Pattye Benson

Community Matters

School Opens Virtually on Aug. 31 but Students Will Not Return In-Person until Oct. 12 plus … PIAA Rejects Gov. Wolf’s Recommendation and Votes in Favor of Fall Sports – Final Decision Up to TE School Board

The agenda for Monday, August 24 regular school board meeting is available on the District’s website, click here. The virtual school board meeting will start at 7:30 PM — Please visit the T/E School District website at to access the virtual meeting. The link to the live meeting will be available on the TESD website by 6 PM the day of the meeting.

The community may submit comments/questions by using School Board Meeting Comment Form (the form will close at 5 PM on August 24). Click here for the comment form.

The priority discussion at the school board meeting includes the revised school reopening plan. According to the revised reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year, students will start school remotely on August 31, as previously announced. However, the District is now planning to continue virtual learning until at least October 12.

The plan for in-person teaching option after October 12 will include an “introduction of small groups of students into the schools on a rotating basis for approximately one week.” Parents will have the option to continue virtual instruction or make the choice to transition to in-person instruction.

In the proposed reopening plan, under the category of Special Education, Gifted Education, and 504 Plans is the following:

For some groups of students, the District will be offering in-person instruction. This format will begin on or about September 21 and will allow special education students with significant needs to access in-person instruction while the District remains in the virtual option.

For these students, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, instruction from their special education teachers will occur in person, while they access their regular education teachers virtually. Most related services will also be received in-person on those days. On Wednesdays, students will receive Direct Supported Instruction. Students will attend school and receive adult support while accessing all their teachers virtually. This will enable students to learn the discrete skills needed to access virtual learning to the best of their abilities, while allowing them to come to be more comfortable working with their special education teachers on the virtual platform.

My understanding is that the District’s special education students will be return full time in-person to school on or about Sept. 21. The other students will not return in-person until October 12.

Also on the agenda is the approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between the District and the teachers union (TEEA). The MOU addresses virtual teaching, usage of cameras in the classrooms, etc. In addition, one of the points in the MOU protects the teachers from losing their jobs in the 2020-21 school year and reads as follows:

The District agrees there will be no involuntary furloughing or involuntary, non-disciplinary demotion of any Employee, which furlough or demotion would take effect during the 2020-2021 Contract Year. The District shall continue to employ at least 508.7 full-time equivalent bargaining unit employees for the term of this MOU.

The future of fall sports in the District remains unclear; and I did not see it listed on the school board agenda. We know that Gov. Wolf has strongly recommended against fall sports until at least January 2021, due to the pandemic. However on Friday, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Board of Directors rejected Wolf’s recommendation and voted (25-5) in favor of fall sports.

Although the PIAA gave the go-ahead for fall sports, the organization said every school in the state must now decide if it wants to participate, so it will be up to the individual school boards or superintendents to choose the fate of their sports teams.

Some Pennsylvania schools have already cancelled fall sports prior to the PIAA announcement but the remainder of the school districts (including TESD) will have to make a decision. It’s not just about football – boys and girls soccer, girls volleyball, boys and girls golf, boys and girls cross country and field hockey are also the fall sports in the PIAA. Presumably, whatever decision the District makes, will be for all and not individual sports.

With in-person teaching on hold until at least October 12, what will our District decide about fall sports? PIAA gave the green light for fall sports; will TE follow their lead? Will the District announce the fall sports decision on Monday night?

Interesting that students can play football but the elementary age kids cannot use the playground equipment at recess. Can someone help me understand?

Share or Like:


Add a Comment
  1. A record number of nurses and healthcare workers have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic as hospitals halted revenue-generating elective surgeries and routine procedures, according to Newsweek. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare lost 1.4 million jobs in April.

    Healthcare workers who risk their very lives every day they go to work are getting laid off, along with millions of other workers in America yet:

    “””””In addition, one of the points in the MOU protects the teachers from losing their jobs in the 2020-21 school year and reads as follows:”””””

    ——The District agrees there will be no involuntary furloughing or involuntary, non-disciplinary demotion of any Employee, which furlough or demotion would take effect during the 2020-2021 Contract Year. The District shall continue to employ at least 508.7 full-time equivalent bargaining unit employees for the term of this MOU. (Memo of Understanding)——-

    Can someone help me understand the Memo of Understanding?

  2. So kids can’t be in buildings? Parents can’t go to work (not everyone has a salary job remember). Teachers don’t want to be in buildings but they can’t be laid off like the rest of the population (essential and otherwise). Children can’t be on playgrounds but football players can be in locker rooms?

  3. Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration told nearly 9,000 state employees — more than 10% of the workforce — that it will stop paying them in order to reduce spending as the coronavirus shutdown continues to batter the economy.

    Everyone and I mean everyone is suffering from this pandemic. The only exceptions are tone deaf TE Administrators who grant themselves raises while Administrators in surrounding districts understand the hardships taxpayers are experiencing and forego not only salary increases but also tax increases. Now the TE teachers union demands there will be no involuntary furloughing or involuntary, non-disciplinary demotion of any Employee, which furlough or demotion would take effect during the 2020-2021 Contract Year. The District shall continue to employ at least 508.7 full-time equivalent bargaining unit employees for the term of this MOU. Outrageous. Gym teachers, librarians nurses counselors etc. Only in TE. And if taxpayers say something? We’re threatened with lawsuits. Who made the decision to accept the Memo of understanding from the teachers union? With no taxpayer input. Outrageous.

  4. So sick and tired of being bullied and intimidated by the teachers union. Did the V.P. Of the teachers union terrify the school board like she shook up Pattye, demanding Pattye take down the letter she wrote to the teachers, after a teacher sent the letter to Pattye? Is the School Board afraid and intimidated by the V.P. of the teachers union and the teachers union?

    School Board, ——-you do NOT work for the Administration and you do NOT work for the Teachers Union. You are NOT extensions of the Administration. Please do what’s right and best for students. Please represent tax payers. Stop pandering to the bully teachers union. Stand up to their tyranny. They will never stop. You have the power.

    1. I should mention that when Ms. Alvarez called me regarding the teachers communication which I posted, she corrected me that she was the union president (rather than VP as I had in my post). What’s interesting is the TEEA website continues to list Bob DeSipio as the president.

  5. Thank-you Pattye. As I recall, the letter to the teachers from Amy Alvarez, sent to you from a teacher, and posted on CM for an hour before you took it down after being shaken up by an intimidating phone call from teacher union V.P. or President Amy Alvarez, demanding that you take it down, was signed,

    “In solidarity,
    V.P. of the TE teachers union, Amy Alvarez.”

    Is that correct?

    (I would NOT have taken it down)

    1. The letter that I received was signed “In Solidarity, Amy Alvarez” — it did not list her position.
      Before I posted it, I looked up the TEEA website and it lists Ms. Alvarez as VP, which is why I added it to the post. As I mentioned Ms. Alvarez corrected me and said that she was President.

      1. Pattye,


        It’s very typical that Amy Alvarez tell you that she’s President of the teachers union but the website say that Bob Sisipio is President of the teachers union, not Amy Alvarez. They love confusion. It’s a strategy to keep parents and taxpayers mired in chaos and confusion. (Or they’re just extremely incompetent, which is a strong possibility)

  6. PIAA copped out of making a decision just like all our other leaders. Governor “strongly” recommend. PIAA says go but leaves it up to District’s to make decision. Everyone’s afraid to do the right thing for the sake of the children. Adults need to start acting like responsible grown ups and just make decisions. And when sports parents say do it for their emotional health, let’s remember emotional health starts with grown ups We need to set good examples and stop complaining about EVERYTHING

      1. Agree 100%, and I am a parent of athletes. Everyone believes they will not get it. Just wait – if there are sports at Stoga and the virus runs through the team….wow, the sports parents will go nuts because people love playing the role of victims. If major college athletic conferences decline to play and professional sports go to extreme lengths to play, what possibly could Stoga and/or the Central League do to make playing conditions safe? These people are fools, stop the madness.

        1. I agree. Dragging it out is just making the sport parents madder. And I’m sure I’m return the parents causing anxiety in the kids. You don’t see the theater parents, musicians, Math team etc complaining. Ever kids has some kind of stake here. (Not just athletic scholarship) The president’s Corona team says 6 feet apart . Just everyone stay 6 ‘ apart so we can put an end to this virus once and for all. Each person that is being selfish and wanting their own needs met are slowing down the end of this mess.

        2. I agree as well. If athletes are allowed on the field and in the locker rooms while my kids are not allowed in a classroom, I’ll be annoyed!
          Sports parents are claiming their kids are depressed. All I have to say if lack of school activity is depressing your teen, you have bigger issues than covid. Please use this fall season to re-evaluate what’s going on at home.

      2. Will and Academic first,

        Don’t blame parents, The Administration pits parents against each other, they drive wedges between family members and turn kids against their friends and family members.

        Math music band and sports parents—-work together. Come together and work hard to identify community members who understand how the administrations leadership really works. Encourage them to run for the school board. All of this will go away.

        They won’t make a decision about sports but when it comes to strengthening their power, lining their pockets and securing their job security, the decision isn’t made fast enough, and they leave you squabbling about decisions you have absolutely no control over anyway. Put all your energies toward finding candidates for the school board who represent our values and live up to the high standards we expect from our leaders.

  7. What you are seeing is the power of the union in prioritizing the welfare of their members above those of others (students). (that’s what a union is suposed to do)

    In the MOU the district gets to use “third-party providers for students whose needs the TESD remote plan cannot fully address” and “changes to working conditions caused by the compliance with statutory or regulatory requirements or recommended medical guidance issued by a state or federal agency will not constitute a violation of the CBA”.

    In return the district promises “there will be no involuntary furloughing or involuntary, non-disciplinary demotion of any Employee, which furlough or demotion would take effect during the 2020-2021 Contract Year and The District shall continue to employ at least 508.7 full-time equivalent bargaining unit employees for the term of this MOU.

    The teacher’s contract has a whole section entitled “DISTANCE E-LEARNING PROGRAM” that severely restricts when and how 3rd party providers can be used. The MOU relaxes those restrictions. However, the district is giving up too much in return. The district will want the threat of demotion and/or furlough if employees refuse to return to face-to-face instruction after the State/County deems it’s safe. The union is thinking much further ahead than the board.

    1. In the absence of the MOU what would the union do if the District used “third-party providers for students whose needs the TESD remote plan cannot fully address”?

      Would the union really grieve the use of 3rd party providers in the current emergency situation? Wouldn’t the teachers look pampered and selfish while denying an appropriate education to students?

      1. Keith,

        You ask:

        Would the union really grieve the use of 3rd party providers in the current emergency situation?

        I believe the union and Administration have demonstrated exactly who they are , what they are and how they serve. They work in their best interests only and the Board paves the way, rolling out the red carpet granting every request, every demand.

        The institution has lost sight of the students, parents and tax payers they are supposed to serve.

    2. Hi Keith,
      Our special ed teachers are already working and will continue to support their students in-person, virtually and are geared up with training on CDC guidelines to keeps kids safe.
      Nurses are working too.

      Let’s not lump everything Together.
      IEPs continue along with individual support.
      Special Ed teachers and nurses deserve an Aplus!

      1. Liz,

        When you say “nurses are working too”. What do you mean? Kids aren’t in school. How are nurses working too? I know they’re being paid. Like gym teachers, librarians etc. what are they doing?

        Never ever send your child to a school nurse.

  8. Pattye- I’m honestly grateful they’re trying to keep the students out of the buildings longer. I know several people who work at one of our elementary schools and told me today several teachers and support staff were discussing how Covid is all a political hoax and they weren’t social distancing or wearing masks. I’m hesitant to send my child back when the teachers meant to care for them won’t even take the virus seriously,

    1. I hear what you are saying. The decision is so difficult for the parents — some need the kids to return to school and others will keep them home. I wish there was a magic wand and we knew that everyone would be safe.

  9. Yes! I agree, I just wish our educators would take it more seriously. I’m sure everyone is stressed trying to make the best decision but hearing that some teachers won’t wear masks or social distance in the classroom is so disheartening, how can we feel like our children are going to be safe when the teachers can’t even take it seriously?

    1. I assumed that teachers would be required to wear masks and social distance in the classroom – am I wrong in my assumption? If so, that needs to be cleared up during tonight’s school board meeting.

  10. From what I’ve heard they are required to wear them and social distance unless they’re in their room alone, but that several teachers today did not follow the guidelines.

    1. OK, thanks. It would be good for the admin/school board to clarify the the teachers social distance and PPE requirements while at school.

    2. Peeved in Paoli,

      Teachers are going to have different attitudes, opinions and beliefs. Some are going to believe the virus is a hoax. Nothing you can do about that. If the Administration requires that teachers wear masks and socially distance, it may help, but as the memo of understanding states and the Board agreed to:

      Teachers cannot be fired or furloughed. This is nothing new.—- teachers just strengthened their power by getting it in writing. Tenured teachers have job security those working in the private sector could not dream of.

      1. Chester County (health department) guidelines which come down from State level and CDC guidelines must be followed for the safety of all.

        1. Liz,

          I agree but others do not agree. The CDC has said don’t confront people who refuse to wear masks. Because state level health departments mandate people wear masks and socially distance, doesn’t mean people will do it—even and especially teachers who have no fear of punishment because there never is any for their abhorrent behavior and they know it so they do what they want to do regardless of what the state, the law or parents say.

  11. Is a school an educational institution or a government work program? It’s hard to tell, the way this Board behaves.

  12. Why can’t the school board lead? The majority of the hours long meeting last night was spent on bantering back and forth over fall sports and for what? The item wasn’t even on the agenda and no decision will be made until the next school board meeting in September.

    Wouldn’t it be great if the school board had spent a fraction of the time discussing the merits of fall sports (in the middle of the pandemic) on how the virtual learning will be improved from the spring! This is a nightmare for parents.

    1. New Eagle Parent,

      You make great points above. This is how it works:

      The Administration dictates and controls the narrative in every meeting, but they especially direct the narrative at monthly Board meetings. Taxpayers have a little more freedom at in person committee meetings but if a parent/taxpayer//student tables a topic that requires action to hold teachers/Administrators accountable, every measure is taken to shut it down.

      The administration was happy to let the discussion go on and on, allowing parents to banter back and forth about fall sports. They love eating up meeting time talking about issues that have nothing to do with holding them accountable. If the topic were:

      “””””there will be no involuntary furloughing or involuntary, non-disciplinary demotion of any Employee, which furlough or demotion would take effect during the 2020-2021 Contract Year and The District shall continue to employ at least 508.7 full-time equivalent bargaining unit employees for the term of this MOU”””””

      You can bet the Administration would shut the discussion down immediately by changing the subject, deflecting or by causing chaos and or confusion.

  13. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to go to work in an unsafe environment. That said, nobody knows when the virus will be defeated so everyone needs to utilize long-term reasonableness in returning to the workplace. Not sure what is so unsafe about the schools, and it’s not outrageous to have a mindset that this is a multi-year problem. Also, looks like the union is doing what it’s supposed to do – that is, protect the best interests of its members.

    And everyone needs to remember the political environment we live in. The Administration holds the heavy hand and answers to no one. The School Board has tilted its prior political balance, and has at least one member (Kyle Boyer) who openly states he is an advocate for the union. There are others who aren’t strong enough to make decisions on their own and flock like sheep. So from my perspective, what the union wants, it’s gonna get.

    Why are we so surprised?

    1. TE anonymous parent,

      Yes, with teachers Kyle Boyer and Stacey Stone and Administrator Sue Tiede on the School Board, along with Roberta Hotinski who also works in education, there’s little hope for taxpayers, parents and students at this time. The remedy is simple. Elect school Board Directors who represent taxpayers. parents and students.

  14. Did anybody else watch last night and wonder why we even have district level goals? The goals are so vague and impossible to measure.

    The superintendent actually rolled his eyes while responding to a public comment that suggested his compensation was tied to delivery on the goals. By the way, he said it is not. On what is his compensation based if not that? Does he have a contract the public can review?

    COVID has completely upended all of our lives and we are all tired. We pay him a lot of money. Is it too much to ask that he not roll his eyes about a public comment?

    1. I watched the meeting on and off but was watching when the question was asked about district goals and superintendent’s review and compensation. I did not understand Dr. Gusick’s response that his contract was NOT tied to the the District’s goals.

      In looking at the District’s website,, under Human Resources, is a statement “Superintendent Performance Criteria”. Apparently the superintendent has a yearly performance review and the school board makes a statement yearly, which should happen at the September school board meeting about meeting the goals and objectives. Below is the last statement — isn’t there a relationship between performance and compensation?
      His contract — references objective performances standards as set forth by the school board and the annual performance review. What are the goals and objectives that the school board sets for the superintendent?

      Superintendent Performance Criteria

      The Tredyffrin/Easttown Board of School Directors is pleased to announce that our superintendent, Dr. Richard Gusick, has successfully met or exceeded each of his agreed upon goals and objectives for the 2018-2019 school year.

      The Board adopted, as the required objective performance standards for the Superintendent, the 2019-2020 School District Goals scheduled to be adopted during the September 23, 2019 meeting.

      1. Pattye, I don’t have any idea. Maybe his compensation is tied to his review, not the goals directly, and he was splitting hairs? I am really confused. I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but he looked so put-out by the comment. For 2019-2020 at least, it looks like School District Goals were his “required performance standards.” Those are as vague as this year’s goals! How can the Board tell what he accomplished? How can we? There are more serious things to worry about right now. It was just troubling.

    2. Disappointed in Devon,

      Thank-you for watching and reporting.

      They can’t hide their contempt and resentment towards the taxpayers who pay their outlandish salaries. ——. Eye rolling, degrading terms to describe CHS (the big C) Contempt is a prime sign of problems ahead. … Eye-rolling suggests contempt.

  15. Didn’t completely understand what Boyer was saying about his hope the board did not have to keep revisiting this issues month after month.

    My impression – Boyer, like the rest of the board does not want to lead.

    They want the administration to make the call on everything and defer to what the administration wants.

    In turn, the administration wants to be told what to do by PA Dept Health or Chester County Health Dept or PIAA.

    Regarding fall sports, kicking the can down the road and again not leading by saying it is up to Central League and District 1! By the next board meeting, it will be too late for any fall sports besides the conditioning they are doing now, which is not sports. If they are doing marching band, why can’t they do sports. I realize the nothing will be the same as it was but at least provide some leadership!

    The board should be leading by asking what can we do instead of what can’t we do.

  16. Also, don’t they record these? I wish I could go back and look. But I can’t find it on the website. Maybe there is a delay.

  17. The following was sent to TE coaches this afternoon — it’s looking less likely for fall sports.
    Good Afternoon,

    The District has been in consultation with the Chester County Health Department regarding confirmed cases of Covid-19 among members of several Conestoga sports teams, symptom screening results, and student athlete quarantine orders.

    After reviewing the situation, and because this is a voluntary activity, all off-season sports activities scheduled for Thursday August 27, Friday, August 28, Saturday, August 29, and Sunday August 30 have been cancelled. As you are aware, to enable an effective start with virtual schooling next week, we will not hold any off-season sports activities during the week of August 31. We will provide an update on the status of off-season sports activities on or before Sept 6, 2020.

    To help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in our community, please continue to engage in habits that prevent the spread of Covid-19, including limiting close contact with people outside of your household, wearing a mask, engaging in social distancing, and frequent handwashing.

    If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19, the Chester County Health Department would notify you directly. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of another person for 15 minutes or longer.

    More information about health and safety protocols are available at our website:

    Chris Groppe, Ed.D.
    Director of Individualized Student Services
    Tredyffrin/Easttown School District

    Kevin Pechin
    Athletic Director
    Tredyffrin/Easttown School District

    1. Thank you for sharing. You should put this on FB and your web site. Every TE parent should be informed about this.

    2. Interesting how sports parents didn’t share this on FB with the T/E community. They can beg us for weeks to lobby administrators for sports to move forward but once some data comes out- mum’s the word today! So selfish. Notice this isn’t on the Stoga Football FB page.

      1. Protect the children,

        Don’t blame parents. This is on the Administration for not sharing information all along and sooner. If it wasn’t for Pattye and CM, the Administration would have dragged it out longer.

        They want you angry at each other. Focused on blaming each other so your attention is off of them. They can’t stand being held accountable.

        They make you actors in their play. They pit you against each other and then sit back and watch. . It’s entertainment to them. Keep the focus on holding them accountable. Parents, band together. Work together to get competent Board Directors who truly represent you.

  18. It is disturbing that this email was not sent directly to Stoga parents, and that it contains virtually no details that would help families decide if they feel safe sending their kids to play school sports. At a minimum, the school should disclose which teams had players with positive cases, and how many positive cases per team. Information is power in living with this virus, and providing incomplete information to a select few is leaving many families feeling powerless.

    1. TE Dad,

      Well said.

      Information is power. That’s why the Administration disclosed little to no information. They don’t want parents to have power.

      They know that incomplete information invites speculation, blaming, shaming and they know it creates bad feelings between parents.

      Parents, band together. Elect Board members who understand how it works and will change the destructive culture.

  19. Wow “help me understand”! That is a really poorly informed comment. The school nurses have been working diligently during the summer to develop new health office guidelines and protocols to help keep students and staff members safe in the setting of Covid-19. They have determined how to best reconfigure the health offices to provide an area to isolate a student with symptoms suggestive of Covid.

    School nurses are in schools to provide first aid, health screenings and physical assessments. They use information gathered during assessments to determine if a child can remain in school or if they need to be sent home to protect their health as well as the health of the other students in the school. School nurses also support students with complex, chronic medical conditions. They work collaboratively with parents and primary care providers to develop individualized health plans for students with chronic health conditions as well as emergency plans to help teachers & staff know how to proceed in an emergency.

    All of the nurses in the school district spent the past week in nursing TEAMS meetings to further prepare for the challenging year ahead. They also received additional training this past week from mental health experts. Very important training for them to receive.

    It’s unfortunate you have such a low opinion of these essential health care providers. If they were not present in our school buildings, children would suffer, particularly those with chronic and/or complex medical conditions .

  20. Have to respond,

    Nice, corporate commentary that has nothing to do with reality.

    “”””They have determined how to best reconfigure the health offices to provide an area to isolate a student with symptoms suggestive of Covid.””””” Ho long did that take? 10 minutes? Have you seen the health offices? With that statement, I’m thinking not. Not a big deal at all.

    “””” They also received additional training this past week from mental health care providers.”””” What does that mean? How do you quantify it? How is that statement measurable?

    “”””If they were not present in our school buildings, children would suffer, particularly those with chronic and/or complex medical conditIons.”””” That’s ridiculous. Kids with chronic and/or complex medical conditions are under the care of their personal health care providers. If they have an emergency, nurses call 911 just like anyone else would. It takes 30 seconds. If kids have fevers, nurses call mom to come get them.

    Lots of kids go to nurses office to “lie down”

    They cross personal boundaries using their position to ask kids personal questions that have NOTHING to do with why the kid came to the nurses office.

    Kids aren’t in schools! They’re not working! Gym teachers making $100,000+ aren’t working, librarians making the same AREN’T working. STOP gaslighting. Tax payers are being fleeced!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Community Matters © 2024 Frontier Theme