LANSDALE, PA — The North Penn School District will offer a multi-option plan for students heading into the 2020-21 school year, with families given a choice of in-person, virtual, or hybrid instruction, officials announced.
The announcement comes as Montgomery County officials recently issued their countywide school reopening guidelines, which require masks and discourage large gatherings, field trips and extracurricular activities.
Families must return a School Reopening Selection Form indicating which of the three options their student has selected. The deadline to return the form is Monday, July 27 at noon. The form can be accessed here.
The instruction will be a combination of “synchronous” and “asynchronous” classrooms, with some, but not all activities taught to in-person and online students at the same time.
The recommendations are the result of the work of more than 20 committees over a period of weeks who have been analyzing educational options, safety, and going over advice from numerous agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. The new plans also take into account feedback given from parents and students regarding the virtual instruction that took place this past spring.
“(The feedback was) it was a great job considering everything that happened, and how quickly we needed to turn it around,” Dr. Jenna Rufo said during an online forum last week. “But if this keeps going, we need more.
The updated guidance released Thursday by the Pennsylvania Department of Education clarifies that students must wear masks at all times during the school day, except when eating, drinking or situated six feet apart. The guidance also includes new recommendations on social distancing, transportation safety, and procedures in the event a student or staff member becomes infected.
“It is critically important that families take their time and consider the three options,” the district said in a statement. “Talk to your children about both their concerns and their hopes.”
You can watch recordings of North Penn’s online forums here.
Earlier this week, Pennsylvania’s largest teachers union implored state officials to direct public schools to plan for an online start to school if the spread of the coronavirus doesn’t slow by the fall.
Pennsylvania State Education Association President Rich Askey, in a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera, said it is “extremely important for Pennsylvania’s public schools to plan for the distinct possibility that further increases in COVID-19 cases will make it impossible to safely reopen Pennsylvania’s schools for in-person instruction.”
To submit feedback, questions, and comments to North Penn staff, contact [email protected].
This article originally appeared on the Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch