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Penn Hills School District

Update from the Superintendent - 7-27-2020

Good afternoon.  As we continue to get closer to the first day of school, which has been scheduled for August 25, 2020, I wanted to reach out with an update.  Attached you will find a document that we have been using to guide next steps in our District's response to COVID-19, including what options are likely to be available to our K-12 students during the 1st quarter of 20/21.  This draft document will be updated as needed and is expected to be submitted to our Board of School Directors in its final form prior to the start of the school year.  Following Board consideration, the document, in its final form, will be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education shortly thereafter.

To assist our PHSD families with work schedules and other obligations, childcare arrangements, etc., I can confirm TODAY that I do NOT expect to recommend to our Board any return to school plan that would include five(5) days on site for students during the 1st quarter of 20/21.  Instead, I expect to ask our Board of School Directors to recognize that our families know their students best and to permit two (2) learning options for families to consider.  One option will be to continue with 100% remote learning that will be enhanced beyond what was offered during the mandatory school closure from March 16-June 12, 2020. The other option will include being part of a hybrid arrangement, whereby students who opt in for onsite learning consideration will be sorted into Group A and Group B, with both groups participating in comparable remote learning as compared to those students who will be learning exclusively from home during the 1st quarter of the new school year; however, Group A will be assigned onsite learning days on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Group B will be assigned onsite learning days on Thursdays and Fridays.  These onsite learning days for Groups A and B will allow face-to-face interaction with their teachers and also controlled interaction with peers who have selected this same learning option for the start of the new school year.  

As we continue moving forward with these two (2) options (100% remote or hybrid/two (2) days onsite), it is crucial that we know family preferences ASAP.  While almost half of all PHSD families have already weighed in via our individual school surveys (https://www.phsd.k12.pa.us/apps/news/article/1259468), we still need to hear from others.  We do intend to have our staff continue with 1:1 attempts to reach families to confirm individual family preferences; however, if we are not able to reach you as we approach August 25, our assumption will be that your family is choosing to continue with 100% remote learning.

We thank you for your ongoing patience and encourage you to review the link below that includes recent guidance from the CDC about selecting the best fit for your child's ongoing learning:  remote or onsite.  

   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/prepare-safe-return.html   

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with questions and/or concerns.  If I am not able to assist you directly, I will connect you with someone else from our staff.

Take care,
Nancy 

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