Wissahickon School District superintendent states switching to 100% virtual a “distinct possibility”

In a July 29th letter to Wissahickon School District families, Superintendent James A. Crisfield, Ed.D, stated that the district may decide to switch to a 100% virtual education model for its reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. Schools across Pennsylvania closed for in-school instruction in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Wissahickon School Board voted 6-3 on July 23rd on a reopening plan that allowed families of younger children to choose between five-days-a-week in-school instruction or 100% virtual and families of older children to choose between a hybrid model (two days a week in school and three days virtual) and 100% virtual.

From Crisfield’s letter (read full letter here):

I have always tried to be as open as I can in these updates, so I need to say here that a move to 100% virtual instruction for all students is a distinct possibility for us, too. It is definitely not a given at this point, but other districts are going there for some persuasive reasons, and we need to learn the why behind their decisions. We do not have to be in lockstep, but it might make sense for other reasons. In any event, we will gather the survey data, analyze our ability to safely and reliably staff our buildings for the in-person reopening options, and cook all these variables and vectors together in a big pot to see if our recommendation can stand as is, or if it needs to change. If the latter, my intent would be to make the call sooner rather than later, to allow adequate planning time (and as our email reminder on Wednesday noted, all family decisions to date would be converted to normal scheduling, with K-5 students from the same school together and with all 7-12 students with WSD teachers). Before anything is final, the Board will of course be provided with details and rationale, and a special public meeting will be scheduled for the Board to deliberate and take any necessary action.

More to come.