVID-19 in parts of the state. Under Wolf’s order, indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 people will be prohibited. And businesses will be required to have their employees work remotely to the extent possible.

Although Gov. Wolf did not specifically mention schools in his latest press release, he has previously pushed the schools to reopen but is leaving the details of “how” to the individual school districts. The president of Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), the state teachers union, weighed in this week urging the Governor to begin planning for online instruction in schools for 2020-21 school year.

We know that some school districts have done better jobs with drafting their reopening plans and with including stakeholders in the process than others. For instance, the Phoenixville Area School District completed its draft plan for reopening schools back in June and posted the plan on its website. During the summer, PASD sent regular updates to parents, conducted multiple surveys and is hosting a series of online meetings to hear from parents and community members on issues related to reopening schools. Based on the new information from PSEA, Phoenixville’s superintendent immediately videotaped a message for parents and posted it on the website.

Please look at PASD website, – it is remarkable, with updated information on their “virtual academy”, videos and superintendent chats with the parents and community. PASD is providing impressive communication and transparency, especially regarding COVID-19.

I am certain that many school districts are providing the same type of public information and updates and only use PASD as an example. Now please look at TESD website, – the most recent item on the page is the video from the June 29 school board meeting.

From parents this week, I learned that the planned Conestoga High School graduation for next week is cancelled. Again, from parents, I learned that several members of the CHS football team (voluntary football practice had started) have tested positive for COVID-19 and that the football is cancelled. From parents, we learned of the special “secret” reopening meeting between the administration and a select group of parents.

As you will read below, I learned about the virtual teacher reopening meetings from an attendee not the school board or the administration. None of this information is on the District website – there are no updates.

Scheduled for release next week, TESD parents and teachers are anxiously awaiting the specifics of its reopening plans.

In addition to the select (read secret) parent meeting held last week, the District’s administration held three separate virtual meetings for the elementary, middle and high school teachers respectively. As was the case with the parent meeting, no agenda was provided and no draft reopening plan was presented to the teachers. With the debate on whether and how to reopen school buildings, the teachers had anticipated details from the administration to be provided at the meeting.

However, much like the parents the week before, the teachers left the reopening meeting with more questions than answers. With the teacher’s permission, I provide the following notes from a District elementary school teacher who attended the reopening meeting:

Dear Pattye,

We had our reopening meeting today and I wish I could say I feel better after given some info and time to ask questions but I don’t.

The only definite information we were given is that we have to be prepared to be virtual for the fall, but that will only happen if we are in the red phase again. They did tell us virtual learning will have live learning for language arts and math, and they’re working on specials, science, and social studies.

Questions were asked about how many students would be in each room – the questions weren’t answered.

Questions were asked about procedures if a student or teacher gets sick – no plan was given, just that the CDC is notified and they control what actions the school takes.

We asked about teachers who are high risk and what provisions would be made for them – question was not answered.

We did learn that the District is buying masks and face shields, and some desks will be equipped with Plexiglas for students who cannot wear a mask due to health reasons.

They are spacing the desks 3 feet apart right now, and hope to extend that spacer closer to 6 feet if the numbers allow.

They did say the plan is not finished, and they do not have a plan for specials yet.

They were also iffy when we asked about how we would be notified of exposure, saying the CDC would do contact tracing. Currently- we aren’t even notified of lice outbreaks so I’m not confident we’ll get notified about this.

So many questions were left unanswered I’m even more concerned about returning.

We were told that they are really trying to improve the virtual learning plan so it is more like in person school, and that they hope if the plan is good enough more parents will opt in for virtual learning so we can have lower in-school numbers.

In terms of transportation, they are extending the pick-up and drop-off window in hopes that more parents will do that instead of riding the buses. Right now, the recommendation is 2 students per seat, which we already do and seating on the busses cannot be done socially distanced 3-6 feet apart.

Lunches will be in the classrooms and students will get 2 choices- there was no mention of recess.

Really, what I took from the meeting is that the school district is only fully “online” if we’re in red, and they have no idea about anything else. They did really focus on how we have until August 31 before anything is set in stone and that it’s very possible things may change before then.

I had asked a question on Community Matters about whether the teachers had received summer technology training in advance of the reopening of the schools to be prepared for the fall. A teacher, who attended the District’s reopening meeting, saw the question and responded as follows:

I read your post today, and one of the questions I saw asked was if teachers had been provided online training to help if the schools are virtual.

As far as I know, no we have not. The question was asked in our teacher reopening meeting if we would be provided distance learning training. The administration say they may set up some practice times the week of August 24th for teachers to get used to possibly having a camera on them and juggling virtual and in person class at the same time (if the District chooses to go with the integrated plan). It’s all a mess.

Following up on the teacher’s camera comment, it is my understanding that the District has purchased 500 cameras for the classrooms. The cameras would focus on the teacher and she/he would teach to the students who are in the classroom in addition to the students remotely learning from home. Having participated in a number of Zoom type meetings over the last several months myself (and with adults!) this kind of technology is not always easy to maneuver. I cannot imagine the juggling required for a teacher to do both distance learning and in class instruction simultaneously while the camera watches!

It was disappointing to learn from teachers that there was no distance learning training provided this summer. Although some parents and students had a favorable opinion of the remote learning provided in the spring, I think most would suggest that there was room for improvement. The District needed to dedicate attention to developing and improving online instruction with the teachers.

I question whether TESD actually has a detailed reopening plan – according to the parents who attended the secret meeting and the teachers who attended the virtual reopening meeting; the District is coming up short on the details.

Regarding the coronavirus and the reopening of the schools next month, is the public expected to trust the TE administration and the school board? Rather than expect communication and transparency from the District, should we adopt a casual “wait and see” attitude.

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  1. I understand that covid is causing information to change on a daily basis and it’s hard for school districts to stay on top of the situation. As a result, some school districts have created Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc. — formulating strategies during the summer so that they are ready. And they provided the public with the various plans and kept everyone updated and in the loop.

    1. Pattye, you are correct on both fronts.

      Here is a comparison for the process in Perkiomen Valley School District versus T/E for coming up with plan to operate with the virus.

      Process for school district where my wife teaches in regards to the public
      1) Public Survey for Parents/Others
      2) Presentation to Public with Comments/Questions taken
      3) Take public feedback into account
      4) Updated Presentation to Public with Comments/Question taken
      5) Updated Public Survey for Parents/Others to get more feedback
      6) School Board decides on Plan

      Process for T/E in regards to public
      1) Public Survey for Parents/Others
      2) School Board rubber stamps plan from Administration

      Of course the administration of the T/E school district doesn’t really think that the parents of our school district can give valuable information besides the small handful that they pick to be included in private meetings. They continue to show an amazing amount of arrogance – especially considering their performance over the past couple of years and the number of scandals associated with them.

      This administration has a very poor track record in regards to planning. Just remember back to the school bus fiasco after deciding to change to opt-in. Their failure to plan well not only resulted in a disaster, but they also didn’t fix the issues in a timely manner.

      The parents of T/E deserve better. They are way more responsible for making this district great than the administration or school board.

      I would like to mention that the superintendent for Perkiomen Valley School District actually believes in real input from the community before making decisions and does not have a track record of scandals like our administration does. I would also like to point out that her contract expires in 2022 and that she is paid way less than our current superintendent. Perhaps our school board would consider making an upgrade?

      1. Thanks Doug for providing another example – Perkiomen Valley School District. I went to PVSD website, and was impressed with all the available information.

        There is a prominent button on the home page for COVID-19 — click on the button and everything that the public in PVSD could possible need is right there including the draft reopening plan, Everything from a draft plan, all district communication, virtual resources, IEPs, pandemic action plan, emergency food options, fact sheets, etc. etc.

        Just WOW!

  2. “several” members of the football team have NO tested positive….got to try and keep rumors in check here

    1. Thanks but when I said several members of the football team tested positive, the information was provided by several parents to me. Here is one parent’s comment:
      “CHS football has been shut down. Most surely no season this fall. Out of the small group that showed up for practices, 4 players tested positive for COVID-19.” Michele, are you a parent and disagree with the information provided? Please let us know – thanks.

  3. “Several” members of the football team have NOT tested positive…..lots of rumors out there, the word is alot of graduated stoga seniors may have tested positive but they they are not on the football field……..again word of mouth and possible rumors.

  4. CHS football OPTIONAL workouts were put on hold for safety reasons, due to HIPA laws no names……There are alot of people out there saying one person, four people and 8 people from football tested positive…..lots of information and I also heard that it was affecting club sports too other sports…but again I cannot believe all of the whisper down the lane. PIAA and Gov Wolf have the final say on any FALL SPORTS season not parents ASSUMING teh season will not happen. It seems everything is day to day right now. I hope our kids have a sports season.

    1. OK, so according to you, football practice was put on hold for safety reasons, not due to positive testing for covid. That is certainly good news! If I understand you correctly, the District does not have authority to cancel football (or any other sports), right? Only Gov. Wolf and PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) will make that decision. This is another reason that updated information on the District website would be helpful. I appreciate your clarification!

      1. The district certainly has the power to cancel football or any extracurricular activity.

        Section 5-511 – School athletics, publications, and organizations
        (a) The board of school directors in every school district shall prescribe, adopt, and enforce such reasonable rules and regulations as it may deem proper, regarding (1) the management, supervision, control, or prohibition of exercises, athletics, or games of any kind, school publications, debating, forensic, dramatic, musical, and other activities related to the school program, including raising and disbursing funds for any or all of such purposes and for scholarships, and (2) the organization, management, supervision, control, financing, or prohibition of organizations, clubs, societies and groups of the members of any class or school, and may provide for the suspension, dismissal, or other reasonable penalty in the case of any appointee, professional or other employe, or pupil who violates any of such rules or regulations.

  5. Offseason workouts are optional and the district can cancel optional workouts due to safety reasons if they feel the need based on a number of factors. PIAA and Gov Wolf will have the final say on whether fall sports happen or not in the state of PA. I also emailed you privately. Thanks

  6. I also hope TE decides to have a hybrid solution, allow those that want to attend school in person to choose and allow those that want to distance learning to stay home.

  7. Stoga Football does NOT any confirmed cases of COVID. There is no current player that participated in offseason workouts that has COVID. There was a person that “may” have been around some football players OUTSIDE of practice so the district was being cautious. AGAIN no confirmed cases with Stoga Football Players.

  8. This all sounds like a mess! I’m curious what the plan will look like when released next week! How are the teachers supposed to monitor in person and online classes at the same time? I’m concerned our district has just spent all this time making the plan and won’t have anything to show for it…

    1. ” I’m concerned our district has just spent all this time making the plan and won’t have anything to show for it…” I’m not sure what the district did do but I don’t think you have to worry, since they didn’t make a plan, there nothing loss.

      Thank you Pattye for the link to Phoenixville school district. I’m glad that the parents in Phoenixville have an administration that is providing regular updates. I guess here in TE, if you are #1, you don’t have to do anything.

      1. There is an Administrator on our Pandemic Committee who lives in Phoenixville and has kids who attend Phoenixville schools. I wonder if he appreciates the updates and transparency from his home District.

        1. Phoenixville and perkiomen makes me think of Great Valley. I know the Administrator on the pandemic Committee who lives in Phoenixville. I also know an Administrator lives in Great Valley with children attending schools in that District so I checked out their website. They list four possible scenarios and have a scheduled board meeting to discuss this Monday.

          **Administrators talk about how great our District is (congratulating themselves and what a great job THEY do….really?). I find it curious that not one of them on West Valley Road sends their kids to TE. If we’re so great, why is that? You can CERTAINLY afford it.

  9. EMAIL From the Conestoga Gridiron Club:

    Hello Stoga Football Families and Players,

    There are many rumors out there.

    So you know, there is NOT ONE football player that participated in off season workouts that has tested positive for COVID.

    There are people stating we have 8 players that tested positive and that is COMPLETELY FALSE INFORMATION.

    Thank you

  10. UPDATE: Although the District website continues to list Conestoga High School 2020 Commencement for Tuesday, July 21 at 6 PM — please ignore the announcement, CHS Commencement was CANCELLED earlier this week. Doesn’t the District have someone in charge of the website?

    1. Things keeps changing. Thank about incompetence… Newest update from the administration in regards to graduation…

      July 18, 2020

      Dear CHS Class of 2020 and Families,

      As you know, the decision regarding Commencement has been difficult for all of us. We were optimistic in May that we would be able to hold a full graduation by July, but unfortunately the changing restrictions, rising numbers and positive cases within our district have eliminated that possibility. Our decision to cancel the group graduations was made to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of all involved and eliminate any further chance of community spread. We stand by our decision to not hold a graduation ceremony for these reasons.

      We understand that many seniors would like the opportunity to walk across the stage in their caps and gowns, and parents would like a chance to take photographs. To that end, we are prepared to offer an opportunity for students to walk at Teamer Field, get their diplomas and have their photos taken. Participation is limited to the graduating senior and their parents/guardians. For those who plan to attend, a health screening and temperature check will be required upon arrival for each individual. DO NOT come to campus if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed on the screening, if you have tested positive and are currently under quarantine, or if you have been in contact within the last fourteen days with anyone who has tested positive.

      Students and parents are invited to Teamer Field next Wednesday, July 22nd to pick up their diploma and to walk across the stage for a photograph. Those who prefer to opt out of the in-person pick up will have their diplomas mailed home. Details for the pick-up and photo opportunity are as follows:

      All participants must wear a mask and adhere to the six-foot social distancing protocols. Those residing in the same home do not need to social distance from each other.
      Students are assigned a time based on last name as shown here.
      Students and parents should arrive prior to their assigned times, park in the Main Lot (every other spot), and proceed to the ticket booth at Teamer Field to check-in.
      Students and parents must complete a health screening and get their temperatures checked at that time. No student or parent will be permitted to participate without successful completion of the health screening.
      Students will proceed through the processional route, pick up their diplomas and walk across the stage. Parents may take photos throughout the walk.
      Legacy Photographics will also be present to take photos of the graduates on the stage. We have provided Legacy with parent email addresses so they can contact you regarding the purchase of these photos.
      After descending the stage, students and parents will proceed behind the home stands and exit out the main entrance.
      In the event of inclement weather, the plan will be postponed to Thursday, July 23rd. A decision will be made by 8AM on July 22nd and communicated via email and our district website.

      We will proceed with the production of a virtual graduation which will be made available to all families on our website at The virtual ceremony will include all speeches and the traditional roll call of graduates using senior portraits. We will notify families when the video has been posted on the website in the coming weeks.

      As our time with the Class of 2020 draws to a close, I remain incredibly proud of each senior for their distinct achievements, and for the strength and resilience they have continued to demonstrate. I remember welcoming them to the “Big C” as bright-eyed freshmen and watched them on their incredible journey to become the outstanding young adults they are today. The Class of 2020 has certainly made history! I wish every senior the best as you prepare to leave us, I know you have great things ahead! Take care and stay well.


      Amy A. Meisinger, Ph.D.

      1. Thanks Doug — please tell me that you added the date at the top of Dr. Meisinger’s letter — otherwise the letter is dated for tomorrow!

        So now let me get this straight — the District website says that Commencement is Tuesday, July 21 but that was CANCELLED. And now there’s notification from this letter dated tomorrow that graduates can go to Conestoga on Wednesday, July 22 and have their picture taken receiving their diploma. The letter talks about arriving at your assigned time — how do the graduates sign-up? What am I missing?

        I am totally confused (hopefully the graduates and their parents are not!) — and the District website is out-of-date and no help — is this really the best that we can do for our students?

        1. The date is from the email.

          My daughter told me her time, so they were notified somehow.

          What worries me is that they picked Wednesday. The weather forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms with 60% chance of rain. Rain date is Thursday with AM thunderstorms and 50% change of rain. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday have much better weather forecasts with less chance of rain. Why didn’t they check the weather forecast before scheduling? Just how incompetent are they?

      2. Amy Meisinger says:

        I remember welcoming them to the “Big C” as bright-eyed freshmen and watched them on their incredible journey to become the outstanding young adults they are today. The Class of 2020 has certainly made history! I wish every senior the best as you prepare to leave us, I know you have great things ahead! Take care and stay well.


        Amy A. Meisinger, Ph.D.

        I find the characterization of our beloved community high school as “The Big C” to be unprofessional, crass, condescending rude and beneath the dignity of all the kids who have graduated from there and all the parents and tax payers who support it.

        She goes on to say that the class of 2020 has “certainly made history.” With an exclamation point. With her insensitive, tone deaf comment, she is confusing the consequences of what happened to the kids because of the pandemic with the cause of the pandemic. The kids are victims of the pandemic. They are in no way responsible fior the circumstances surrounding what has forced what should be the best time of their lives into……this.

        Ask your high school age child if they know Amy Meisinger. Ask them if she has spoken to them….ever. Ask them if she knows their name, or has looked them in the eye. Ask them if they feel like she welcomed them and watched them on their “incredible” journey” throughout their 4 years at CHS.

        Ask questions to the people Amy’s decisions and actions affect the most………the incredible children.

        1. Here is an example of an appropriate inspirational, letter fulll of encouragement and praise to this Supt.’s 2020 senior class.

          Janesville School District Superintendent Steve Pophal penned a letter to the Class of 2020 to congratulate them on graduation soon amidst the coronavirus:

          Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final stretch, rounded the last corner, and you are about to become the School District of Janesville’s graduating class of 2020. Despite the COVID-19 madness that swirls around us, forcing us to close schools for an undetermined amount of time, I can promise that you will be given the opportunity to become graduates from Janesville’s high schools as the class of 2020.

          I know, and your parents and families know; you are disappointed, upset, confused, and sad—this is not how the last three months of your senior year was supposed to go. You’re potentially missing out on being able to enjoy the final months of your senior year – hanging out with your friends, dreaming about one last summer before you all head in different directions. You may lose experiences like competing with your classmates on spring sports teams, the chance to attend senior Prom, the chance to ‘cram’ with your friends for your AP exam. It is natural that you may be feeling sad—this situation has certainly created a sense of loss.

          You are no strangers to adversity. Nineteen years ago, you entered the world at another tumultuous time – when the world, post 9-11, was forced to adjust and change our way of life as a result of the worst terrorist attack our country had ever experienced. You were our first students who’ve always had to go through security checks when going to a Packers game at Lambeau, or have always had to take off your shoes when going through airport security. You came into the world during a time of chaos, and chaos is now ushering you out of high school and pushing you into adulthood. You are used to uncertainty, and you know how to handle unpredictable times.

          Maya Angelou once said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

          There is wisdom in her words. You see, life is not an endless series of pleasant experiences—we all learn from adversity. We learn about our character, our resolve, and we develop plans to move us forward.

          With what you have experienced over the years, and especially now, you are not rookies in the game of life. You are veterans, with a lot of playing time left, and plenty more to learn and share with others. One of our School District of Janesville’s Promises is that our students will graduate from high school, ready for career, college, and life. You’re ready, and everyone in the School District of Janesville is going to do everything in our power to help you get to the finish line.

          A century ago, the world was struggling to rebuild from the devastation of World War I and a worldwide pandemic. What they learned then is guiding our actions and response to the current pandemic of COVID-19. Guess what? How you react and act now will certainly guide our community in the future when the next crisis reveals itself.

          I am proud of your dedication and resolve. I admire your ability to face adversity and keep moving forward. While it may not be the senior year ending that you had dreamed of, it will be your senior year, unique among your peers, and you will reap the rewards. Stay flexible, stay patient, and be ready for your next chapter. When we return from spring break, we will be scaling up online learning opportunities for all students. Learning will go on, granted in a different format, but we will help you meet graduation requirements.

          Remember, you won’t only become members of Janesville’s graduating Class of 2020, you also become members of the greater Janesville community. This is your home, regardless of where you end up living, studying, working. We enjoy watching you learn and grow, and look forward to seeing you succeed in all you choose to do.

          Good luck, and remember that you are always welcome here!

          With anticipated congratulations,

          Steve Pophal, Superintendent
          School District of Janesville

          Our Suot. granted himself and his staff raises. The Principal refers to our school in a derogatory, demeaning way (can you imagine the head of school at Episcopal Academy referring to his school as “The Big E?” while also congratulating the students for being the only class to have not graduated.

          Their lack of empathy and understanding, especially in this very difficult time is profoundly sad and deeply disappointing.

  11. Thank you for this important coverage during such a challenging time. It would be so refreshing if the school board and district administration were doing their jobs and actually sharing information with the public and asking important questions of the administration!

    One thing the school board should be asking is where do T/E students go to school and why do some families choose to not attend the free “# 1” school district? Before Covid-19, T/E had a significant portion of our student population attending private schools. Why would families choose to spend thousands of dollars on school with such an “amazing” public school available?

    What will the T/E private and charter school attendance look like this year? Word on the street is that MANY, MANY families are looking for options outside of the district because they are terrified of what they see being proposed and what they experienced in the spring. School board directors, this is a metric you should be asking for!! How many students are fleeing your “# 1” district? I think you will be surprised!

    Shame, shame on the board for not asking this sooner and assuming everyone was happy with what T/E was offering.

    It’s time for a new school board. More importantly, it’s time for a new administration!!! We don’t have to wait for an election to make a change in T/E!

    1. I researched Art McDonnell’s contract. TESD needs to give him 180 notice of termination. That is insane.

        1. The school board unanimously awarded Art McDonnell a 5-year contract in 2019 and he’s only one year into it. He enjoys the complete support of the board and administration.

        2. McDonnell has a contract that runs until July 2024. Until that time, there are very few reasons why he can be fired and they are listed in Section 1089 of the School Code.

          From the Code:
          The school board may “remove a business administrator for incompetency, intemperance, neglect of duty, violation of any of the school laws of this Commonwealth or other improper conduct.”

          Well, “improper conduct” was the accounting mess and “intemperance” …….

          So, there were reasons why his contract could have been terminated, but it takes a board that is willing.

  12. Pattye –

    Per Michele’s comments, there hasn’t been eight players tested positive. I don’t think you should post something like that in your post as you haven’t even validated it first. Also, you mention in your reply that there was a small group at the workouts. I saw several young men at these workouts so it was well attended. My son attended and also had to wear a mask as mandated.

    1. Comments were posted by parents about football practice and that it was cancelled as a result of positive covid testing. In addition, I received private emails from parents about the practice — these parents told me that several players had tested positive and that it had been only a small group at practice. I did not state 8 players had tested positive. As the TESD parent, Michele stated the information about the football players was only rumors and that no player had tested positive and stated that TESD did not have the authority to cancel the football season. However, then Keith Knauss provided a comment that stated otherwise and that yes, TESD administration did have the authority to cancel.

      I do the best that I can do and try to take people at their word. In this case, when multiple parents said the same thing, I believed it to be true. From my vantage point, it is good to know that the football players are all fine and have not tested positive for COVID — and I hope that it stays that way.

      1. At least 2 have tested positive. Ask the upperclassmen. And many more hung out with those two at the beach a few weeks back.

        What’s the shame in advising the community about this? Some football parents need to get a grip.

        1. At this point, I have no idea if members of the CHS football team have tested positive or not. I have heard from both sides on this issue – parents saying that No, there are no positive tested football players and then like yourself, that are saying Y, there are team players whom tested positive. The public should know definitively whether or not there are team players who have tested positively for COVID19 — this is serious.

    1. Pattye,

      Please continue to do what you’re doing. You’re doing a great job. CM is the only place to go to get information. If occasionally someone gets it wrong, others come along and correct. That’s what communication is.

      Tell all your friends and family to read CM. It’s the place to go to for real, accurate and up to date information.

  13. Pattye,
    What about the new contract that took effect between TESD and TEAO? It went in effect July 1,2020. I know the union sued the district in 2009 to not have to teach online. I couldn’t find any language pertaining to the pandemic in the new contract.
    Let me be clear, I think for the safety of the faculty and staff, school should be online. However, it can’t be like the Spring. And it seems like there were only a few training sessions scheduled for distance learning this summer. I am very concerned for the children in the district.

    1. Although a school board agenda mentioned distance learning sessions, it is unclear whether it happened. According to at one District elementary school teacher, she/he has not received any additional technology training this summer — but perhaps she/he was the exception and others did receiving training.

      The term of the previous teachers union contract ran until June 30, 2020. However, TESD and TEEA agreed to an early bird contact and it was signed in late 2019 before COVID-19 was known (with a July 1, 2020 start date). Had the early bird contract not been signed in 2019, contract negotiations would have been underway when COVID-19 began and then language for distance learning would undoubtedly have been included in the new contract. Hope that this explanation makes sense.

      As an aside, I have read where some school districts have reopened teacher contracts as a result of the pandemic — remote learning could be one of the reasons.

  14. I can appreciate the concerns teachers have going back to the classrooms. As we all go back to work, we are finding ways to adapt to a “new normal”. The Hawaiian teacher had valid concerns in her list (recent post), however, maybe I missed it, but I’m not seeing the concern for student’s emotional well being if forced to stay home for an entire school year. Anxiety and depression have increased for school aged children since the pandemic started. Also, the parents need to go back to their jobs.—pay their taxes, which pay the teachers and Admin salaries.

    Whatever happen to the mantra “ Yes we can”? Seems like it has turned into, “No we can’t” or “No I won’t”. What message are we sending our future leaders….America was able to send a man to the moon, invent the personnel computer in a garage etc. I’m sure we can find safe, viable solutions for every stakeholder. It is my hope, the Administration and Board will show us, we can.

  15. Why? Why does the public need to know about the personal health status of a few high school students. As long as the people involved are all contacted and appropriate steps are taken to mitigate it, why do you need to know? This is the job of the CCDOH.

    1. As decisions are being made about the reopening of schools, I think its important to know if a group of students has tested positive for COVID. If you are a parent (or a teacher) the information could make a difference in those decisions. Today a CHS teacher was passing information along that the entire football team had tested positive — this is how rumors get out of control.

  16. Wonderings, I am curious about your remark.
    You say: “ find it curious that not one of them on West Valley Road sends their kids to TE. If we’re so great, why is that?”
    This statement of yours is 100% FALSE.
    It would be great if people would stop spreading misinformation.

    1. Me,

      It’s typical of those on West Valley Road to comment on something small while the elephant in the room you don’t address gets bigger and bigger and bigger. You can’t deflect attention away from this one by addressing something trivial hoping to confuse the issue, and redirect the narrative.

      The Supt. held private meetings with hand picked people friendly to him and Administrators on West Valley Road. He is again treating tax payers, parents and students like second class citizens and after thoughts In a system designed and written for the benefit of him and his friends.

  17. Well said. Our mantra should be “Yes we can!” — and by we, I mean the TE community. Credibility is built on a foundation of honesty and openness. The firmer foundation the better. I would like to have a gradual and firm foundation built, based on a carefully thought out plan based on reliable science, and the latest information as to what the plan is for reopening the schools and why. We must start from reality: the educational experience this spring was a stop gap measure and cannot and should not be repeated. It was acceptable given the pressing challenges of Covid-19. However, the Administration and the Board now had several months to get it right and get beyond “emergency mode” and have the ability to interact with many public districts and private schools who are in the same boat and are devising the best possible plans. I would be remiss if I did not say some districts have been a bit more forthcoming than in TE. No one is in it alone. I am particularly concerned that the remote experience simply will not work for everyone and particularly our younger students with challenges, reading or otherwise, will get the support they need. I don’t think remote works as well with them. The mantra “all in this together” would seem to apply equally to providing the community with real input on how best to do school reopenings. I believe groups like Everybody Reads TE and various sports communities should have real input into decisions that are being made.

  18. Anybody read the message from the superintendent?? District will post the plan on Friday and Board will vote on Monday. So much for public review and comment. Guess Board really didn’t want input!

  19. Sorry—Board votes on Wednesday. Not Monday. Get your questions and comments in. Still not a lot of time to get feedback or make changes,

    1. The draft reopening plan will be posted on Friday, July 24 and the public has until Monday, July 27, 7 PM to review and give comments. The school board will vote on the final reopening plan on Wednesday, July 29, 7:30 PM at a special meeting. The full letter from the Superintendent was just posted on Community Matters.

  20. The Big C, and Wonderings,
    I don’t work there. I am simply correcting one comment. Not deflecting attention. There are so many valid points that you and other commenters are making. I am just correcting one part of a comment that is not true. Wouldn’t you prefer that? Otherwise, other valid points get lost.

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