• Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

    May 29, 2020

    Dear T/E Families,

    As we turn the final calendar month to June, I would like to take the opportunity to address some critical questions that remain open for the summer and fall.  Unfortunately much remains uncertain, but I am able to share some of the District work that is taking place to prepare for a variety of outcomes and to announce an initial opportunity to gather feedback from you.

    The Most Common Question

    Above all, the most pressing question for us all relates to the District plans for fall 2020.  Although the plan cannot yet be firm, I can outline some of the complex considerations and possibilities. 

    We will continue to monitor state guidelines for reopening schools. Many of you know that Chester County is scheduled to enter the yellow phase of reopening on June 5, but restrictions on school closures remain in place. To date, guidance from state officials about opening school in the fall has been very broad.  There has been talk of permitting schools to reopen with increased sanitizing, health monitoring, and social distancing requirements.  We need much more information about what will be specifically required, permitted, and prohibited before we can announce a plan to our community.  These details may guide how many students may be permitted in school on a given day, how they may be transported, plans for meals, accommodations for students and employees with health risks, and many, many more factors that will have a direct impact on our reopening plan. One further challenge is that the requirements continue to evolve and change frequently.

    We recognize the challenges our state leaders are facing as they are making decisions about unchartered circumstances that will affect the health of all Pennsylvanians.  We remain in communication with our leaders and will respond to the directions we receive.

    At the same time, we are not simply waiting to hear this guidance to begin our planning.  We have already begun to make investments in infrastructure that could support a range of outcomes from continued distance learning to in-person instruction.  A few examples include:

    • 1:1 Technology Initiative Expansion. We anticipate that some form of distance learning will be needed in August, either for all students or for those unable to attend for health considerations.  On May 14, the School Board Education Committee approved a 1:1 Technology Initiative Expansion to provide devices to students in all grades. Currently, students in grades 7-12 receive District laptops. The new plan would provide laptops to students in grades 5-12 and iPads to students in grades K-4.

    • Purchase of Health and Safety Equipment. The District is currently testing and purchasing health monitoring equipment, personal protective equipment, and sanitization gear and supplies to place ourselves in the best possible position to meet health guidelines when schools reopen.

    Gathering Feedback and Planning for Next Year

    One of the most important aspects of planning includes gathering feedback from parents, students and teachers to learn what worked well for you with our current distance learning program, what could have worked better and any suggestions or ideas you have about our program.  Next week, we are launching an online survey and an open comment inbox to hear your ideas and thoughts.  Please watch your email early next week to receive further directions on how to participate.  These are initial steps to involve families, students and staff as we develop our plan for August.

    We are closing in on the end of an unusual school year. As we opened last August, I never imagined that March 12 would be the last time our students and staff would be together in person for the 2019-2020 school year. The last two months have been a journey for all of us.  I remain proud of the way our school community at all levels has responded to the current crisis, with neighbors helping neighbors and school staff working with families to help students. 

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Richard Gusick
    Superintendent of Schools 

    If you or someone you know need assistance with distance learning technical support, mental health or community assistance, please consult the resources available on the TESD website: https://www.tesd.net/Page/16203