• Reopening Schools: 2020-2021

    January 15, 2021

    Dear T/E Families and Staff,

    As we begin the second half of the 2020-2021 school year, I would like to provide you with updates on staff vaccinations and the status of our instructional program. Please know that our District staff is committed to working with health authorities to assist with bringing vaccines to our community as soon as possible. We are willing to assist in any way we can by offering our schools as sites, by providing staff volunteers, and by communicating with staff and families to move us closer to the end of this pandemic.

    Vaccinations for School Employees

    TESD is currently working with the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) to coordinate COVID-19 vaccinations for our staff members who are ready and able to receive one. The CCHD will be providing vaccination sites for school employees throughout Chester County. No locations or timelines have yet been announced, but we will share the information with our staff as it becomes available. As a preliminary step, we are in the process of distributing a survey to our staff to help the CCHD determine the number of vaccinations they will need for TESD.

    TESD’s Instructional Program

    Staff vaccination opportunities are welcome first steps toward normalcy for our school community. But even with these positive developments, it will still be necessary for us to be vigilant in adhering to guidance from health authorities and the protocols of the TESD Health and Safety Plan to keep our school community as safe as possible. The guidance still includes face coverings, hand washing, and social distancing of at least six feet for students and staff, which limits the capacity of our schools and classrooms.

    Vaccines create an opening for our health authorities to alter their guidance, but we must allow the process to play out before offering significantly expanded in-person instructional opportunities. We will actively monitor local and state recommendations, and we will share updates with T/E families as we receive new details.

    Upcoming Presidential Inauguration

    With the inauguration of a new president next week, I would like to thank our families in advance for reminding students of the District’s commitment to provide a welcoming and supportive learning environment for all members of our school community. Consistent with the past practice for the inauguration of a new president, students will receive an opportunity to view or discuss the inauguration ceremony next week. 

    As always, we expect students to act with civility and respect when engaging in dialogue with their peers. We continue to uphold the importance of listening to others to understand different perspectives and interacting respectfully in person, through virtual instruction, and on social media. Please reach out to your building principal or school counselor if your child feels uncomfortable and needs support.

    The promise of the vaccine provides hope. We are aware that, currently, most students and some adults will not receive the vaccine and time may be needed to realize its social effects. Yet I am tremendously excited at the prospect of moving forward affirmatively with a means of controlling this pandemic and restoring much of what we miss the most.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Richard Gusick
    Superintendent of Schools