Wissahickon punts on returning to offering five-days of in-school instruction

While neighboring school districts have committed to return to four-to-five days of in-school instruction (while also offering virtual instruction), during the March 16th meeting Superintendent Dr. James Crisfield cautioned against doing so due to the inability to provide for a six-foot buffer between students. The school board decided to not make a decision on whether to offer additional in-school instruction days and instead directed the administration to survey the district’s families.

A few things:

  • The six-foot recommendation as stated by Dr. David Rubin during the meeting is “six feet when possible.” It is not six feet or nothing
  • Six feet will never be possible unless they start building new schools. If the administration won’t back off six feet of distancing, limited in-school instruction could continue for some time
  • The best examples of schools operating during the pandemic are private and parochial schools. While they aren’t apples to apples with public schools, it isn’t as if there is nothing to be learned. Dr. Crisfield’s admission to being unfamiliar with how these schools are operating during the pandemic was troubling
  • During the meeting, one student representative on the board discussed how she knows kids who are hybrid but choose to do virtual due to the empty classrooms. It is hard to claim a demand for in-school instruction when it is not being utilized by those who previously committed to it