Thursday, July 30, 2020

OJR and Pottstown to Decide Reopenings Tonight

As July draws to a close, so too is the window for continued discussion about how local schools will reopen this fall

Boyertown and Spring-Ford cast their votes earlier this week. Boyertown will start with a hybrid program and Spring-Ford will begin the year fully online.

Today was the previous deadline for Pottsgrove parents to decide between the two choices being offered, fully on-line or hybrid. However, the district announced Tuesday that the decision deadline for parents has been extended to Aug. 4.

Joe Zlomek has the full run-down in the Saanatoga Post, which you can read by clicking here.

Tonight, Thursday, July 30, will see two more local school boards, Owen J. Roberts and Pottstown,
meet to make a final decision.

Pottstown has already outlined its plan for full online delivered education, which has been reported about earlier, and it can be viewed here.

The Owen J. Roberts School Board will hold an online school board meeting tonight to decide on a re-opening plan. We have not recently reported on this, so here is a quick run-down.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the web link to the meeting will be posted at the top of the district website's home page about 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.

As noted on the district website, the full discussion began on July 8, when superintendent Susan Lloyd  emailed parents and guardians requesting their input on a DRAFT of the Health and Safety Plan for reopening schools in the fall. 

Parents were also invited to provide additional feedback by registering to participate in an in person or online school-based focus group on July 14 or 15. On July 21 the draft of the Fall Health & Safety Plan was presented during the Pupil Services Committee Meeting.

"Our first choice would be for students to return to school in-person for a full school week (traditional model)," the website informed parents. "New health guidelines alert us to the fact that we need to physical distance, be flexible, patient, and ready with another plan. It is possible that we will need to reopen schools with a Blended Learning approach. In order to meet capacity regulations, cohorts of students would rotate into school for face-to-face learning 2 days-per-week while other students are learning remotely, then switch. "

"No matter what, we know that in-person learning will not feel like the right choice for some families this fall. The OJR Cyber Academy will provide flexible learning opportunities to ensure your child’s success," according to the website.

"The OJR Cyber Academy will be taught by Owen J. Roberts teachers." The district plans a virtual Open House to learn more about the OJR Cyber Academy. There are unique sessions for elementary, middle and high school, as the structure is different at each level. Registration for this option opens on July 31. 
I will attempt to keep an eye on both meetings.

However, it's fair to say that I expect the Pottstown Board to endorse the plan being recommended by the administration.

Being less familiar with the situation in OJR, I will probably be focusing more on that meeting.

You can follow me on Twitter @PottstownNews

1 comment:

  1. The irony is not lost on me that the front page of today's Mercury has an article lamenting the fact school "administrators say guidance from Wolf administration lacking" below an article about police sharing pizza with the community and next to "Montco warns of COVID-19 super spreader events." No one is wearing a mask in the article where police are handing out pizza! I believe the Wolf administration and the CDC and every other credible source did give us guidance about wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding crowds. People are just choosing not to follow the guidance. Wouldn't it have been appropriate if when the police were presenting the pizza and standing a foot away from other unmasked people, they were wearing masks? If people want their children back in school and everything to get back to "normal", they need to start adhering to the guidance given to us to stop the spread of this terrible disease. I've lost 5 friends since March to COVID-19. Wear a mask, social distance and stay out of crowds!