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 www.tesd.net 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?