Elementary Phase 1 Planning, Action Items for All Parents to Complete ASAP
January 28, 2021
Planning for Phase 1: Full Day In-Person at Elementary; Action Needed from All Parents
Dear Radnor Staff and Families,
At Tuesday evening’s Board meeting, the administration provided our Board and community with our plan to move from Phase 2: Hybrid instruction to Phase 1: Full In-Person instruction at the elementary level. We had previously shared this plan with all elementary staff and encourage our families to view the presentation and related portion of the meeting at the links below.
- Click here to view the Jan. 26 presentation
- Click here to view the video and presentation from the Board meeting
In order to bring all our students in for full days of instruction at the elementary level, five days a week, we need to adjust our minimum level of social distancing requirement at the elementary level from six feet to four feet. As part of the plan, we will increase other mitigation strategies, including:
- We will add voluntary rapid testing for staff
- We will introduce surveillance testing of students (depending on test availability)
- We will improve our requirements for the types of masks being worn
- We will recommit to all other mitigation protocols
Additionally, as part of the plan, we shared guidance from the Harvard Global Health Institute that recommends a minimum of three feet of social distancing. We also shared examples of schools that safely operate with a minimum of three feet of social distancing.
The Chester County Health Department (CCHD), which has the authority to close our schools if we have outbreaks or substantial school spread, has stipulated that any school district wanting to move to under six feet of social distancing should first consult with CCHD. We have initiated that consultation and shared our plan with CCHD. We are waiting for their response.
While we wait for CCHD, we need to gather a commitment from our elementary parents for full-in person programming or fully cyber programming. Those families currently enrolled in our fully cyber program may continue, and families in our hybrid program can choose to move to fully cyber if they wish. Fully cyber families can also choose to switch and select the full in-person option.
We have not set a date for when we would move to Phase 1 at the elementary level since we are waiting for a response from CCHD and need to gather commitments from our elementary parents. When/if we move to Phase 1, we may at any time move back to Phase 2 or Phase 3 if the circumstances warrant. We are still bound by a requirement from the state to potentially close individual buildings when we reach certain thresholds of positive cases in our buildings. We shared information about these thresholds on December 11, 2020, and you can review that information by clicking here if interested.
Below is pertinent information that requires a response from our elementary parents. There is also information about our secondary program.
For Elementary Families: Commitment by Monday, Feb. 1 of Instructional Choice
- If/when a Phase 1 shift occurs at the elementary level, students would be welcomed back to school for full day, in-person instruction five days a week
- Elementary families who prefer a fully cyber program would still have this option in Phase 1.
- An integral step in being able to move to Phase 1 is for each of our elementary families to commit to either full day in-person instruction or fully cyber instruction for their student(s).
- For planning, it would be helpful if this commitment is made for the remainder of the school year. While we will continue to respond to requests for individual changes on a case-by-case basis, we need to understand commitments so we can properly balance class sizes and staffing needs. Once an elementary student’s placement is confirmed by the district, a change to the placement may not be possible depending on class sizes.
- By Monday, February 1, we are requesting each elementary family commit to either full day in-person instruction or fully cyber instruction if/when elementary schools shift to Phase 1.
- Upon moving our elementary schools to Phase 1, Phase 2: Hybrid programming will no longer be an option, unless we as a district or school(s) move back to Phase 2.
- Current fully cyber families choosing to move to full in-person will be assigned a new teacher and classroom to join (initiated if/when a move to Phase 1 becomes possible).
- Current hybrid families choosing to move to fully cyber will be assigned a new cyber teacher and classroom to join (initiated if/when a move to Phase 1 becomes possible).
Secondary Families: Survey to Collect Feedback on Phase 2 to be Available By End of Weekend
- We want to assure RMS and RHS families that we have heard concerns regarding our secondary hybrid programming.
- We are investigating ways to make improvements and are continually making adjustments to improve our programming.
- To be released by this end of this weekend, a survey for secondary families will collect feedback on the hybrid program to assist administration in further exploring modifications to the hybrid program and delivery.
- Medical guidance suggests that a move to full in-person education should begin at the elementary level. However, we understand our secondary program needs are a priority as well.
A Year of Change
While there is no set timeline to our shift to Phase 1 at the elementary level at the moment, we are sharing with you our plans so we are ready. Again, we await a response from CCHD and need to find out elementary parent commitments for in-person learning vs. fully cyber learning before we can make any decisions. Our school year of ‘change’ only continues. Hopefully, the changes in the future bring more of our students safely into our classrooms for full in-person learning.
Thank you for your continued support and patience.
Kenneth E. Batchelor
Superintendent of Schools