Pottsgrove Sets Meeting Friday on Hybrid Plan for Special Needs Students

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A Pottsgrove School District plan to return students to school buildings – albeit with a limited number of learners, and operating within a hybrid part-online, part-classroom environment – could get a jump start Friday (Oct. 2, 2020).

That’s when the district Board of School Directors has scheduled a 6 p.m. special meeting accompanied by an agenda of just one “action item.” Superintendent Dr. William Shirk will ask it to approve a return of partial “in-person instruction” for Pottsgrove special education programs that include but are not limited to special needs and low-incidence students.

Advance registration for public attendance at the board meeting, on the Zoom conferencing platform, is available here. The event has been added to The Post calendar.

The district did not specify, in a Thursday (Oct. 1) afternoon e-mail to local media outlets, how many students would be involved. Instead, it characterized the participation volume as “a percentage” of the student population.

If accepted by directors, special needs students may be back in classrooms in a short period. The extra assistance to be given them, strongly advocated by many parents, adheres to a “blueprint” presentation Shirk made during the board’s Sept. 22 regular meeting. At the time, he advised directors special needs learners could be engaged in hybrid education by Oct. 5 (Monday).

He also repeated that, given state health and safety guidelines and other restrictions, a full return to classroom-only education may still be a significant time away. “The virtual piece is here to stay,” Shirk reminded the board.

The transition for special needs students comes as the district awaits information from parents on their preferred methods of student instruction if, as Shirk hopes, all students could be offered hybrid education by Nov. 30. Forms to determine “parent intent” began circulating Monday (Sept. 28). Pottsgrove has requested their return by Oct. 9 (Friday).

Photo by The Post