Phase-In Return of Students to Begin 9/29 Pending Board Approval on 9/22
September 18, 2020
Dear Families and Staff:
On August 18, the School Board and administration agreed to meet on Tuesday, September 22 to hold a Special Board Meeting to share the status of our plans to return our students to our classrooms and move from phase three (fully virtual learning) to phase two (modified in-person hybrid learning). Previously in July, the Board approved hybrid instruction; however, we pivoted from our hybrid plan when the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) recommended to start school fully virtual based on community spread metrics and concerns about a Covid-19 spike post-Labor Day. Now that we are two weeks beyond Labor Day, thankfully our metrics have stabilized, and it is time for us to pivot again.
Based on our ongoing analysis, we believe we can begin bringing students back earlier than we had originally planned and welcome our students back in a hybrid model over the course of four school days, beginning on Tuesday, September 29.
On September 29, we plan to bring students in grades K, 1, 2, 6, 9 and 12 back to school in our hybrid model. We are starting with K-2 since they are the most challenging grades to instruct in a virtual setting. We prioritized 6th and 9th grades since these are transition years, and the 12th-graders are integral because we are going to rely on their leadership to encourage positive adherence to all the protocols and hygiene practices. On Thursday, October 1, grades 3-5 will return in the hybrid model. The remaining secondary grades (7, 8, 10 and 11) will return on Friday, October 2. The School Board will discuss and vote on this plan at irts special meeting on September 22 at 7 p.m., which will be held on Zoom and broadcast live on our YouTube channel.
Since it is our intention to bring all students who chose hybrid learning back into our classrooms over the course of three days at the elementary level and over four days at the middle and high school levels, we will have a teacher in-service day on Friday, September 25 to meet this timeline and review building protocols before students arrive. Therefore, all Radnor students, both cyber and remote, will be off on Friday, September 25. Please keep in mind that Monday, September 28 is a scheduled holiday for teachers and students.
As we have shared in previous communications, the guardrails created by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and CCHD will guide our return to in-class (hybrid) instruction. Likewise, these guardrails will guide us if we must return to virtual learning. You can see these guardrails by clicking here. Please understand that we will continue to closely monitor CCHD’s weekly updates and may need to adjust at any time. We anticipate individual students, staff and classes may have to quarantine at some point because of exposure to the virus. We have experienced and will continue to experience cases of Covid-19 in our community and we will work closely with the CCHD to monitor and respond accordingly.
As we begin to bring in students, we need to provide orientations and trainings on our new safety protocols. We have new procedures for arrival/dismissal, movement in the halls, cafeteria, fire drills, and expectations for screening, masking, distancing and hygiene. We will need the support of all of our students to stay open this year.
At the elementary level, we will conduct orientation and training in each classroom. At the high school and middle school, we will provide orientation and training during Advisory at RMS and Homeroom at RHS. To deliver the orientations and trainings needed, we will use a special schedule at the middle school and high school on Tuesday, September 29 and Friday, October 2. We will provide more details about this schedule after our Board meeting Tuesday night.
Thank you for your ongoing support throughout these challenging times. Our students and parents have shown great patience and perseverance. Our support staff, teachers, and administrators have shown incredible commitment and devotion to our students. Our School Board has gone above and beyond the call to be thoughtful and dedicated stewards of our district. We will continue to excel together as one Radnor community.
Always Radnor Proud,
Kenneth E. Batchelor
Superintendent of Schools