Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members -
With the end of the school year nearing - in a distance learning format - the excitement associated with the last days of school and impending summer have a new feel. We are all doing our best to keep calm and carry on - and with that comes planning for the future. As is our normal practice in May - we are in the midst of developing plans for the start of the 2020-2021 year.
Understandably, there are many factors to consider including recommendations from the Chester County Health Department, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Federal government. Every decision we make is based on input from multiple professional and reliable sources.
Below is a list of potential scenarios we are planning for. Know that we understand that there is a range of applicable guidelines and restrictions within each. As always - we will do what is best for the safety of students, staff, and families.
- Return to brick and mortar schools as usual;
- Schools opened under social distancing requirements;
- Schools open with significant social distancing requirements including phased/reduced schedules;
- Schools open intermittently - transitioning between brick and mortar and distance learning;
- Schools remain closed and distance learning continues;
- The need for a differentiated model to meet the needs of students, families, and staff who may be at heightened risk from COVID-19;
- Sports and activities operate as normal/ sports and activities operate under social distancing requirements/ significant limitations for sports and activities due to restrictions/ potential cancellation of sports and activities;
- Understanding that this year has been very different - we are developing plans to address potential gaps in student learning.
Although there are many unknowns we continue to develop action plans for all potential scenarios. Once our government leaders and public health officials signal it is safe - we will be prepared to act.
For public education to be most successful for the majority of students - in-person interaction and instruction is required - the value of the relationship between student and teacher cannot be understated. Our teachers and staff are doing an excellent job teaching and coaching online. The community support from your homes has been tremendous. We all are enjoying the videos and shared pictures that remind us of how connected we still are. Everyone’s commitment to keep calm and carry on makes UCF a bastion of optimism and hope.
However, I know that the situation is wearing on many. I urge parents to take good care of themselves because now, more than ever, you are teaching your children. Kids learn from observing and listening and with parents spending so much more time at home - well - you know what that means. Please know that our school counselors are available to help and support - see below for their contact information.
One of our community members - Dr. Al Freedman is conducting a Zoom session tonight for our parents on Coping with Isolation, Uncertainty, and Loss - I encourage you to attend (register here). Last week his session on Managing Your Child’s Anxiety - and Yours was fantastic - I encourage you to watch the video. I thank FOCUS for organizing these two events and supporting all of us.
Above all remember that UCF is a great community because of the people in it. You are all part of the success we share. We are all in this together - let us continue to work side-by-side to tackle challenges we face. Finally - let’s keep calm and carry on because there are brighter days ahead.
Resources for Parents:
- School Counselors Contact Information
- Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Coronavirus COVID-19: Support Strategies and Resources
- Where to Find Help - Southern Chester County Opportunity Network
- Talking With Children About COVID-19
- Mrs. Brannon’s Daily Reflections Blog