Letter from the Superintendent - July 1, 2020
Dear Methacton Families,
With this message, I hope to encourage your family and you to truly enjoy this Independence Day weekend. Celebrate and do what makes sense for you and your loved ones. Please keep the spirit of the 4th in your hearts and minds as you enjoy this holiday.
I also want to share important information and a timeline for our reopening plan as we work towards welcoming back students to Methacton Schools on Monday, August 31, 2020.
REMINDER- You will find all released and upcoming documents and
communications relevant to the reopening of Methacton Schools here.
Please refer to the timeline below for the process inclusive of parent feedback events as we work towards approval on July 28, 2020.
- July 6, 2020 Education Committee of the Board - Preliminary Draft Presentation and
Discussion of Instructional and Health and Safety Plan
- July 8, 2020 Release of Methacton Online Parent Interest Query – Soft Registration
- July 14, 2020 Present Plans to Parent Review Committee (Home and School Representatives)
- July 21, 2020 Board of School Directors – Work Session of the Board- Presentation of Plans
Plans in DRAFT format will be posted to Board Agenda for public review
- July 22, 2020 Public Focus Group Presentation and Feedback
- July 23, 2020 Public Focus Group Presentation and Feedback
- July 28, 2020 Board of School Directors – Final Approval of Instructional and Phased Health and Safety Plan
- July 29, 2020 Communications on Plan Distributed in all forms- Phone call, Email, Web site, Facebook, Twitter
- August 5, 2020 Methacton Online Parental Commitment Deadline
NOTE: Public Focus Groups on 7/22 and 7/23 will cover identical matters – Two dates held for parent/guardian convenience.
Schools are fundamental to the development and well-being of children and provide academic, social and emotional, safety, nutrition, and opportunities for physical activity, among many other benefits. Consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many health organizations who are strongly advocating for students to be physically present in school this Fall, the Methacton School District’s reopening plan focuses on providing on-premises instruction by Methacton teachers using our Methacton curriculum and resources. The district is planning to provide as close to traditional on premises live instruction to students in core, elective, related arts, and special areas as possible, while taking health and safety measures that will require some modifications to some courses, gatherings, and daily routines.
The plan accounts for the on premises offerings from an instructional, health and safety focus. It also addresses the following needs:
- The continuity of education for students who may be required to quarantine as a result of guidance from a medical professional;
- The continuity of instruction for all students dependent on the level of viral transmission in the school and throughout the community where teachers will be prepared to deliver instruction regardless of place;
- Outlines an alternative to on premises instruction where Methacton curriculum is delivered via Google Classroom with live synchronous whole class, small group, and individualized instruction by Methacton teachers entitled Methacton Online.
I am grateful to our community for your partnership and support as we work together to reopen Methacton Schools.
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools
Letter from the Superintendent - June 24, 2020
Dear Methacton Families,
While I know that school has just ended for what most of us can agree has been one of the most challenging years on record, I want you to know that we have begun to develop our Roadmap to Reopening Methacton Schools. As we work towards the specifics of what this means for all our families and their children, I want everyone to know that we are keeping our student and staff safety at the forefront of our decision-making process, along with ensuring high-quality and structured program delivery for all students.
We are preparing to welcome back all students to school on Monday, August 31, 2020, barring any unforeseen closures or restrictions for on premises instruction. In general, our plan will provide on premises instruction by our Methacton teachers.
As of this writing, we are organizing our plan with consideration to our physical spaces, staffing, and available resources so that we can provide as close to a traditional in person start of school as possible. While using guidance from multiple sources we are including preventative measures where and when reasonable and appropriate. We are making classroom and building configuration changes to promote social distancing and safety without compromising the learning environment. In addition, we have invested in cleaning and sanitizing equipment that enables us to thoroughly, effectively, and efficiently clean individual classrooms, materials and equipment or entire schools rapidly. Our plan will encourage student and staff use of masks or shields.
As described in our Roadmap document, we will also have an alternative to the on premises return to school. Methacton will leverage the feedback from parent survey and community focus group meetings and will structure a Methacton Virtual Academy that focuses on live instruction by Methacton teachers, is based on Methacton curriculum, has specific daily and weekly structured learning activities, leverages a combination of whole class, small group, and individual instruction, and other supporting asynchronous instruction and enrichment activities.
Recently, the Board of School Directors approved the first, in what will be many, return to school plans this past Tuesday for “Off-Season Return to Play” plan. This plan will be followed up with a plan for the safe resumption of practices and in season participation in July.
In closing, I want to thank our students, parents, and staff for their patience, flexibility, and resilience. We’ve created a Roadmap to Reopening Methacton Schools section on the district website for all matters related this process. Please look for more information on these and other return to school matters in the coming weeks. We plan to present our return to school plans to the Board of School Directors at a meeting scheduled for July 21, 2020 and, if approved, will be posted to the district website and communicated to all families shortly thereafter.
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools