• May 6, 2020

    Dear T/E Families,

    As many of you are aware, on May 1, Governor Wolf announced a plan for the gradual “re-opening” of the state on a county by county basis. He introduced a color coding system that allows counties to move from red to yellow to green based on a variety of factors related to the local prevalence of COVID-19.  Chester County is still officially coded red at this time. Schools have been declared closed by the state for the remainder of the school year, regardless of a county’s color grade.

    Some parents have inquired about how things could change when Chester County is downgraded to yellow. Yellow status continues the ban on large group gatherings, requires remote work from home when possible, and maintains school closures. As such, while the improvement from red to yellow in our county would be extremely positive, the immediate impacts are more likely to be evident in the business sector.

    As we approach the last few weeks of school, I would like to share some adjustments to our school calendar.

    • Week of May 25 – Since this is a four-day school week, there will be no Work Well Wednesday on May 27. Regular instruction will occur on Tuesday-Friday. Schools will provide information directly to families about any necessary adjustments to the daily schedule.

    • Week of June 1 - The staff inservice day scheduled for June 2 will be moved to Wednesday, June 3. Regular instruction will occur on June 2. There will be no Work Well Wednesday this week due to the staff inservice.

    • Week of June 8 – The last instructional day for students remains June 10. Depending upon state guidance at the time, elementary and middle schools will provide opportunities for families to return books and other items belonging to the school, while also allowing for collection of student items that remain at school. Due to the high school construction project, students in grades 9-11 will keep any items that belong to the school until the start of the next school year. Separate directions will be shared with families of graduating seniors.

      With the exception of seniors, students may keep District-owned devices during the summer to use for summer programs, enrichment and reinforcement opportunities, and to be prepared in the event that they are needed to start the 2020-2021 school year in August. Details about item drop off and pick up schedules will be communicated to you by your child’s school. 

    • Summer programs – All District programs held during summer 2020 will be delivered to students virtually. Families of students in these programs will receive details in the coming weeks.

    End of Year Activities

    Last week, CHS Principal Dr. Amy Meisinger shared plans for commemorating our graduating seniors. As long as state and local regulations permit, we plan to hold a traditional commencement ceremony on Conestoga High School's Teamer Field on July 21, 2020 at 6:00 PM. While we sincerely hope we are able to host a full ceremony, we have made contingency plans that include modified or individualized ceremonies in the event we are unable to convene a large gathering. For additional information on plans and activities for the Class of 2020, please visit the special Class of 2020 webpage.

    Our schools have plans to recognize outgoing fourth and eighth grade students as they prepare to move up to the middle and high school. Please watch for information from your child’s school as we approach the end of the school year.

    Looking Ahead

    I know many of you have questions about what the start of the 2020-2021 school year will look like. I do as well. Our leaders in state and federal government have shared different forecasts about the re-opening of schools ranging from following our regular schedules to modified school days using strict social distancing measures to continued distance instruction. Without a roadmap to predict likely outcomes, providing an accurate prediction for three months in the future is challenging. Three months ago, few would have predicted the exact circumstances we are facing now. Please know that the TESD staff is preparing for a full range of August possibilities.

    Teacher Appreciation Week 

    In closing, I would like to take one more opportunity to recognize our teachers and our entire staff for their dedication to our students and families. During my time as a Conestoga teacher, I can remember how a simple thank you from a student or community member meant so much to me and served as an important reminder of how our work in schools makes a difference. I cannot think of a more important time to acknowledge the tireless commitment of those who have transformed lessons and programs, supported students with special needs using unfamiliar tools, provided meals, counseled students and families through this crisis, and maintained District operations, all while trying to balance the needs of their own families. These very special people inspire confidence that our current challenges will be surmounted.


    Dr. Richard Gusick
    Superintendent of Schools