Messages from the Superintendent

  • March 17, 2020
     

    Dear Radnor Staff and Families,

    I hope everyone is well during these unprecedented circumstances. My family is attempting to create some structure that allows for some reading time, play time, outside walks, and chore time. No one is taking to the chore time, including me!

    Beginning Thursday, March 19, we will start moving our instructional program forward. Your child’s principal will be in touch by tomorrow with information on how instruction will look online. Please keep in mind we have never done this before! We will continue to adapt and address needs and adjust programming as we roll it out. We all need to be patient and flexible with one another.

    We will be moving forward with new instruction. Our program will be more than just review and enrichment. If you have any questions, we have a created an “Extended Closure” webpage where can find related information here.

    Our online programming will be different and it is not meant to add further stress to children and parents. As educators, it is our charge to do our best to engage our students in academic activities. Expectations, consistency, and structure will help our students through this closure. 

    However, what all our students need most in this situation is to know they are safe and loved. Our entire teaching staff truly cares about their students and is attempting to create programming to help engage students appropriately at every level so school moves on. If your child is struggling with the work, please reach out to your child’s teacher or principal. If you as a parent are finding the expectations overwhelming, please reach out to your teacher and/or principal and let us know. As parents, you know your children best, some times it may be best to cook a meal with your child or go for a walk, and we get it.

    The outpouring of support from our community has been overwhelming. As a district, we will be supporting some of our families with food and technology during this closure. Also on our newly created webpage is information for those who may need food and/or technology assistance in our district.

    Together we will get through this time of school closures. We understand these are uncertain times. I encourage everyone in our community to support one another and also take seriously the CDC guidance to limit social interaction, practice social distancing, and good hygiene. It will take all of us working together for this closure to make a difference.

    Be well and let’s take care of our families and one another.

    Ken

    Kenneth E. Batchelor
    Superintendent of Schools


     

    Comments (-1)
  • March 13, 2020 (8 p.m.)

    Dear RTSD Staff and Parents, 


    The Governor of Pennsylvania has closed all schools for a two-week period as the state works to manage the COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in our transition to Level 4: Closing on our Pandemic Action Plan. Currently, schools across the Commonwealth are closed Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. We are not yet sure if we will be required to make up these days later in the year.
     Below is the most recent pertinent information we'd like to share with you.

     

    • All programming, athletic practices, competitions, and activities are closed and/or canceled for students and community members, including the Right at School program.
    •  

    • On Saturday, March 14, our school buildings will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for parents and students who may need to pick up essential belongings such as eyeglasses, medications from the nurses office, and other integral items. If you need to pick up your child’s medication, please email your child’s principal tonight, March 13. 

    • From Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18, we encourage all our students to read, practice math facts, play a board game, and connect with their family members.  

    • Beginning Thursday, March 19, we will provide students learning activities and assignments on Schoology for review and completion from Thursday, March 19 to Friday, March 27. Before Thursday, we will provide more details for families on how to access Schoology.

    • For our free and reduced lunch families, you should have received a communication from our food service coordinator to offer assistance with meals. Please contact Beth Cooke at beth.cooke@rtsd.org for further information if you did not receive this message. 

    For more information, visit our COVID-19 informational webpage. This is an unprecedented situation and we appreciate your patience and cooperation. Please keep your children safe, keep them reading, and email radnor@rtsd.org if you have any questions. We will continue to keep you updated.
     

    Thank you. 

     

    Ken 

     

    Kenneth E. Batchelor  
    Superintendent of Schools 


     

    Comments (-1)
  • March 13, 2020 (2 p.m.)

    Today, Gov. Wolf announced the closure of all Pennsylvania schools for the next two weeks, beginning Monday, March 16. Additionally, President Trump has declared a national state of emergency. The earliest we will open is Monday, March 30. I can understand all the questions families might have and recognize the challenges they may now face. Together, as a community and nation, we will come together to prevent the spread of this virus. We will provide you further information for how this impacts us as a school community in the near future.

    Thank you for your support and patience as we navigate these uncharted waters.

    Ken

    Kenneth E. Batchelor
    Superintendent of Schools


     

    Comments (-1)
  • March 12, 2020 (2)

    All Radnor schools will be closed tomorrow, Friday March 13. Since my email earlier today detailing district postponements and cancelations, Governor Wolf has closed all schools in Montgomery County and encouraged all Montgomery County residents to refrain from all non-essential travel. We border Montgomery County and approximately a quarter of our staff live in Montgomery County. We will use tomorrow as an additional teacher in-service day to develop plans should we have a prolonged closure. 

    As of now, we hope to back in school on Tuesday, March 17, since Monday March 16 is an in-service day as well. However, as you can imagine, the circumstances around this Pandemic have been rapidly changing and, as always, I will continue to keep you informed. The long weekend will allow us to assess our plans moving forward. I will send a separate email to staff explaining our in-service plans for tomorrow. 

    The year with no snow days now has an unexpected four-day weekend. I wish the reasons were better. I will continue to remain hopeful that we are back in school on Tuesday. We will continue operating at Level 3 of our Pandemic Action Plan and all aspects of my email from earlier today are still in effect. I will be in touch by Monday with an update or any changes.

    Thank you for all your support.  

    Ken

    Kenneth E. Batchelor
    Superintendent of Schools


     

    Comments (-1)
  • March 12, 2020

    Dear RTSD Staff and Families,


    Yesterday, March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic and the U.S. government announced it is increasing travel restrictions. Gov. Wolf also plans to hold a press conference in the near future, where additional information may be shared that could further influence our planning and response.


    These developments, as well as recent recommendations on limiting interaction and facilitating social distancing, have led us to transition to “Level 3: Postponing” on our Pandemic Action Plan, which means we will begin canceling and/or postponing certain programming. Please note that school is still in session at this time.


    As a result of this level increase, we are now taking the following steps effective immediately.

    • We are canceling the Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 performances of the RMS Musical, “Frozen, Jr.” The 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday shows will take place as scheduled, however the performances will be closed to the public. We will be video recording each Saturday performance to provide complimentary DVDs to each cast and crew member. We will provide refunds for all performances. We will consider rescheduling performances for the public at a later date if that is possible.


    • We are postponing until further notice the Radnor Elementary School Musical, “Aladdin, Jr.,” which is scheduled from March 19-22. We will attempt to re-stage the performances at later dates. We will provide further directions next week.

    • All events open to the public are canceled until the end of the day, Sunday, March 22. We will reassess this decision next week.

    • All athletic competitions are canceled until the end of the day, Sunday, March 22. Practices and student club meetings can still take place as scheduled. We will reassess this decision next week.

    • All school-related field trips and overnight trips, regardless of location, are canceled through Sunday, April 12.

    • All outside group activities using RTSD indoor facilities are canceled until further notice. Field usage will be permitted with no access to buildings. As an example, since the Radnor Aquatic Club is an indoor program, activities for the club are canceled until further notice. As another example, the SATs this Saturday at RHS are canceled since an outside group, the College Board, hosts the event for students from across the region. If we could have limited the SATs to only our students, we would have hosted it. We will work closely with the College Board to reschedule. After-school clubs and activities involving just Radnor students and are school-sponsored will continue.

    • All scheduled guests for in-class and student assemblies are canceled until further notice.

    • All visitors other than parents/guardians are prohibited from entering our school buildings until further notice. Any questions about this procedure should be directed to the school building principal.


    • As long as school is in session, the elementary Right at School program will continue to operate before- and after-school care and after-school clubs run by Right at School and our PTOs will also continue.


    As I shared in my previous message, we must prepare ourselves for two potential realities. The reality that we will have cases of COVID-19 in our community, and school and life will continue with appropriate precautions and by practicing good hygiene. We must equally prepare for the reality of an extended closing of school. We will continue to update you as the situation evolves and changes.


    I want to thank everyone in our community for all your support and your calm and measured responses to this situation. If you have any questions about the above, please reach out to your school building’s administration.

    Ken

    Kenneth E. Batchelor
    Superintendent of Schools


     

    Comments (-1)
  • March 10, 2020

    Dear RTSD Staff and Families,
     
    As of this message, 12 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have been reported in Pennsylvania, with one case in Delaware County. The cases are referred to as “presumptive positive” since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must affirm all cases.
     
    We continue to be in regular contact with county and state health officials. Health officials have reminded us that, according to CDC estimates, the seasonal flu has sadly taken the lives of 20,000-52,000 Americans from October 2019 through February 2020. This is a reminder that each year we have to take great care to protect our children from the flu by practicing good hygiene. We’ve also been informed that unlike the seasonal flu, children appear less impacted by the symptoms of COVID-19. They can easily and unknowingly carry the virus and may present with no symptoms or what appears to be a mild cold. The elderly and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk from COVID-19.
     
    Some school districts in our area are closing to conduct deep cleanings, based on exposures. The PA Department of Health is not recommending prolonged closures at this time. They are also not recommending the cancellation of public events such as musicals and athletic competitions. Just like we prepare for the seasonal flu annually, we must also prepare for the reality that exposures or positive cases of COVID-19 may occur over the next several weeks and months, and school and life will go on. Equally, we must prepare for a reality where we may need to consider closing school. For now, the clear consensus from all health officials is to take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 by practicing good hygiene.
     
    In an effort to be prepared for both potential realities, we are taking the following steps:

    • On Monday, March 16, we will close all RTSD schools to students so we can conduct an in-service day for our teachers. Closing school to students allows us to focus on training and professional development for our teachers so we are prepared for the possibility of an extended closure. Many school districts across Delaware County are also closing their schools to students to take part in a cohesive preparation effort. We will spend the day providing professional development for our teachers regarding online and flexible instructional practices should schools have to be closed for a prolonged period. Since this will be an in-service day, teachers and students will not have to make the day up at the end of the year and all after-school activities will take place as scheduled. The guidance and instruction our teachers will receive will be beneficial even if we don’t have a prolonged closure.

    • We have published our Pandemic Action Plan here. You can also view newly created FAQs here. The plan has four levels of response: Monitoring; Limiting; Postponing; and Closing. We are currently at the Monitoring level. The decision to move to the next level will be made in coordination with our local and state health agencies.

    • Individuals directly exposed to COVID-19 will be asked to self-quarantine. In each situation, medical professionals will be part of the discussion to help guide us. Individuals who have traveled recently to any countries identified by the CDC as Level 3 or 4 will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. While self-quarantine is recommended for any direct exposure to or travel from specific countries, the CDC and state officials are not recommending testing, symptom monitoring, or special management for people exposed to asymptomatic people who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19. Which means “contacts of contacts” are not considered exposed.

    • We will continue with deep and thorough cleanings of our buildings each day. In addition to deep and thorough cleanings, we have added additional custodial staff over the last few weeks and will continue to have additional staff help us disinfect and clean our buildings thoroughly every day.

    • We will continue to reinforce good hygiene and encourage all Radnor community members to share in this effort. In addition to the practices we have already shared and posted on our website and FAQs, we will continue to emphasize with all our  staff members and students the importance of properly washing hands.

    We will continue to closely monitor the situation and share information with you. We remain committed to ensuring the safety and wellness of our school community and greatly appreciate your support as we navigate this dynamic situation. If you should have any additional questions, I would encourage to view our FAQ and/or reach out to your child’s principal.
     
    Ken
     
    Kenneth E. Batchelor
    Superintendent of Schools


     

    Comments (-1)

Current Response Level 4: Closing

  • Level 4: Closing
    Click image for full RTSD Pandemic Action Plan

Questions/Concerns?

Cleaning in RTSD

    • The district's Custodial Department has ample amounts of hand soap, hand sanitizer solution, and paper towels
    • District custodians are using two types of disinfectant on surfaces: Rejunval and Q.T. 3.
    • Custodians are spraying a disinfectant, letting it sit, then wiping the surfaces with a rag that had been soaking in disinfectant, then letting air dry
    • Custodians are also spraying whole classrooms with an electrostatic sprayer; the sprayer is used with sanitizing/disinfection tablets that kill 99.9% bacteria
    • Each building has a sprayer with a good supply of extra sanitizing/disinfection tablets; Q.T. 3 disinfectant can also be used in the sprayers

RTSD Response (3/13)

    • Under mandate from PA Gov. Wolf, closed school for students March 16-March 30 
    • Canceled performances of the RMS musical. Will attempt to re-stage later in the year if possible
    • Postponed until further notice the RES Musical, which is scheduled from March 19-22
    • Canceled all events open to the public until the end of the day, Sunday, March 29
    • Canceled all athletic competitions until the end of the day, Sunday, March 29
    • Canceled all school-related field trips and overnight trips, regardless of location, through Sunday, April 12
    • Canceled all outside group activities using RTSD indoor facilities until further notice
    • Canceled all scheduled guests for in-class and student assemblies until further notice
    • Prohibited all visitors other than parents/guardians from entering our school buildings until further notice
    • Published a Pandemic Action Plan and created FAQs
    • Established suggested and mandated staff and student quarantine procedures
    • Conducting thorough cleanings of buildings every day, including through the use of electrostatic disinfecting machines
    • Monitoring all health-related absences daily
    • Encouraging students and staff to stay home when sick
    • In regular contact with PA Dept. of Education, PA. Dept. of Health, and local medical professionals
    • Developing elementary plans for instruction in event of school closures
    • Developing secondary plans for instruction in event of school closures
    • Developing plans for the needs of all students in event of school closures
    • Compiling information/resources for families in the event of a prolonged school closure
    • Reviewing technology capabilities for students to utilize district-issued devices at home for instruction if necessary
    • Regularly meeting as administrative team to coordinate response
    • Creating and distributing informational materials for parents, staff and community members

Healthy Hygiene Tips

  • From the CDC

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Stay home when you are sick
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
    • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
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