Dear Families -
Last night our School Board voted unanimously to open our four elementary schools on Monday, October 12. The Board made this decision based on current and projected COVID-19 transmission rates in Chester County and in consultation with Dr. Sulieman (see her most recent report here). We are confident that we can do this safely in accordance with our Health and Safety Plan.
We will open in a hybrid instructional model where students in pre-first through fifth grades will attend a half-day every day (either morning or afternoon) and Kindergarten will attend a half-day every other day. Our school principals will be reaching out to you over the next few days to collect some information to help determine the AM/PM groupings. Additionally, Transportation will be asking you to declare your busing needs based on this schedule so that they may quickly determine the necessary bus routes. We appreciate your cooperation with providing us this information in a timely manner.
The School Board also voted to affirm our fall Athletics Health and Safety Plan, which allows for UHS student-athletes to participate in an interscholastic season under our guidelines outlined in the plan. Patton fall sports teams will continue with the inter-squad program at this time. We look forward to our student-athletes participating in safe play and competition against other area schools.
What does this mean for Patton MS and UHS? We continue with remote instruction for now. We will closely monitor the numbers - should they remain comparable to our current status - we hope for a return to in-person instruction on October 26. The Board will vote on October 12 during the Work Session on the possible return to brick and mortar for grades six through 12. This gives us a few more weeks of COVID-19 data and a chance to learn from our elementary experience as we plan for our secondary reopening.
Our administrative team has already begun plans for opening elementary on October 12. As part of this process, teachers will receive additional training to prepare for a successful reopening. The District and school principals will be sharing more details with families leading up to our K-5 in-person return - stay tuned.
Our virtual start has been strong - I am impressed with how our staff, students and parents have handled remote learning with optimism and grace - and now is the time to bring our K-5 students back. I am confident in our ability to make this a successful transition.
We will continue to review the numbers and consult with our health experts to determine what is best for our students and staff as we move forward. Our primary goal is to keep everyone safe and I think that our plan for the phased reopening will do just that. I thank you once again for all of your support - it is truly appreciated.