District Releases Timeline for Education Information

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A timeline for distributing return-to-education information to Pottsgrove School District families, released in a Thursday (July 16, 2020) letter from Superintendent Dr. William Shirk, indicates the district will publicly deliver its fall reopening options Monday (July 20, 2020), hold “town hall” meetings to answer parents’ questions on them July 22, and then ask parents to select a preferred option July 23.

“My hope is that this will help you, our Pottsgrove Community, to begin thinking about what school may look like for the upcoming school year,” Shirk wrote. The district effort to “create, share, solicit feedback, and publish various documents” related to reopenings is “required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and guided by Governor Wolf,” he added.

“In order for our planning to be effective, we will rely on your input, feedback, and intent. Throughout each phase of this timeline, my goal will be to provide you with focused dialogue and identify the specific information we will need from you,” the superintendent’s letter stated.

A timeline chart included in his letter appears below:

The chart’s first two items – the introduction of its health and safety plan for athletics and the high school marching band, and release of the timeline letter itself – have already been completed on July 7 and 16, respectively.

The remaining items, according to the chart, are:

  • On July 20, the introduction of “Education Programming Options” to “provide information about the options that will exist for a reopened school environment for the 2020-2021 school year; “Announcement of Parent Town Hall Meetings,” accompanied by “registration information for Parent Town Hall Meetings” and “Google Link for Collection of Questions for Parent Town Hall Meetings,” offered with “a Google Form … in order for parents to ask questions prior to the Parent Town Hall Meetings.”
  • On July 22, delivery of a “Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan” by 6 p.m. that “details all processes for cleaning, social distancing, monitoring health, and safety protocols across all school functions; followed by “Parent Town Hall Meetings” at 7 p.m., to “provide parents with the opportunity to learn more and ask questions about developing plans and educational options.”

“I encourage you to participate in the Parent Town Hall Meeting on July 22 … to help inform decisions you will need to make for your child(ren),” Shirk wrote. “I also wanted to remind you of the ongoing “Community Conversation” blog that has been established on the (school district) website at http://www.pgsd.org/coronavirus to collect your feedback and questions.”

  • On July 23, a “Parent Intent Communication,” in which “parents will be asked to select the educational programming option for your child.”

Pottsgrove Board of School Directors President Robert Lindgren said Tuesday its members hope to vote on a final plan approval during a specially called July 30 (Thursday) live meeting.

“Certainly, we do not have all the answers,” Shirk wrote, “however, we share a top priority to ensure the academic, behavioral, and social (and) emotional needs of our students are met. I appreciate your continued understanding, patience, and assistance, as we continue to plan for the best educational environment for our students.”

Photo by Luiza Braun via Unsplash, used under license