December 1, 2020

December 1, 2020

Dear Staff and Families,

Over the past three months I have had the benefit of observing the thoughtful, measured approach Dr. Hacker has taken in determining the course of action for our school district as we’ve navigated the challenges of this pandemic.  I’ve also had the opportunity to see first-hand how hard our administration and staff have worked to deliver quality instruction whether in a fully remote or hybrid environment, and I’ve learned about the struggles and successes of our students and their families as they’ve made difficult decisions about whether to remain at home or come into school.  It is important to remember that each member of our school community is working their hardest to support our students and to safeguard their health, and that what works for some of us does not work for everyone.  

With that in mind, our administrative team has reviewed the data and reflected upon the experiences of our students in both remote and hybrid learning, and how best to continue to deliver educational and support services.  Based upon those discussions I have decided that we will plan to resume hybrid instruction on Monday, December 7th.  While no instructional model is perfect, the hybrid model allows our students and their families the opportunity to choose the best option for themselves.  It also supports the genuine need of many of our students for connection, community, and access to educational, social, emotional and mental health resources not available to the same degree in the virtual environment.  For our administrative team and staff, the hybrid model is absolutely more challenging, but we must continue to be committed as a community to supporting our students and their families.  However, we will need the cooperation of everyone if we are to be successful, especially through the winter months.

As you know, infection rates have risen in recent weeks in the state and county, as well as in Springfield Township.  If we are to keep our students, families, staff and administration safe and healthy, everyone must commit to following the guidelines recommended by the CDC and the Montgomery County Department of Health to mitigate the spread of the virus.  Later this week a new dashboard will be added to the district website which will share updated information on a weekly basis regarding the rates of infection in our region and active case counts in each of our schools. We will continue to work with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health to determine how to respond to individual cases of illness and the need to quarantine, deep clean, or move to virtual instruction for a period of time. 

In order to remain safe and healthy and to continue in the hybrid instructional model we will need everyone to do their part.  Please wear a mask whenever you are in close contact with those outside your immediate household, stay home if experiencing symptoms, and wash your hands.  These simple efforts will help us to continue to support all of our students and to keep our staff, who are working harder than ever before, safe in our schools.  Tomorrow, principals will be sending parents an email requesting notice for any changes to your child’s current status, whether a member of the Virtual, Spartan (4-day), Blue or Steel cohort for the remainder of December.  There will be another opportunity to make a change after the winter break, and another once again in late January.  

Please direct any questions about your child’s educational plan to the building Principal. You may also visit our Health Services webpage for further information.  I look forward to getting to know you all better as I transition into my new role over the next week.

Sincerely,

MaryJo Yannacone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools Elect (12/5/2020)