June 26, 2020
Dear T/E Families,
Welcome to green! Today Chester County enters the green phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all hopeful that our area remains on a positive trajectory. In T/E, this means that our 12-month staff will be returning to work in our buildings, and our facilities will be open for limited services beginning July 6.
We are pleased to announce the reopening of the Valley Forge Middle School track and the Valley Forge Elementary School tennis courts. Social distancing of at least 6 feet is required while using the track and tennis courts. Individuals are encouraged to wear a face covering at arrival, departure and during any down time unless doing so jeopardizes their health. Due to safety concerns related to the ongoing construction at Conestoga High School, the Conestoga track will remain closed. The District playgrounds and other fields/courts also remain closed at this time.
Distance Learning Survey Results and Ongoing Parent Input
Thank you to all parents, secondary students and teachers who completed our distance learning survey earlier this month. We received responses from over 2,800 parents, 700 students and 280 teachers. We are compiling the survey results and will post them on the TESD website, www.tesd.net, by June 30, 2020.
In addition to the surveys, we created a distance learning inbox at email@example.com as a way for families to share feedback, ideas or comments that were not reflected in the survey. You are invited to share your current thoughts about conditions for fall reopening at this site as well. We have already received substantial feedback through the distance learning inbox and it will continue to be open through the end of July. We will share further opportunities for parent input and feedback as the summer progresses.
As required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the TESD Board of School Directors must review and approve the District’s health and safety plan for reopening our facilities for student instruction and services for this summer and for the delivery of the educational program this fall. As a District team, we have been hard at work reviewing the hundreds of pages of changing guidance we have received from the Department of Education, health officials, and other authorities regarding school reopening plans.
Although there is still much uncertainty, if Chester County remains in the green phase or returns to the yellow phase, we plan to open T/E schools, but with significant modifications to accommodate safety and social distancing requirements. In both of these phases, a distance learning model will also be available for students who remain at home. We will be sharing the details of the reopening plan to allow families to make the decision either to attend school following health and safety guidelines or to participate in school through distance learning. Schools will not open if Chester County returns to the red phase. Some key dates to keep in mind about the development and rollout of the reopening plan include:
- Monday, June 29, 2020. TESD Board of School Directors has scheduled a special virtual meeting for 7:30 PM to review a plan for summer activities and services. This will specifically address in-person meetings with counselors, psychological and placement testing, and voluntary off-season athletics. The agenda will be posted later today, and a link to the live meeting will be available on the TESD web site at tesd.net by 6:00 PM on June 29.
- Week of July 20, 2020. TESD will present a draft of the fall reopening plan and will provide additional opportunities for input from stakeholders.
- Week of July 27, 2020. The Board will schedule a special virtual meeting to consider approval of the final fall reopening plan.
- Early August 2020. Families will make the decision and commitment either to attend school following health and safety guidelines or to participate in distance learning. School officials will begin implementation of the Board-approved plan.
- August 31, 2020. Scheduled First Day of School for grades 1-12.
I hope that this rough timeline provides some insight into the process we will follow to arrive at a plan for the 2020-21 school year. Although I am as eager as anyone to see what August will look like, we cannot provide certainty without careful review, consideration and input. The virus and the pandemic have presented unpredictable twists and turns to health authorities, resulting in regular adjustments to our rules of operation. We remain fully engaged in the evolution of pandemic response, and we will keep you informed if the State requires us to alter our plans. I thank you for your continued support and flexibility. In the meanwhile, I hope you are enjoying the summer.
Dr. Richard Gusick
Superintendent of Schools