‘Parent Intent Form’ Opens to Collect Pottsgrove Choices

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – As expected, the Pottsgrove School District asked parents and guardians in a widely distributed Thursday (July 23, 2020) letter to submit preferred return-to-education choices – either a hybrid in-person and online learning program, or solely online – for their students’ return to education in the 2020-2021 academic year.

A full in-building return is not being offered as a option, district officials explained during a Wednesday (July 22) town hall meeting. They said Pottsgrove schools lack sufficient space to ensure 6-foot social distancing measures required by the state departments of health and education.

The online, seven-page “parent intent form” (at top) for reporting parents’ selections, apparently on a student-by-student basis, was opened Thursday at the district website, here. Pottsgrove asks “families (to) make their selection for the first marking period (secondary) or the first trimester (elementary).” It “recognizes there is great uncertainty moving forward, and will make every effort to accommodate families that need to change their intent at a later date,” the letter added.

The hybrid program was described in the letter as “featuring in person, brick-and-mortar instruction coupled with online instruction. Students experience in-person instruction within our school buildings during two days of the week. The other three days provide students with online, synchronous and asynchronous connections, with teachers and support for work completion, practice, and/or extension activities.

The district will work with families selecting the hybrid option “to ensure students within the same families are on the same daily schedule,” it added.

The hybrid option relies in part on school busing for those students who otherwise would lack transportation. Parents can choose to have their children ride on district supplied vehicles, “seated two per seat, (in which) all riders must wear face coverings, and buses will be sanitized after each run.” The alternative: parents “may elect to provide (their) own transportation,” according to the letter.

The online, or Pottsgrove Virtual Academy, program was described as “featuring fully online sessions, both recorded and live. Students have classes online and will not enter school buildings for instruction … students still have regular, online, synchronous and asynchronous connections and instruction with teachers, only all of it will occur online rather than in school buildings.”

The academy “will provide our students with personalized learning through a rich, rigorous, and robust (Pottsgrove) curriculum taught by (its) highly qualified teachers. It ensures special education services; extracurricular activities; and live tech, school, and district support,” the letter stated.

Its options remain in force only “as long as state, country, and public health advisories allow, the letter cautioned recipients. But if the choices can proceed, the district claimed parents can be assured the online portions will involve “discussion activities, social-emotional learning, small group intervention and enrichment, opportunities for collaboration with peers, (and) live instructional connections and check-ins.”

As the district collects Parent intent form information, it anticipates being “in a better position to create classroom assignments” as a next step, the letter indicated.

Screenshot by The Post from the Pottsgrove School District website
Mouse photo in the public domain from GoodFreePhotos, used under license