WE Hear You! Safe Return to School Plans
After much thoughtful consideration, Colonial’s Safe Return to School (SRS) workgroups have determined that William Penn students will begin the school year remotely. Plans for Wallace Wallin and some of our other special programs are pending. This decision was made based on the number of William Penn students, the guidance from the Delaware Department of Education, and the complexity of student schedules. Plans for fall sports hinge on decisions made by the DIAA (Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association).
Presently, each school in the district has a team working on building-based plans because what works for one school may not work for another. About 270 administrators, teachers, and staff are figuring out what a student's day may look like in each of our Colonial schools based on the DOE guidance, district instructional, and operational workgroup recommendations, and survey information from parents. Those plans include how instruction will be delivered, transportation, building entrances, meals being served, student movement throughout the day, and how social distancing will be practiced, to name a few.
We wish to thank the more than 4,300 Pre-K to 8th-grade families who have already submitted their intentions for their children for this fall in our online survey. This helped us further develop our plans as we work to ensure the safety of staff and students. So that all opinions are captured, schools have teams that have been tasked with making phone calls to households that did not respond to the survey. Parents of high school students were not included in the survey since the SRS teams realized face-to-face learning was not a viable option to start the year.
Colonial is offering two options in Pre-K through 8th grade:
• Remote Learning or
• Face-to-Face Instruction
Parents who opted for remote learning were advised in advance that students are held to that expectation through the end of the 1st semester in mid-January. At this point, parents have selected the following for their children:
• 39% for face-to-face
• 61% for remote only
Both approaches will be provided five (5) days a week and will hold similar expectations for teaching and learning. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Peter Leida stated, “We are very proud of our workgroups as they have dedicated significant time and commitment to this effort. They have been meeting on a daily basis to develop options for families that keep our students and staff safe while creating a high-quality learning experience for every child. We will continue our planning in preparation for the start of school and provide regular updates to families in the coming weeks.”
Please remember all Safe Return to School plans are subject to change at any time due to the unpredictable impact that COVID-19 has had on our state and school district. We hope families appreciate the SRS teams who have spent countless hours making solid plans for the best and worst scenarios because WE cannot say this enough--the safety of students and staff is Colonial’s top priority.