Good evening DTSD Families
I am writing to share with you a significant development in Derry Township School District’s plans for starting the 2020-2021 School Year. Due to the high volume of families in our last survey indicating a preference for in-person instruction, we have determined we cannot meet the physical distancing standards set forth in our Phased Re-Opening Health and Safety Plan if all those students were to report to our school buildings on a daily basis.
Therefore, the district administration will be recommending the Board of School Directors adopt a Continuity of Education Plan where in-person instruction is offered on an alternating day schedule (hybrid), with roughly half of students reporting for in-person instruction at a time. Thus our two options will become a fully virtual option and a hybrid option. If you have chosen the face-to-face option your child will be placed into a hybrid schedule. Families who selected the virtual option will be scheduled as such.
As this decision was just determined, full details have not been finalized. Generally speaking, however, the hybrid model will operate on an alphabetical delineation of students for each grouping. We will work to keep siblings on the same schedule. Further details will be forthcoming pending school board approval.
I recognize this plan differs from our previously announced intent to open the school year with “near normal” schooling offering in-person instruction on a daily basis. We have noted throughout the re-opening planning process, however, the need for flexibility in response to changing circumstances. As we processed the response data showing roughly 3/4 of families wanted in-person instruction for their students, it became evident flexibility would indeed be required.
The Health and Safety Plan adopted by the DTSD School Board at its July 27 meeting outlines the standards we believe are necessary for a safe return to in-person schooling. While it is a tremendous and well-deserved compliment to our incredible teaching staff that so many families want their students to be with them in the traditional classroom, it simply will not be possible to maintain the physical distancing guidelines in our plan without a move to a hybrid model of instruction.
More detailed information with individual student schedules and class assignments will be coming from our school principals in the coming days. I wanted all families to be aware of the recommended move to a mix of hybrid and on-line instructional models as quickly as possible so you can work on your own back-to-school planning. We appreciate your patience and grace as we work to provide the safest learning environment possible for your children.
With Trojan Pride,