COVID-19 Communications

COVID-19 District Communications

6/29/20, Secondary Schools Update

Dear North Penn Families,

I hope that you are enjoying your summer, though it may be different than what you had planned. The same goes for us here in NPSD as we are working on plans for the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 year. Although each summer is spent on this task, this year is much more complicated as we continue to face the challenges and uncertainties of COVID-19.

As many of you know, NPSD has created a task force of 25 subcommittees to work on this important goal. These subcommittees are focused on specific areas from social distancing and health and safety, to scheduling and transportation.

I know that a topic that is forefront in all of your minds is what the school day will look like for students. To that end, we have Scheduling Subcommittees for Elementary, Middle School, and High School. They are working diligently to develop plans for in-person, hybrid, and distance learning - three possibilities for the 2020-2021 school year.

Because of the complexities involved with student scheduling at the high school and middle schools, we feel it is important to get initial feedback from parents on tentative plans at these levels. Consequently, this update and an attached video

 from Assistant Superintendent Dr. Todd Bauer will focus on plans being considered for grades 7 through 12. It is just a preliminary look, however, and we know there are many questions to be answered and concerns to be addressed. More information on the high school and middle schools plan, as well as what is being developed for elementary will be conveyed as soon as possible. In addition, we will be scheduling an online forum to answer questions and take comments.

Secondary (Grades 7 through 12) Schools

“Traditional” In-person

Students will attend school on a normal schedule. Until we know how many students will choose this option, we cannot be specific on many social distancing matters such as how far apart desks will be, how many students will be in a class, what lunch will look like, etc. But these details will be determined this summer.

Hybrid Concept

  • On four days of the six-day cycle, students will participate in synchronous online learning (following an assigned schedule identical to the school’s bell schedule with required attendance at the assigned time) through the Canvas Learning Management System taught by their assigned NPSD teacher. Courses in the four core areas of English, Social Studies, Math, and Science will be scheduled.
  • Students will engage in in-person NPSD coursework taught by North Penn teachers two times during a cycle, or two times over six school days. These classes will be held in each student’s specific school at the same time of day following the same schedule as is followed on the other four days of the cycle.
  • Once we determine how many students are interested in the hybrid option we will then determine which electives can also be offered in the same manner as the core classes.
  • Students will attend hybrid classes in a space which permits a greater degree of social distancing within a section of our high school.
  • Students can participate in extracurricular activities and attend North Montco Technical Career Center.
  • This program could accomplish the following objectives:
  1. Social distancing and isolation with a smaller group of students for the entirety of the school day with masks highly encouraged
  2. Some live interaction with peers and NPSD teachers
  3. Flexibility in process if/when COVID-19 spread spikes; seamless transition in/out

North Penn Virtual Academy (NPVA)

  • NPVA is an online program for students in grades 7-12 in which NPSD’s Northbridge School teachers are the teachers of record in the following content areas: Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Art, Health/PE.
  • The program utilizes the Edgenuity platform and curriculum as the basis for instruction.
  • Instruction is asynchronous in nature (students typically log on at a time which best fits their needs), and students are able to interact with teachers in a virtual environment during designated times on a daily basis.
  • The NPVA program is unique in that NPVA students have the option to meet with teachers at designated times on a daily basis for individual tutoring and counseling support.
  • NPVA students who successfully matriculate through the program will earn a North Penn High School diploma.
  • NPVA students are also eligible to participate in NPSD extracurricular activities. Student Attendance and academic engagement/progress are monitored by NB Administration, Counselors, and Teachers. 

I am sure you have questions regarding elementary schedules. We are working on preliminary plans that we will be sharing with you shortly and will ask for your input. Thank you for your patience as we develop these ideas further. 
Please continue to be safe and NorthPennStrong.

Dr. Curtis R. Dietrich

Arabic Secondary Options Fall Letter to Secondary Parents.pdf
Bengali Secondary Options Fall Letter to Secondary Parents.pdf
Chinese Secondary Options Fall Letter to Secondary Parents.pdf
Gujarati Secondary Options Fall Letter to Secondary Parents.pdf
Korean Secondary Options Fall Letter to Secondary Parents.pdf
Spanish Secondary Options Fall Letter to Secondary Parents.pdf
Vietnamese Secondary Options Fall Letter to Secondary Parents.pdf

5/22/2020, Opening of Schools Update

Dear North Penn School Community,
It is with great seriousness that I write this update to staff and families. As you know there is much discussion both nationwide and locally about the in-person reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year in terms of whether it can happen, and if it does, what schools would look like. Furthermore, if schools cannot reopen or are open for a short time before needing to close because of COVID-19, how will distance learning be fine-tuned to best meet the needs of our students.
Here in NPSD, we do not have the answers to all of these questions...yet. We are working diligently, however, to develop plans based on the numerous scenarios that could occur. I meet regularly with Montgomery County superintendents, local officials, and others involved in the operations of schools to share ever-evolving information and to engage in thoughtful discussions about the issues at hand.

From how we would ensure our schools are properly cleaned and how to keep students and staff six feet apart, to taking temperatures and how to mitigate virus exposure on buses, we are thoroughly reviewing the recommended guidelines and what is feasible in our schools. At the same time, we are looking at how we can improve the distance learning model we implemented this spring to ensure it delivers the excellent quality education for which NPSD is known and includes more socialization and interaction among teachers and classmates.

Our plates are full for sure. But like I have written before, we are North Penn. We will not only dream big, but we will create big and we will achieve greatness, whether in our schools or in an online setting. 

It is important to me that you are able to gain a window into the present thinking of your administrative leadership team. You also may have questions and thoughts of your own regarding the reopening of schools and the NPSD administration wants to hear from you. On Thursday, May 28th, we will hold two online community forums to provide you with the opportunity to hear our present thinking and to share your thoughts as we work to develop plans in the coming months. One forum will be at 2:30 p.m. for staff and one for the community will be held at 7 p.m.  More information on how to participate will be released next week, but please mark your calendars now for these important meetings.

I understand how stressful our current and future situation is to everyone. Our staff is facing a new and uncertain way of providing for our students, while juggling the needs of their own lives. Families are faced with supporting a distance learning program, while working and managing their own stress and concerns. And our students are faced with a new reality that seems so unfair.

Your wellness is extremely important to me. I hope you can take some time over the upcoming holiday weekend to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, put North Penn work aside, and be thankful for the good things in your life.  Please rejuvenate and then please consider joining us May 28th for thoughtful discussion.   

Please take care.

Dr. Curtis R. Dietrich

COVID-19 Communications Archive

Below are communications to NPSD students, staff and families regarding COVID-19 and school closure information.