Pattye Benson

Community Matters

T/E School Board Meeting Last Night – In the words of the Board President, “We Have No Plan”

The important board meeting last night left many of us with a lot more questions than answers! Starting about 15 minutes late, it was two hours in before there were any comments/questions from the community.

Compounding the situation (and presumably to speed up the process), board president Michelle Burger had the District solicitor read the questions/comments from residents in groups of four or more. Residents take the time to thoughtfully write questions – and this is the District’s response, really unacceptable.

From my vantage point, for the 3-1/2 hours that I watched, it was an impossible meeting. For residents who attended the meeting looking for a straightforward plan forward for their children to return to school, it lacked direction and was no doubt disappointing.

The pandemic has been with us for a year, where is the District’s plan for going forward? Other school districts have worked on multiple scenarios, why haven’t we? At approximately 9:50 PM, the board president commented, “We don’t have a plan”. And therein lies the problem.

In the spring of 2020, the District set up a pandemic reopening group which included parents. What happened to that group, did they ever meet? Where’s that input in the decision-making process? What about the parents survey from last week, was that information considered and included for the meeting last night?

A few of my takeaway points –

(1) No vote on fully reopening the schools would be taken at the meeting

(2) There will be a special meeting on Monday, March 1 dedicated to the school reopening issue

(3) The earliest that schools may fully reopen is March 15.

I have attended school board meetings for years – and without question, last night’s meeting was the most frustrating and void of answers. Parents needed reassurance and to know that their voices have been heard – the school board and administration needed to say that they have been heard. The community needed to hear that you are really working on a plan (not that you have NO plan) and that you are committed to getting the kids back to school.

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      1. Doesn’t the school board govern what the admin requests? School boards are not there to micro manage.

        Of course, this does not address the poop show going on in TE now. You can’t govern nothin!!

        At least in Phoenixville, our plan includes double masking. I triple dawg dare you to move on that one.

    1. Because they signed a MOU with union at beginning of pandemic that basically gives teachers until next school year to come back before there are consequences! Idiot move – yes! Giving the store away for a dime – yes, though we didn’t even get a dime!!! The administration and school board are one in the same and terrible all the way around… change! We need to change out every single one of them starting with the board and dr. Gusick…

      1. ***FYI there are not too many Alicia’s around here, so I wanted to clarify that comment above is not mine. This is Alicia M from Beaumont – I’m very active in the school community so I just wanted to make sure this was not attributed to me. #thanksmom

      2. Hi Alicia

        You do realize teachers have been back in the building for months now right? Please stop spreading misinformation.

  1. This board and admin are horrific. 1 year of doing NOTHING!!! Teachers should be essential workers. VOTE THEM OUT. Gusick needs to resign. We need a bipartisan board. They voted with the UNION. Wake up TE!!!!

        1. The plan will model the newest CDC guidelines allowing a three foot distance between student
          desks.

          The likely scenario will be to keep the virtual option for those who need it while also returning students to in person. The school must meet the child where they are for their free education mandated by law.

          Of course, parents and kids must fill out Covid survey, get screened and continue wearing masks with safe distancing.

          Obviously, there are already students in school on a hybrid cycle ( First half of the alphabet comes first two days of the week and last half attend last two days with all students virtual on Wednesday).

          Some teachers are being vaccinated especially those who are working with higher risk situations.
          The school plans to do a pilot program with volunteer teachers to do antigen testing (similar to Philly schools in conjunction with CHOP.

          There is a Covid Director at TE.
          All schools have one.

          Finally any uptick in transmission rates could close a building or the school for safety reasons.

          The virus is still out there. There are better treatment option but no cure yet. More people vaccinated is key with antigen testing to catch a symptomatic and symptomatic cases.
          I as a substitute registered nurse know the COVID 19 plan will be in the best interests of our kid’s health to promote safe learning.

  2. The bottom line is the teachers don’t want to go back. The Administration supports the teachers. The Board backs whatever the Administration wants because there are teachers and an Administrator on the Board.

    Focus on the upcoming School Board Election. Vote in people who understand what really goes on; people who will represent kids, and parents.

    1. Yes! Administration supports the Union/teachers in TESD. BUT, the board is beholden to the admin to make their decisions. They cannot make informed decisions without the information provided to them by Gusick and Co. I assure you that almost every word you heard from your board came from the admin. Without a trustworthy, ethical admin, we cannot ensure that we have a system that works effectively. Stop blaming the board and start blaming the BOSS!!! #gusisksgottago

      We will keep getting board members who can’t do a thing with the
      Admin we have!

      1. #gusickgottogo,

        I don’t understand your logic. Gusick only leaves by one of two ways.
        1) He voluntarily resigns (unlikely)
        2) The board fires him

        If you want prompt affirmative action you’ll need alternative #2 and that requires action by the board. So, I’m unsure how “blaming [Gusick]the BOSS” or displaying yard signs gets you anywhere. The real “BOSS” is the school board. Since they seem satisfied with his performance there is no incentive for Gusick to change his behavior nor is there any indication the board would remove him.

        Plus, If you want Gusick gone the district is legally obligated to buy out his contract that runs until June 2023. That would amount to about a half-million dollars. (2 years at $250K per year)

      1. Me,

        Read the lawn signs sponsored by the group, “T/E Support for In-Person Learning.” It’s 750+ members strong and growing.

        Fully Open TE Schools Now

        I’m sure it won’t be difficult for you to find a member of the group who can explain it to you.

  3. The meeting was awful. Is that the best the #1 school district can do?

    We’ve got the school board president declaring that there’s no plan, so are we to believe that by next Monday night there WILL be a plan? What a joke.

    An entire year has gone by and where are we in the process to reopen? Why is it other school districts can do it? Why do other districts have real plans in place. Why is it other school boards and administrators actually listen to the constituents?

    TE Needs a Plan!!

    1. TE Needs a Plan,

      The answer to your questions is very simple. We handed over all our power to the Administration when we elected them to serve on our School Board. This Board will never vote to oust Gusick. Vote in candidates who will.

      The answer is to focus on the upcoming School Board Election and vote in qualified people who will make sure kids come first.

      1. Check out the current candidates and see who will buck the trend. It seems as if they will all continue to perpetuate the same old thing. None will stand up to admin!! #gusicksgottago

  4. As long as shade continues to be thrown on pro-opening parents that they are anti-teacher or not concerned about teachers’ lives, this standoff and polarization of the community will continue. Teachers who are 1A qualify for the vaccine now as do everyone in the state with these health risks. Teachers who are 1B asking to be in 1A would bump those in 1A who face negative outcomes by diverting limited vaccine resources. The visceral comments made by parents and yes, even by teachers, at parents expressing their children’s real needs to go back in person are shameful and are cyber bullying. Those same individuals turn around and throw shade accusing those pro-opening parents of not being respectful. Schools are safe to reopen based on safety protocols, published science, healthcare leaders, and more than six months of observation of schools that have already done it. Many families want it but the real issue is the significant number of families who need it because their children are not thriving and are suffering. Schools have not been super spreaders. Let’s end the unsubstantiated scare tactics and move forward together.

  5. As a parent, I was happy to see that they are listening, and if the metrics are out of high for 3 weeks, students will have more days (4 or 5, TBD).
    It has been almost a year, and, the health authorities are being more flexible on distancing.
    Not wishing to argue with anyone on my interpretation of the meeting or my opinion stated here.
    I like the plexiglass idea that was brought up by parents, and would like to see that for my youngest, as his classes are the most likely to go less than 6-feet, and, there is already plexiglass in storage. I am “Team Plexiglass” whenever possible, especially during lunch.
    I think the board and Superintendent made a point to address all the questions parents submitted as long as their township was included, many questions were repetitive, but, it showed what many parents are thinking. The topic of Radnor district being more proactive was kind of both addressed and sidestepped. I expect a lot of comments and debates about that. Pretty much President Burger sees the county health services as the experts, just like the PIAA, and, is going to follow suit. Really, we are right in line if not ahead of other public schools in Chester County was the gist of what Dr. Gusick said. They exhibited a lot of patience and I was pleased.
    Again, not engaging in any debates or arguments, just stating my take on the meeting. It was hopeful. This has been a long trek.

  6. Jessica,

    Just so you know, they say what they think you want to hear and then do nothing, or they do whatever it is they want to do. They’ll drag this out, giving you little dribs and drabs, you’ll cling to tiny droplets of hope which makes you stop speaking out, and before you know it, it’s June and they go on their 3 month vacation, from their previous 9 month vacation.

    1. Watcher, this is the most Prescient observation I’ve seen. Spot on!! Gusick will reel in the parent leaders of the most recent grassroots group and he will groom them to dissuade the crowds from speaking up. Then, he will implement systems and policies to support his staff, not the kids.

      #gusicksgottago

  7. I wish someone can tell me how they were able to wrestle this year but debate having kids ride a bus, eat lunch at school or sit 3’ apart.
    Sports trump academics as usual.

    1. Did anybody catch the dowel comment Gusick made? Was he saying that it was going to take time to cut the dowels? Or that they didn’t know how long to cut the dowels? Or both? Hopefully they will have a chance to study that and make some recommendations by the next meeting.

  8. Stop. Yelling. About. The Union. Don’t let a tv network tell you they’re the enemy in this situation because they just aren’t at all.

    This is the world we live in where everyone has to pick a side and scream at each other, especially people behind a keyboard.

    Teachers are more than happy going back once they’re vaccinated. They hate the current model. They want to come back. However especially at the high school level, kids are contagious and they wear stupid masks like gaiters that barely do anything. Even still, teachers overwhelmingly want to go back with a vaccination that makes their risk of getting seriously ill/sick minimal.

    Let’s all get on the same page and just yell with one voice to get all teachers vaccinated. THAT SOLVES EVERYTHING.

    Your dermatologist and everyone in the office got vaccinated. Why are they more essential than teachers?? That’s a really bad job by our state government and something our local officials have barely any control over.

    I know this is hard to hear but you should mad way higher up than Admin, School Board, Superintendent, teachers, union, or whatever else local thing you think will make you feel better yelling at who has to listen.

    1. There are LOTS of people that would like to get vaccinated before they go back to work. You can’t compare teachers to health care providers. Grocery, transportation, restaurant, scientists at drug companies, factory works. The list of people that go to work with groups of people is endless and they would all their risk of getting ill minimized.

      1. There are lots of people that would like to get vaccinated. Agreed. However, new CDC study says most school outbreaks originate from teachers. So in the best interest of the children, WE SHOULD VACCINATE TEACHERS. We all know the ventilation isn’t up to snuff, especially when it’s cold and windows can’t be opened. There’s 120k teachers in PA public schools. That is not a crazy number to vaccinate. There are a ton of health care workers far less exposed to covid than teachers. We need to make them a priority for our children’s sake, ours and theirs. I also think this is all moot with how many shots are about to be available yet people want to yell at each other when this will resolve on its own with more vaccinations happening all the time.

    2. You are right. This is unfortunate for everyone. Currently, 1A in Pennsylvania is only those most likely to have a negative outcome of hospitalization or death from COVID and those that treat them (medical and nursing care workers). A dermatologist is a doctor. Everyone in a doctor’s office interacts with patients. A teacher is absolutely a vital essential worker and hopefully no one is questioning that. There are millions of other essential workers, most of whom are in person. None of them are eligible yet in this state unless they are 1A for their own medical or age reasons. If vaccine production wasn’t already maxxed out for global need, then this could be expedited. With a shortage of vaccines, diverting vaccines to teachers would directly take them from people already in 1A who are having trouble getting them now. Literally millions of Pennsylvanians. It would also position teachers as more important than all other essential workers who are already working in person, many in far worse and constrained conditions. There aren’t extras vaccines. This is unfortunate but true. Saying “once they’re vaccinated” is disagreeing with Dr. Fauci who says that is not needed for a safe return to school.

    3. Dermatologists got vaccinated bc they have been working in person and exposing themselves to a revolving door of patients who halfway wear masks in offices with antiquated ventilation systems for months. They get priority bc they have placed themselves at risk to protect and provide for your health, something most school districts have not been willing to do in the name of educating children.

  9. Not sure who is yelling. Debate, as the country was founded, leads to sound solutions.

    My simple questions:

    Do the teachers want to teach in person?

    Do the students want to go back to school?

    What is the difference between health recommendations and laws?

    Why not have an option for kids to repeat their grade?

    If the online schooling is working, why not keep it going for the foreseeable future and open the schools to have room monitors only for online schooling next school year? This could save us lots of $$$?

  10. It’s troubling that there is no plan for resuming instruction at TESD. A draft revision of Chester County Health Department guidance was circulated to all school district superintendents prior to Feb 3 which relaxed spacing guidelines.

    (listen at the 2:00:00 mark at the 2/3/2021 Delaware County supervisors meeting) https://www.delcopa.gov/council/video.html

    It’s surprising the board and the administration haven’t been able to articulate a plan with a timeline for returning to full in-person instruction. The district knew they would eventually need to return to in-person instruction. The plan should have been in place for months. What’s making TESD so slow compared to other neighboring districts?

  11. I have two elementary school kids. Their teachers all teach at the classroom. From what I read above, the challenge is at older kids, especially the high school kids. If that is the case, can we open elementary and middle schools, but keep high school the same as now? If I understand correctly, keeping young kids at home to take virtual class is far more challenging than older ones for parents. Considering the different needs at different ages, we might reach a better conclusion.

  12. We support TE teachers!

    It’s a shame their union does not support them. All those union dues, you would think the union would be able to represent the teachers and use their political capital to secure vaccines for their members.

  13. Gusick wouldn’t even commit to being back five days in the fall. I heard blah blah don’t know what the future holds blah blah couldn’t have predicted a year ago we would be here…blah blah. We all know that and have been managing our expectations for 11 months.

    I needed him to say yes, we will move heaven and earth, and the kids will be back. It is disappointing how he shrinks from opportunities to lead and inspire.

  14. I no longer have school age children. I’m glad I don’t have to decide whether to keep my children home or send them to school.
    I see both sides of the issue and there is no perfect answer. I do have a comment though. If the school district thinks it is safe for the teachers and students to be back in person then why are school board meetings still being held virtually and why is there nobody working in the school tax office??? I’ve made two calls and left messages with a couple people with a simple question and still no response after 3 days. The phone message says they are working virtually. Still??? There have been comments on here about the teachers being lazy. They are NOT lazy. If teachers, paras, aides, nurses, cafeteria staff, secretaries, custodians and bus drivers are expected to be back in the school buildings full time, ALL the district staff should be back to work. Fair is fair.

    1. I am social worker and I am mandated to do in home visits for children who are in foster care on a regular basis in the midst of Covid. I also help those families facing homelessness in Chester County.I have to work in the public despite Covid to take care of people in need. My church has been open with public worship since the fall of 2020. I participate in most of those services. I visited a teacher classroom and sat in on the full class. I am a guardian of my nephew and he is in hybrid and will do 4 days instructions. I don’t have an answer to when the board will move to public meetings. I hope soon. I hate virtual meetings.I prefer seeing the public in person. If you have questions that are not being answer on school taxes please send your questions to the school board email address and I will make sure your questions are answered. schoolboard@tesd.net is the email address.

  15. I don’t understand commenters who (a) are desperate to get the teachers back and (b) refuse to consider prioritizing vaccines to teachers. If (b) were being considered, if it seemed you cared about the well being of teachers, I would understand…as it is, the commentary seems cruel. You don’t have to put them above Ia. All you have to do is say that teachers IN ia are given priority spots over, say, nonworkers in 1a, of which there are many in TE, lawyers in 1a–I know a few and they are ALL remote, let’s not forget the kitten video–software programmers in 1a, administrators in 1a, and so on. In fact, this has been done elsewhere–in Lehigh Valley a medical system decided to set aside spots for teachers in 1a every week to get them back to the classrooms. (Disclaimer: my husband is a private school teacher in 1a who has been teaching in the classroom since September. No complaints. But don’t tell me it is right that 20-year olds with less serious 1a conditions, who are taking college classes from home, are prioritized ober my husband who will be coaching spring sports INSIDE in a week. The same goes for other essential workers–if they are in 1a, they should be getting shots NOW).

    Good luck getting a new school board. Republicans are now in the minority in TE, and that is unlikely to change any time soon with a golden statue of Trump being carried around at CPAC, and conference attendees booing at speakers who had the gall to point out private businesses have a right to decide how their businesses are run, and can require masks if they so choose. So much for capitalism! Business owners no longer own their businesses as far as the average Republican voter is concerned! Vaccines are conspiracies and Sandy Hook was faked. That is where your party is now, and there is no way the average educated TE voter will ever vote for that party again–unless those folks are kicked out. And I write that as someone who absolutely despises Tom Wolf for his horrific vaccine rollout. Calling the PA Health Department right now is like calling Comcast. Still I have no choice–I will not vote for conspiracy theorists or those who enable them, and will take complete incompetents over them every time.

    1. Thank you for your post. This is what I would refer to as exhibit A.
      Suburban mom lumping Washington politics with local politics resulting in….
      our current school board.

      Going forward, it would be helpful to RESEARCH each CANDIDATE and
      where they stand on having girl sports by biological girls etc.

      1. I didn’t say it was good—just that it’s what us going to happen. I wish we had viable third parties and independent candidates and that the parties allowed for diversity of opinion, but none of those things are currently true. Republicans in Harrisburg threatened to throw out the votes of people in our county because they didn’t like them. The republicans have become a toxic brand. Those who want more diversity in our school board should switch to Dems or run as independents.

        Nice slur on “suburban mom” though.

        1. I don’t know why I bother replying, but for the record, “suburban mom” is not a slur. Also, you continue to bash Republicans in DC & Harrisburg, yet the TESB is exclusively comprised of Dems.

          I stand by my statement, voters need to RESEARCH each CANDIDATES! Know where they stand on issues that affect our kids/students…eg. Do they protect girls in girls sports and not allow boys who want to participate in girl sports and other issues that affect our kids/students here in TE.

    2. I agree that it should not go solely on age, profession, or co-morbidity but it should factor in all three. I wouldn’t rank co-morbidities within it as it’s evolving and debated. I also wouldn’t rank professions — they’re either interfacing with the public or not — or the debates would be endless on who’s most at risk with unions and lobbyists in an ugly battle. Pitting professions against each other fuels class and even racial inequities. I completely agree that after healthcare, the next group should have been essential workers with co-morbidities. You’d think systems would be sophisticated enough to start with essential workers with co-morbidities and age, then essential workers with co-morbidities OR age, and after that have the discussion/debate on if next should be essential workers without co-morbidities or age OR people with co-morbidities and/or age who aren’t essential workers. Arguments can be made for either and different states have taken different approaches. In a perfect world with endless supply these difficult choices would not be needed. PA put the co-morbidities and age before exposure risk. I’d think the second part of that would be debated and continues to be as teachers lobby for inclusion in 1A with those with co-morbidities but I truly don’t understand why the first part wasn’t a no brainer. You can be desperate (your word) or advocating (my word) to have teachers back and believe the schools are ready for them to safely go back without being in favor of waiting for or getting vaccines before others who already qualify and can’t find them. It’s not about not valuing teachers lives and it’s not right to say that about parents. It’s about whether or not you feel a safe return is possible and appropriate without vaccinations. Many disagree on this and that doesn’t make them uncaring or misinformed. The small group of teachers characterizing parents that way on social media should really think about that. I’d say the same for the small group of parents who say things like they shouldn’t have to pay taxes. I believe the overwhelming majority of our community fall somewhere in between in this hot mess and should continue to work together to support each other.

      1. I completely agree. All forward-facing workers in 1a should be given the same priority. A 100% agree.

        And I agree we are mostly in the middle. Maybe we can unite—teachers, parents, Dems, and Repubs—in our opposition to PA’s poor rollout? I don’t get a sense people here understand how bad it is. I called the Governor, Sen Casey, Sen Comitta, Rep Houlahan, and Rep Shusterman yesterday. That’s how upset I am. They are getting calls and complaints, but nothing like 2016 when Obamacare was on the chopping block. Maybe everyone here could make a couple of calls? It’s not to late to fix this.

  16. I should add that every single teacher I know who works in another state is vaccinated. I know two private school and one public school teachers in Maryland–all three have had BOTH SHOTS. I know a teacher in Texas–has had her first shot, despite all that’s happened down there. I know teachers in New York. Had their shots.

    If you want teachers back in school, call Tom Wolf and tell his his rollout is a complete, unmitigated, horrific disgrace and that his health department needs to lock themselves in a room and not come out until they have fixed it. Our state has allowed medical institutions to prioritize family over the community–Geisinger, and now Penn at Chester County Hospital. It has allowed people to forward links and give appointments to people who are not qualified to get them and did not wait in line. It has rewarded people with the ability and the time to hit refresh on websites a gazillion times as if they were trying to get tickets to a rock concert over the elderly and those who have heavy workloads or weighty personal responsibilities that prevent that. Our state has made getting the vaccine like winning the lottery, rather than making it into the orderly, fair, open process it could be. It is beyond belief, and I am far more angry at that than I am at the teachers trying to protect themselves.

    1. Parent of 2020 Stoga and college graduates,

      Your disclaimer says it all. “
      “ Disclaimer: my husband is a private school teacher in 1a who has been teaching in the classroom since September. No complaints.” I can understand how your husbands profession influences your opinion.

      I could go on and on about how my 32 year old niece is a pediatrician in DC and how she sees sick kids all day long but she can’t get a vaccine. But she’s not a member of a powerful union that tells her how special she is and how she deserves special treatment because of her job.

      Your husband is a private school teacher and has been in the classroom since September. It’s worked, right? Why won’t it work in public schools too? The answer is, it would work except that teachers in public schools don’t want it to work because they don’t want to go back in the schools and they have the power and influence to hold the TE community hostage.

  17. Parent of 2020 Stoga and college graduates,

    My niece who is a pediatrician in D.C and can’t get a vaccine is married to a man who is severely asthmatic. If she brings the virus home and gives it to him………….

    Teachers have plexiglass. Dr.’s do not. Teachers can distance, Dr.’s can’t distance. Teachers don’t have to touch kids. Dr.’s touch their patients.

    Everyone has a story. Teachers are the only ones who complain, and expect to be treated differently. It’s offensive.

    1. TE teachers are the biggest complainers. The get paid very week and work with easy kids. Love to see some of them survive a week in philly, Chester or Reading school district. TE parents and kids are spoiled too. Philly kids have not had any in person opportunities in a year! Perspective people.

  18. It’s worked because they have very, very few students in each classroom, because they can kick students out if they don’t mask properly—and I mean out of the school, not the classroom—and because they purchased ionizers.

    Is Stoga going to have classes with 6-8 present in the room? Is it going to group kids in cohorts if 30 and ensure they don’t see other kids all day?

    I don’t have any idea why your daughter can’t get a vaccine. Perhaps DC is doing a poor job. But she would see fewer patients than a Stoga teacher would see students, and in a more controlled environment. Is she 1a? Because you didn’t address my points at all about the dangers to teachers in 1a and the need to protect them at all.

    And this has nothing to do with unions. I didn’t say one word about them. It has to do with being a human being.

    1. Parent of 2020 Stoga and College graduates,

      When discussing an issue as important as this one, whether you mention them or not, the Teachers Union cannot be excluded from the conversation, especially in TE where the Teachers Union has unprecedented power.

  19. The hatred—yes, that is the word—of teachers is quite telling. Teachers are abandoning their jobs across the country, and in many places they have to hire unqualified people. Education schools are in decline, not that I care—my husband didn’t go to one and I think advanced, elite degrees in subjects like physics, should be qualifying to teach in high schools, like it is in the elite privates. Still, it is worth noting.

    TE is different, because it pays well—I get that. But the teachers certainly aren’t going to get better because of a national shortage. That’s the law of supply and demand. If you think the supply is so great and it’s a buyer’s market, why don’t you like what you’re buying?

    Frankly for all the dislike of teachers I see here—I see an incredible dependence on them. Don’t like Stoga—cough up money for a private school, homeschool, move elsewhere. It maybe, I don’t know, act like you have one glimmer of caring in your heart for a 58 year old teacher with a 1a condition who is worried they won’t live to see their grandchildren.

    But don’t count on eliminating the problem with a new school board. As I said, that will not happen. The republicans are as gone in TE as democrats were circa 1980.

    1. Parent of 2020 Stoga and college graduates,

      Ok, I don’t view private schools as “elite”.

      Next, most of your comment is non sensical.

      Last, I shouldn’t have to move because I want to express my opinion.

      I don’t hate teachers because I believe they don’t deserve special treatment because of their profession.

      I do believe there will be a new school board. This has nothing to do with politics. I know more D’s than R’s who want fully open TE schools now.

      1. Again, expected PA teachers with 1a health conditions to have access to the vaccine like teachers do in that reddest of red states Texas is not treating them as “special.”

        Will you agree that PA should do doing something to ensure that 1a workers have vaccine? Would you agree that after doctors, and along with bus drivers etc, teachers should be given vaccine before1a self employed, lawyers, stay at home moms, accountants, all working from home?

        1. Parent of 2020 Stoga and college graduates,

          I agree that Tom Wolfe and the state of PA have done an abysmal job rolling out vaccines for out state.

          I don’t believe a healthy 25 year old teacher with no pre existing conditions should receive a vaccine over my over weight 63 year old sister in law who had to travel to NJ after being on the phone for hours trying to get an appt. in PA

          1. Again, who is talking about 25-yr old teachers without health conditions? Not me.

            Your 63 year old sister in law, if she is not in a public-facing job, should not be able to move ahead of a 63 yr old teacher with a 1a health condition. Can we agree to that? Sounds like she got a jab. Good for her. Many teachers have not. PA suburbs are being treating like trash. See the Inquirer article today—we are being starved of vaccines compared to rural counties. Wolf should be impeached and removed from office. He’s killing people.

            See: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.inquirer.com/opinion/vaccine-problems-pennsylvania-suburbs-biden-fema-covid-delaware-chester-20210227.html%3foutputType=amp

            1. Yeah, you’re right. This is bad. Thanks for the link.

              Delaware County, population 566,747, had received just 9,113 doses per 100,000 people as of Wednesday. That’s two-thirds less vaccine than in tiny Bradford County, with 60,323 people on the New York border. And yet, both counties have nearly identical infection rates (7,181 coronavirus cases per 100,000 in Delco, 7,226 in Bradford.) Just how bad is this? Delco was ranked 53rd in the rate of doses received out of the 66 counties. And this in a place where one out of 10 people was living in poverty pre-pandemic.
              Chester County, population 524,989 and sixth largest in the state, had received only 14,748 doses per 100,000 residents, while Elk County and its 29,910 residents in the state’s northwestern quadrant were ranked second in doses statewide. Elk got the equivalent of 45,721 doses per 100,000 people.
              Bucks County, fourth largest in Pennsylvania with 628,270 people, had gotten 13,103 doses per 100,000 residents, while Mifflin County, 46th largest with a population of just 46,138 northwest of Harrisburg, ranked third in doses.
              Montgomery County, one of the three most populous with 830,915 residents, ranked 20th in doses — 17,667 per 100,000 residents. No. 1 statewide: Montour County, 61st in population with just 18,230 residents north of Harrisburg. It received 164,153 doses per 100,000 people.

  20. Doctors have been in 1a since the beginning on PA. If your niece were in PA she’d be vaccinated. I know many doctors—specialists, not at direct risk, some who don’t see patients—all vaccinated in PA! Pittsburgh medical system vaccinated hospital administrators more than a month ago!

    When did I say doctors shouldn’t be vaccinated first? In PA they were! Pediatricians offices were given vaccine early, and gave it not only to themselves but to their 16-25 yr old 1a patients who are at less risk than 50 yr olds in 1a. When did I am for teachers to be treated special? Never. I said all people in 1a who work with the public should be vaccinated, doctors first—as they are in PA and should have been.

    It’s not about wanting teachers to have special treatment—it’s about the way many of you seem to want them to have worse treatment.

    1. Parent of 2020 Stoga and college graduates

      No one wants teachers to get worse treatment. Teachers should not get special treatment

  21. For the record I am a registered Independent. I have been a registered Independent since October 2019. I voted against the MOU. I voted against policy 1131. I voted against tax hikes last year and will vote against raising taxes this year in the midst of a pandemic. I support in school instructions for our children for four or five days a week starting on March 15. I regularly have made independent votes since I been a board member. I represent forty thousand people of all backgrounds and political persuasions in our community. Please be careful to make generalizations about every board member. -Scott Dorsey

    1. Thanks for your comment Scott! It’s good to know that you are in support of the plan to fully reopen the schools starting March 15! Hopefully, there’s 4 other school board directors that are equally supportive!

      Your independent voice is going to be sorely missed on the school board!

    2. Scott, thank you for all those votes. I wish there were four other school board members who voted the right way. That does not seem like it will happen anytime soon.

      For those who don’t know, the school board just changed Regulation 1131 so that presidents/chairs of recognized parent groups can no longer speak on behalf of their organizations at school board meeting and committee meetings. This is a blatant attempt to silence those organizations. This came about because over the past few years more and more parent groups have been speaking out against the administration and school board on various issues. Great response – don’t listen and instead try to silence the voice of those organizations. This is bullying, plain and simple. Those organizations also happen to represent minority and historically underrepresented groups. So much for equity they keep talking so much about.

      1. Doug Anestad said,

        For those who don’t know, the school board just changed Regulation 1131 so that presidents/chairs of recognized parent groups can no longer speak on behalf of their organizations at school board meeting and committee meetings.

        If this is true, every single Board member who voted for this should be voted out. is it a done deal? Don’t initiatives like this have to be debated and discussed by all parties? Did any Board Member vote against it?

        1. Watcher, the only school board member to vote against 1131 was Scott Dorsey. The rest decided that parent groups shouldn’t have the right to speak as an organization. The other eight school board members should be voted out if people want to have a voice when they have a concern. Waiting till you have a concern is too late. Parent group after parent group has learned this the hard way.

    3. Mr. Dorsey,
      Thank you for sharing this information. As a member of the board that seems willing to engage with the public, perhaps you could take some time to address Debbie Watson’s questions.

  22. I have read the comments on multiple posts blasting the teachers, the administration, Dr. Gusick, and the school board and it’s enough! The problem is that everyone thinks they are an expert, and they know exactly what the perfect solution is. So let’s dispel with the myths, the opinions, and the hearsay. If you have been paying attention at all throughout this school year, you would have noticed that the TESD has been consistent about their intentions to follow the guidance of the CCHD. Some of the readers on this blog have been quick to blame the teachers and the teachers union, claiming they have too much power because of the MOU that was signed at the beginning of the year. The fact is, if the teachers and the union really had that much power, school likely would not have reopened for hybrid in October. Every move, every decision has been in accordance to the recommendations of the CCHD. When they said it was time to go hybrid, TE went hybrid. When they recommended to go virtual after the holidays, TE went virtual. Now that they recommend social distance can be less than 6 feet, TE has a plan to bring all students back in 3 weeks. The members of the school board and Dr. Gusick were entrusted with making sound educational and financial decision. They are not health experts. It takes true leadership to understand your own strengths, and rely on the experts for guidance in areas you are not as familiar with. They relied on the CCHD because they are the experts when it comes to make health decisions. If you are frustrated by the recommendations of the CCHD, then you should take it up with them. And that ma’am is just the facts.

    1. Joe Friday,

      As stated and explained by many on the blog the last couple of months, the MOU gave the teachers Union unprecedented power. Teachers were mandated to go back in December, they refused and threatened to walk out. The Board gave into them because they had no leverage, they gave up all leverage in the MOU.

      1. What unprecedented power are you talking about? The only school where there was an issue was at Conestoga. And if I am correct, there were many students who voiced their support of their teachers on this very blog. You say the board gave in to them, yet they were all back on the job within a few days. Nothing was changed! If the board had really given in to them as you say, the high school would have remained virtual. Stick to the facts.

        1. Joe Friday,

          The MOU says that teachers cannot be fired or demoted. Teachers can do and say whatever they want to do and say because the MOU gives them the cover to do that. No other school district gave this unprecedented power to teachers. It is unheard of. The Board has no leverage over teachers, not that they want leverage over the teachers. Our School Board and our teachers are one in the same, except I guess for Scott Dorsey, who just posted his voting record on this blog.

          1. “Teachers can do and say whatever they want to do and say because the MOU gives them the cover to do that.”

            All the teachers have done this year is work countless hours reworking every lesson they’ve ever taught to deliver instruction in a manner that had never been done before. It’s amazing that you seem to have a problem with an administration, school board and teaching staff that are trying to work cooperatively under the guidance of the CCHD. Sounds like you’d rather just threaten teachers to do whatever you please regardless of the health and safety recommendations provided.

            1. Joe Friday,

              Your comment has nothing to do with the fact that the MOU gives teachers free reign to do and say whatever it is they want to do and say. If they don’t want to return to work? There is zero consequence for them to not return to work , because the MOU takes all leverage away from the school board to have the authority to ensure they return to work.

              The teachers are their own boss. As Tina said, in what universe does this happen? No where but TE. It is insane!!!

              1. You continue to talk about this unprecedented power that the teachers have, yet despite having their voices and concerns mostly ignored, they continue to show up for work every day to serve the students of TE in the best way possible. Even in December, the issue at Conestoga did not create lasting change. Those teachers did show up for work, when according to you, they had the power to stay home. The real purpose of the MOU was to protect those teachers whose jobs were perceived to be expendable. If you have an issue with that, that’s understandable. But please stop thinking this MOU was about giving teachers unprecedented power, because that is just not true

              2. “The real purpose of the MOU was to protect those teachers whose jobs were perceived to be expendable.”

                This says it all and the fact that you don’t get that says it all.

  23. As ME2 stated,I don’t know why I am even typing this but your vitriol is disturbing.

    POLITICS IS LOCAL.

    In the last couple of elections TE voters voted down ballot as to how they felt about national and state elections, Orange Man bad, not a logical approach.

    Stop voting for local candidates by the letter after their name! Research the candidate and their stance on issues. In what world would former teachers and admin be on the school board in which they were once employed ?? Insane!!

    Stop defining and disparaging people for their beliefs, values, political affiliation. You are falling right into the trap where the politicians want us, pitted against each other, ignoring or not seeing what they are doing. Redirect the energy. Show them that all people can work together, no matter their political leanings , for the common good, in this case our community and school district.

    1. Tina,

      In what world would former teachers and admin be on the school board in which they were once employed ?? Insane!!

      Agree. And the sole reason for all or problems.

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