The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for parents, students, teachers and the administration to figure out what they will need to do for an August 31 start to the 2020-21 school year.
With little state input, TESD like every other school district in Pennsylvania, grappled with its reopening plans. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, Gov. Wolf and his administration gave permission to the state’s 500 school districts to restart in-person instruction with a plan approved by the local school board. Sadly, this approach placed the superintendent and school board in a position to make public health decisions where they have no training or expertise.
From masks to buses to recess to sports, the public provided many questions about how the TE School District reopening plan will work. And based on the questions from the original reopening plan presentation on Monday and then again at the special school board meeting last night, the families in our District are deeply divided as how to proceed. The administration responded easily to some questions from parents but others remained unanswered or with yet-to-be decided responses.
The special school board meeting began Wednesday night at 7:30 PM but unfortunately, the questions from the public did not begin until 11 PM. The ninety minutes of public questions was followed by school board deliberation and vote. In the early hours of Thursday, the school board voted unanimously 9-0 to approve the District school reopening plan as proposed.
In the approved District plan, schools will open on August 31 but with full virtual instruction for at least the first three weeks of school. There will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Parents will be given the option to transition to in-person instruction after Sept. 21 or continue with all virtual instruction.
(For full details about the reopening plan, visit the Tredyffrin Easttown School District website, www.tesd.net ).