- 7/29/20 Important Update
- 7/24/20 Update and Information
- Important update from the Governor’s office and PDE
- 7/15/20 Reopening Plan
- 7/9/20 Family Letter
- 7/6/20 Family Letter
- 6/26/20 Family Letter
Good morning, all.
On Monday evening, the Springfield School Board approved the Health and Safety Plan for the district. On behalf of our entire team, we would like to thank all of our families and staff for their feedback and participation. Obviously, this is a critical topic for all of us, and we appreciate the passion and wealth of knowledge that people shared with us.
In valuing this process, we are going to take some time over the next few days to digest all of the responses we received about the plan. We will be reporting back any updates to our families early next week.
In the meantime, we heard many questions about the district’s virtual programming option. Below is a link to the Springfield Virtual Academy (SVA) Informational Website. Please take some time to review the site and use the question submission form at the bottom of the page if any further questions remain.
We appreciate your patience and support as the process continues.
The SSD Team
Good afternoon, all.
We hope you and your families are doing well and are happy. We just wanted to provide you with an update on information and our planning.
As you are aware, we will be hosting a special School Board meeting to adopt our Health and Safety Plan on Monday, July 27, starting at 7 pm. Included in our plan are three options for school reopening, which follow the Governor’s phases. These options are based upon his recommendations/orders and input from the medical experts.
Attached, please find our most recent FAQ sheet and the presentation for Monday. (Building specific questions will be answered by principals shortly.) Although these are lengthy documents, we believe it is important to share our answers to many of your questions, along with the actual content for the presentation.
Thank you and stay well.
The SSD Team
We hope the day is going well, and you are enjoying this beautiful sunshine. We wanted to update you on our school reopening plans.
At 3:30 PM today, Governor Wolf held a press conference. The Governor ordered new mitigation strategies to assist us in diminishing the spread of the virus so that families and staff can feel confident returning to school in the fall. During this press conference, Dr. Rubin, one of our medical experts, spoke to the importance of implementing these strategies and focused on our need to be “ahead of the game” in our state’s response. He also stated that he “feels safe at work” because at CHOP, they have confidence in their safety protocols.
As a district, we are committed to having vigilant safety protocols in place that will adhere to the most current medical information and recommendations. In addition, please note that our Health and Safety Plan incorporates this approach.
With that said, we’d like to share a few documents with you. We realize there is a ton of information in this communication, but we believe it is critical for our planning and understanding to see everything in its entirety, as we navigate this unprecedented time together. As we are all well aware, circumstances can and do change often with this topic. Please realize our plans are current as of 07/15/2020, and all are subject to future changes based on Governmental orders.
Please see the linked documents below:
- SSD Guiding Principles - Our belief system chaperones our directed actions. With that being stated, please find the SSD Guiding Principles chart. This chart depicts the various expert, medical testimony that we have gathered from both the Chester County Health Department and our medical team, including CHOP, the University of Pennsylvania, etc. This testimony is the groundwork of our planning.
- SSD Health and Safety Plan Summary – In realizing that the full plan is thirty-six pages in length and very detailed, we wanted folks to be able to have a working summary of the prime components to the plan. The SSD Summary depicts our approach to school as it relates to the various stages of the Governor’s phases. In simple terms, as he goes, we go, as we believe that he has the greatest resources and access to information in our entire state. Therefore, if he is making a decision, not only is it our legal obligation to follow it, but it is also our belief that these decisions are made in the greatest interest of health and safety. If his team believes that it is safe to open schools at 3-6 feet distancing in the green phase, then we do as well. If it had to be 6 feet, the premise is he would mandate it. We realize this thought process is debatable, but as we stated, we need a technical thought process to follow in order to make decisions.
- SSD Health and Safety Plan – The plan is modeled utilizing the Pennsylvania Department of Education's template. Here, one can find details as they relate to “how” we will incorporate our actions to ensure the health and welfare of our students and staff. Obviously, there will be questions and observations that no plan can ever anticipate, and therefore, we realize this is a fluid document. We will continue to modify and adjust our actions as both new information is gathered and/or to adhere to new mandates/orders.
- SSD COVID Protocols chart– One of the most regularly asked questions surrounds protocols we will follow when someone gets sick. The SSD COVID Protocols chart is a quick guide that explains our thinking, which is based upon the Chester County Health Department’s recommendations. Of course, the primary person (aside from the potential individual) is one’s doctor, and this guide captures that thinking.
- SSD 2020-2021 Calendar – One of the changes we are recommending to the School Board is to move the student start day to September 8, 2020. In this fashion, we will have four full days of in-service with our staff (and one teacher prep day) to prepare for our students’ return. And trust me, we will need it with COVID safety protocols, instructional design in this new reality, Canvas, etc. In staying with our slow and steady approach, we are also recommending that we start the first four days of instruction for students will follow an A/B schedule (hybrid instructional model). This will give us time to help our students become trained in this new reality, including COVID-related strategies, hygiene, physical distancing, etc. Hopefully, these changes will be met with acceptance at the board meeting on Monday, July 27th. More information will be forthcoming from your building principal concerning the specifics of the A/B schedule and your child/children.
- Planning Schedule – The plan, and all the documents, will be shared with the public today. They will have time to give feedback and ask questions. On July 27, 2020 (Monday), the School Board will hold a special meeting to adopt all three plans (see summary chart). In this respect, we will be ready to go no matter what happens via the Governor’s phases. But please note, as of today, we are planning to reopen in full capacity for all students, five days a week on Monday, September 14, 2020.
As always, thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
The SSD Team
Good afternoon, Morton and Springfield families.
The health and welfare of our students and staff is paramount in everything we do in the Springfield School District. To this end, in planning for our return in the fall, we have been actively consulting with medical experts who provide the most recent guidance when it comes to COVID-19. Below, please find our Guiding Principles, which is a collection of expert, medical testimony as it applies to the areas of screening, hygiene, masking and distancing.
We want you to know that these principles are being utilized to inform our actionable steps to assist us in minimizing the risk of a spread. Although we can never be one-hundred percent risk-free, we believe, based upon our conversations with our medical team and the research studies that are available, we are adhering to the most informed approach possible at this time for reopening schools.
As you are well aware, circumstances can and do change often with this topic. As the situation evolves, we will continue to consult with medical experts to inform our planning process. As always, if you have questions or comments about the Guiding Principles, please send them to https://www.ssdcougars.org/reopening-schools/feedback.
Please look for the draft of our Health and Safety Plan to be published next week. As always, thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
The SSD Team
Good afternoon, Morton and Springfield families.
Last week, the Governor entered a new, expanded order regarding face coverings (https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/20200701-SOH-Universal-Face-Coverings-Order.pdf). Springfield School District’s Health and Safety planning for reopening school must now take this new order into consideration.
We are being told that the Pennsylvania Department of Education is planning to publish new guidance for reopening schools in the upcoming days. Based on this information, SSD will be waiting to receive this new guidance and plan accordingly. Therefore, the Health and Safety Academic Plan will not be available until we receive the new guidance and have had time to review and incorporate it into our planning.
Thank you for your patience during this challenging and ever-changing time.
The SSD Team
Springfield School District families,
I hope this letter finds you enjoying some well-deserved summer relaxation. I wanted to update you regarding our planning for the 2020-2021 school year. The plan for reopening schools centers on in-school learning and social interaction, which are essential for students’ emotional well-being and their academic growth. The plan was developed in conjunction with recommendations from local public health and medical professionals, including those from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Bucks County and Chester County Departments of Health.
This letter has three key sections: 1) Guidelines for Reopening Schools for 2020-2021, 2) Timeline for the Completion of the Health and Safety Plan, and 3) Expert Recommendations for Safely Opening School Buildings. We understand that parents may have questions/concerns about the details of the plan, but please remember that the guidance for school districts continues to evolve, and so, our plans may evolve with it. We will communicate with you any changes to our planning as we move through the summer months.
To continue reading, please click here.