March 16, 2020
Dear T/E Families,
I am writing to provide additional information about the upcoming distance learning days, which are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 18. A Distance Learning Guide for Families is now available on our website.
Our teaching staff participated in virtual faculty meetings today to review expectations and to answer questions about distance learning. Our faculty is fully engaged and committed to making this experience as seamless as possible for our students and families. While we know our teachers are preparing meaningful work for students, the health and safety of all members of the T/E community remains a higher priority.
To that end, teachers have developed a daily routine for students in an effort to maintain continuity of instruction. In consultation with individual teachers and our teacher leadership, we have made the decision that all distance learning work completed at this time will be ungraded, and students will not be penalized for any work not completed during distance learning days. Teachers may provide feedback for student work submitted, but no points or grades will be assigned. We will continue to monitor this position and may need to make a change to the plan if the school closure extends beyond the current two-week window, and as guidelines from the state and federal government become clearer.
Attendance will be taken on each distance learning day so we can better support students who may be unable to fully access the online classwork. Additionally, it is still unclear whether the PA Department of Education will require attendance on our distance learning days to be reported as it is on regular school days. For elementary students, attendance will be managed through email. For middle and high school students, this will be managed through Schoology. Details are included in the Distance Learning Guide, but please plan to report your child’s participation by 2PM each day. If your child is unable to participate in the instructional activities on a given day, please submit a written note to your school’s attendance email as you typically do.
Today we began the process of delivering meals to students participating in the free and reduced price meal program. We understand that families who are not participating in the free and reduced price meal plan may still experience food scarcity or other needs. If your family is in need of support, or if you are interested in contributing to families in need, you may confidentially contact Dr. Oscar Torres at TorresO@tesd.net or Mrs. Jeanne Braun at BraunJ@tesd.net. You may also consider making a contribution to T&E Care by visiting their website at www.tecare.org.
We are aware that access to technology and school supplies may pose challenges for some students. FLITE has generously offered to provide funds to address these needs. If your family is in need of technology support, you may confidentially contact Dr. Mike Szymendera at (610) 240-1922 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If your family is in need of support with school supplies, you may confidentially contact Mrs. Jeanne Braun at (610) 240-1913 or BraunJ@tesd.net.
It is important to continue proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette. At this stage of the pandemic, social distancing, self-quarantine, and isolation can also be effective non-pharmaceutical interventions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other public health agencies, and hospitals recommend that travel only occur for essential tasks such as grocery shopping. If you do go out in public, attempt to maintain a space of 6 feet or more between you and others. Current nationwide guidelines recommend against gatherings of more than 10 people.
If you have concerns about yourself or a member of the TESD community being exposed to COVID-19, please contact your primary healthcare provider. Additionally, the Chester County Health Department has a self-reporting online tool available on their webpage. We have also created a District email account, HealthInfo@tesd.net, to share questions, comments, or concerns about COVID-19 as it relates to the District.
Many professionals have worked extremely hard on a very short timeline to implement distance learning opportunities. I expect that despite everyone’s best efforts, we may encounter some obstacles. We ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate this new path together.
Dr. Richard Gusick
Superintendent of Schools