November 12, 2020
Dear Methacton Families,
In an effort to mitigate the trending increase in COVID-19 positivity and incidence rates in Montgomery County, and specifically among our families in Lower Providence and Worcester townships, I am issuing this notice to all families that beginning Monday, November 16, 2020 and through December 6, 2020, ALL students (Empower, Inspire, Succeed, Full-time and Virtual) will receive instruction online.
After careful consideration, I have come to this conclusion due to the following reasons:
- The need for mitigation measures presented this morning by the Montgomery County Department of Health requiring all Montgomery County schools to revert to online learning right before the Thanksgiving holiday and to remain online through December 6, 2020;
- The fact that Methacton School District has had only 1 week of in person/on premises hybrid instruction;
- The fact that Methacton School District’s two townships, combined, have the highest COVID rates in Montgomery County;
- The fact that the county and the district have been in the PDE "substantial" range for two consecutive weeks;
- The fact that the county and the district specific data trajectory is poised to take us off the PDE chart in about a week;
- The fact that we have 10 positive cases (not transmitted in school);
- The fact that CHOP PolicyLab doctors are recommending immediate mitigation measures;
- The fact that more than 15 staff are either self-reporting symptoms, in quarantine, or in isolation, makes it very challenging to operate daily;
It is then with an abundance of caution that we return to all online instruction and take a short pause for now with our hybrid implementation.
Our Board of School Directors and I want nothing more than to provide instructional options to families during the pandemic. This was clear with the 9-0 support of the Board for our hybrid plan. We have gone to great lengths to make this a reality. Our teachers and support staff have done what has been asked of them and we know that our families have been very understanding and supportive. I am saddened, as many of you are, that we will not be able to see the second week of hybrid learning unfold as planned.
I will be watching our data points and will remain in communication with the Montgomery County Department of Health over the next several weeks to provide guidance about when a return to hybrid option is most appropriate. Until that communication, please plan for all online instruction from November 16, 2020 through December 6, 2020. I will provide an update on activities and athletics, as well as use of facilities in a communication next week. All student services and supports (ELD, Special Education, Section 504, and Gifted Education) will be provided virtually during this period of time. Additionally, all related services such as speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, mental health counseling and PCA support will continue as outlined in your child’s IEP/504/GIEP plan via tele-therapy.
Thank you for your patience in this important matter.
A student schedule for the next several weeks is listed below.
Student Schedule (click image to enlarge)
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools
*We will make phone calls on Sunday, November 15, 2020, to remind district families of the change to all online learning that begins on Monday, November 16, 2020.