• Superintendent Blog: July 26, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 7/26/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

    As the days of summer are passing by, I hope this message finds you well. I am writing today to remind you of the School Board's approval of our revised health and safety plan, and to give some insight as to how our schools will reopen in September.


    On June 17, the Board voted to approve the required Health and Safety Plan, which maintains our layered approach in our mitigation efforts against COVID 19. 

    Currently, mask-wearing is optional.

    Additionally, it is our full intent to return to school 5 days per week, with a full-day schedule for all students. 

    You can find a copy of the School Board action approving the Health and Safety Plan below.

    Board approved Health and Safety Plan

    The Pandemic Planning Committee will meet in August to review current data and to recommend any changes to the current Health and Safety Plan.  The Committee will continue to meet throughout the school year as needed, to determine any additional recommended changes to the Board.


    As a reminder, our school calendar can be found here, and the first day for all students will be BEFORE Labor Day.

    My best to you as you enjoy your summer, and prepare for an exciting 2021-2022 school year!

     

    Sincerely,

    Mr. Harris

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: June 6, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 6/6/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Hello Morrisville Families,

    Below, you will find a few remarks regarding State testing, health and safety planning, and our return to school in the Fall of 2021.

    State Testing:  As a District, we opted to delay the administration of the 2021 Keystones and PSSA’s.  By State directive, this testing MUST be completed before September 30, 2021.  We have adjusted the start of the 2021-22 school year to allow more time for the required testing administration.  Your building principal will be in touch with specifics for your student as it relates to the test schedule.

    Health and Safety Planning:  As you may know, the Governor’s Order regarding Masking and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts will end after June 28, 2021.  We will continue to honor the Governor’s Order, in accordance with our approved Health and Safety Plan, until the end of the school year.

    In meeting with our Pandemic Planning Team, it was made abundantly clear that parents and staff made decisions about remote vs in-person learning based on the Health and Safety Plan.  We will honor those decisions by implementing that plan to the best of our ability.

    Return to School in September: 

    Please note that the first student day for the 2021-2022 school year is September 1, 2021. This is BEFORE Labor Day.

    As a result of our most recent Pandemic Team meeting, I anticipate that the School Board will consider a modification to our existing plan which will include a FULL RETURN to in-person learning (5 days per week, for full days) and because of the most recent health guidance, masks may be optional. There will be an amendment to our Health and Safety Plan up for board consideration later this month.  Until the Board votes on the recommended changes, we will adhere to our current plan.


    Congratulations to the Class of 2021!  We celebrate you for all you have accomplished in the face of incredible odds and circumstances. I look forward to celebrating your achievements with your families on June 17.  Be on the lookout for more information regarding the Senior Class Parade and Commencement from Mr. Haines, our Secondary Principal.


    With the end of the 2020-2021 school year upon us, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Morrisville Community for its support and input along the way as we have navigated the COVID-19 Pandemic.  I can say that without question, this has been one of the most difficult years for me as both a parent and educator.  Our staff has been resilient and creative in their approaches to remote learning, and it is my hope that this work continues for the sake of engaging and empowering students to own their learning.  Thank you to everyone who had a part in this tumultuous, challenging, and most remarkable year.  I do not think we will forget this season anytime soon.

    I have seen some amazing things happen as people have responded to the restrictions and limitations placed upon us.  These amazing things have given me hope that as a community, we will continue to stand strong in support of our youth.  We must continue to make their education and future a priority.  It is my desire that the good things which have resulted will continue, and that as we move forward, we keep the things that need to stay, and shed the things that are unnecessary.

    We must continue our advocacy at the Local, State, and National levels for the desired future for our children.  Funding for our tiny district is a continuous ask, and collective advocacy by everyone in our community must be the vehicle.  Your voice has a tone and power all its own, and together we can raise that voice, and advocate for those things that are necessary to help our students succeed!

    I am proud to serve this community, and I look forward with great anticipation of the great things that are coming our way. I wish you a restful Summer, and a speedy and healthy return in the Fall!


    Upcoming Meetings:

    June 9: School Board Facilities and Finance Committee. 6 pm and 7 pm, respectively via Zoom

    June 10: School Board Policy and Education Committee. 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm respectively via Zoom.

    June 16: School Board Agenda Meeting. 7:30 PM via Zoom

    June 23:  School Board Action Meeting/Intent to Adopt Final Budget. 7:30 PM via Zoom.

     

    My best to you now and always. 

     

     

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: May 30, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 5/30/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Greetings Morrisville Families!

    Congratulations to our MHS Girls Softball Team!  They are PIAA District 1 Division 1A Runner Up!  Way to go, ladies; you make us Bulldog Proud! Special thanks to Head Coach: Mrs. Leedom, Assistant Coach: Mrs. Morgandale, and Mr. Hubiak, Athletic Director!  

     

    I am also writing today to inform you of a few school updates.

    Vaccine Clinic-  I am pleased to announce that we are offering a Vaccine Clinic for Morrisville residents ages 12 and older.  The details are below:

    VACCINE CLINIC - JUNE 1, 2021!!

    Free Pfizer Vaccine available to all

    Morrisville residents ages 12 and older!

    When:  June 1, 2021

    Where: Grandview Elementary, 80 Grandview Avenue, Morrisville

    Times:   1:30pm to 6:00pm

    **Note: The second dosage of the vaccine is scheduled for June 22nd.

    Please complete the following steps to register:

    1. Go to: AMI Registration
    2. Complete the consent form: Found here ***If you do not have access to a printer, you can email the completed form to margenti@mv.org or complete one in person.

    **1 form per person, 12 and older

    A few more details:

    • This clinic is for ALL Morrisville residents, ages 12 and older.
    • Please complete one form per person/child.
    • There is no appointment necessary.
    • No adult needs to be present for a child if the consent form is completed.
    • Printed copies of the registration form will be available on site.

     

    COVID 19 Mitigation Guidance Update-As mentioned in my previous post, we will be maintaining our current masking policy until the end of the school year.  I meet with our Pandemic Planning Team next week, and we will discuss how best to implement the revised CDC and County/State Guidance on masking for our summer camps, as well as the 2021-22 school year.  This guidance will likely not require masks in the summer.

     

    It is my intention to recommend that students attend school 5-days per week, for the full day, in the 2021-22 school year. We will abide by recommendations and guidance from our health authorities and follow the School Board approved/revised Health and Safety Plan.

     

    School Calendar-Please click on the adjacent link for our approved 2021-2022 school calendar. Please note that the first student day is Wednesday, September 1.  This is BEFORE Labor Day.  The reason for the early start is to accommodate the September testing schedule, and the multiple holidays in September.  This year, both the Labor Day closure and the Rosh Hashana holiday are consecutive school days. 

    Senior Celebration-Please see Mr. Haines' blog for more information.

    General Fund Budget-The School Board of Directors intends to consider the adoption of the 2021-2022 General Fund Budget on Wednesday, June 23 at 7:30 pm.  There are still many unknowns about State Funding, as the Governor’s Budget has not yet been approved.  Considering these unknowns, the Board has enacted a Proposed Final Budget that includes a 3.6% local real estate tax increase.   The Board can adopt a budget that includes a smaller tax increase at the June meeting, and we are optimistic that decisions in Harrisburg may help the Board consider a smaller increase in taxes.  You can find a link to our 2021-2022 General Fund Budget here.

     

    One last Reminder: The District will be closed Monday May 31, 2021 in observance of Memorial Day.

    Thank you and have a great holiday!

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: May 16, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 5/16/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

    Below are a few updates and announcements.  Please be sure to click on the links below for additional information.

     

    Masking Guidance:  By now, I am sure you have heard about the revised CDC Guidance regarding masking.  I was in meetings all day Friday with my County Superintendent colleagues, as well as Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department.  I wanted to share a few thoughts and understandings about the recently revised masking guidance from the CDC. I know we have all been waiting for news like this, but please understand that we have processes and procedures in place that govern our actions, and these procedures and processes make a seemingly simple update to guidance very complex to interpret, amend, and implement.  

     

    Per the revised guidance, CDC says that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”  I interpret this to mean that since our Health and Safety Plan includes masking and distancing language (masks and 6 feet to the maximum extent possible) will stay in place until the Board votes to change it.

     

    As of today, the expectation for face coverings will remain in place pursuant to the Morrisville Health & Safety Plans.  Please plan for this expectation to remain in place at least through the end of the school year.  This decision has been made in consultation with our school district partners and with the support of Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department.  Ongoing evaluations of this decision will occur in consultation with our school partners and with the Bucks County Health Department for the summer and thereafter.  

     

    The most specific reason I can give for staying the course is twofold: 1-We have an existing health and safety plan in place…and 2- it is logistically impossible to task with fidelity those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, and those who have not.  With less than 25 days left in the school year, and the encouragement of PADOH and PDE to maintain our current course, it is best to continue this way.

     

    If you have a question regarding this revised guidance, please feel free to email me at jharris@mv.org, or call at 215-736-5374.

     

     

    Funding advocacy:  I had the honor of sharing Morrisville’s story of funding challenges at a press conference last week. Sponsored by PA Schools Work and PCCY (Public Citizens for Children and Youth), the event was covered by several news outlets, including the Bucks County Courier Times.  My remarks focused on our recent furlough discussions, the Governor’s budget, as well as the fact that our stimulus money has not arrived. 

    The article is linked below:

    https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2021/05/11/bucks-county-school-leaders-join-push-more-state-education-funding-pennsylvania-taxes-schools/5019108001/

     

    **  The 21st CCLC Summer Camp registration is now open. Click here for more information. **

     

    Election Day:  Municipal Primaries are on Tuesday, May 18th. There will be no school for students.

     

    Upcoming Board Meetings: 

    The General Fund Budget Hearing will be held virtually Wednesday, May 19th at 6:30 pm.

    The School Board Agenda Meeting will be held virtually Wednesday, May 19th at 7:30 pm.

    All virtual Zoom meetings will be posted the day of the meeting on our website and on our Facebook page.

     

     

    Student Activities: Support our Student Government groups! Click on the links for more information:

                 Intermediate Student Government -  Food Drive and Tab Drive

                 High School Student Government  - Toiletry Drive

     

     

    Drive-Up Meal Distribution:  Please be advised of the changes to the drive-up meal distribution schedule for May/June:

     

    Starting Thursday, May 20th, drive-up meal distribution will move to one day a week and provide 7 days of meals.

    Distribution will take place on Thursday afternoons at Morrisville High School from 12:30 pm- 2 pm.

    Friday, May 14th will provide 6 days of meals.

     

    There will be NO drive-up meal distribution Tuesday, May 18th.

     

    Summer work:  The Nutrition Group is hiring! Click here for more information.

     

    School updates:  Please visit your child’s school web page for more detailed information.

    Grandview Elementary (K-2) - https://www.mv.org/Page/2748

    Intermediate School (3-5) - https://www.mv.org/Page/2749

    Middle / Senior High School (6-12) - https://www.mv.org/Page/2718

     

    Do you have questions?  Get answers here!

     

    General questions?  Phone:  215-736-2681.  Please leave a message with your name, date/time, and a return phone number.

    About Grade K-5 academics?  Mrs. Palumbo, lpalumbo@mv.org

    About Grade 6-12 academics?  Mr. Haines, shaines@mv.org

    About Special Education?  Ms. Russell, srussell@mv.org

    About Technology?  Mr. Shiota, jshiota@mv.org

    About Lunches?  Mrs. Wallace, mwallace@mv.org

    About Genesis?  Mrs. Daily, jdaily@mv.org

     

     

     

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: March 28, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 3/28/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Community,

    I am writing today to give you an update on our Phased Return to School Planning and State Testing. As you may be aware, the School Board of Directors voted to approve modifications to our Health and Safety plan on March 17th. This modification included Grades 3 through 12 in our return to school planning, for those who have chosen in-person/hybrid learning. All virtual options are still in effect.  Please take a look at your school principal’s page below, which will give greater detail.

     

    Grandview Elementary (K-2) - https://www.mv.org/Page/2748

    Intermediate School (3-5) - https://www.mv.org/Page/2749

    Middle / Senior High School (6-12) - https://www.mv.org/Page/2718

     

    The dates for the phased return to school are as follows:

    Grades K-2: Monday, March 22

    Grades 3-5: Monday, April 12

    Grades 6-8: Monday, April 12

    Grades 9-12: Monday, April 19

    To provide additional detail as to how instructional models will adjust for this change, please take a look at the attached file.  There are separate listings for each building, with details of "who is doing what on each day" as we lead up to the return to in-person learning.

    Additionally, the CDC released revised guidance last week, which included a change in recommended distancing from 6 feet to 3 feet in schools.  That information will be considered by our Pandemic Planning Team, and it is possible that a revision to the Health and Safety Plan could be recommended to the Board of School Directors for consideration. Stay tuned.


    STATE TESTING UPDATE: Unlike last school year, the PSSA and Keystone tests were not waived this year by the US Department of Education.  However, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has allowed us flexibility in the testing window. We have decided to offer the State Tests in the Fall of 2021 (September), to allow a smoother transition back to in-person learning.  We know that this may cause some challenges as students move from grade to grade, but we thought it was best that we focused on getting our students back to school in person rather than focus on the testing aspect of our District.

     


    KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION: Kindergarten registration for the 2021-2022 school year will take place beginning on Monday, March 22nd, by appointment only. More information can be found on the Grandview Elementary School website under the Kindergarten Registration link. Please call the main office at Grandview at 215-736-5280 to schedule your appointment or click the following link:
     

    SPRING BREAK:  All Morrisville Schools will be CLOSED on April 1, 2, and 5 (Th, Fr, Mo) for Spring Break.  Schools will resume operation on Tuesday, April 6.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: March 14, 2021 (Revised: March 22)

    Posted by Jason Harris on 3/14/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Community,

    Below are a few important updates. I encourage you to email (jharris@mv.org) or call 215-736-2681 if you have questions.


    RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING:  I am writing to inform you that on Wednesday, March 17, at 7:30 pm (see update below), the Board of School Directors will consider adopting the recommended modifications to the Health and Safety Plan to include a return to in-person learning for Grades 3-12, for those who have selected this option.

    Parents who have selected their students to remain virtual will do so for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.  If not done so already, all families will be notified of their selected choice of instructional model for their student.  If you have any questions about the instructional model choice, please call your building principal, or click below:

    Grandview Elementary (K-2) - https://www.mv.org/Page/2748

    Intermediate School (3-5) - https://www.mv.org/Page/2749

    Middle / Senior High School (6-12) - https://www.mv.org/Page/2718

     

    First day of in-person learning:

    K-2: Monday, March 22 (already approved)

    3-5: Monday, April 12 (approved 3/17)

    6-8: Monday, April 12 (approved 3/17)

    9-12: Monday, April 19 (approved 3/17)

    At the start of this phased return to school, in-person learning will take place 4-days per week and seek to move to 5-days per week according to the proposed schedule below.  The scheduled asynchronous days will allow for transition and individual support of our students and staff as we progress toward our ultimate goal: full-time in-person learning for all students.

     

    Approved March 17!  The first full week of synchronous learning (all students/end of asynchronous days):

    K-2:  Week of April 12

    3-5:  Week of April 26

    6-8:  Week of April 26

    9-12:  Week of May 3

    Your building principal will be in touch with specific details regarding K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade span schedules.

     

    UPDATE! K-2 RETURN TO SCHOOL: Parent letters were mailed home last week with more information on the K-2 Return to School planning. If you have not received your letter yet, please visit the Grandview website to view a copy of it.  (We understand there have been delays in the mail.) You can access the website at www.mv.org. Click on the Schools tab and select Grandview Elementary. The links are on the left side of the page.  Please take note that there are two separate letters. One is for those students that will be remaining virtual and one for those students that are returning in person. Please feel free to call the main office at Grandview with any questions. The number to call is 215-736-5280.


    VACCINATIONS: I am also writing to announce that through the collective efforts of our State and local partners, we have been able to secure doses of the single-shot J&J COVID-19 vaccine for school employees and contractors.  The first “round” of vaccinations has already begun and includes all of our Grandview (K-2) staff, in advance of their return to in-person learning on Monday, March 22.  Ultimately, all K-12 staff and contractors are eligible for this vaccine.  As supply increases, we will offer vaccination appointments to the rest of the staff.  This is a key strategy in our Health and Safety Plan as we mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.


    SYMPTOM SCREENING:  As we plan for a return to in-person learning (hybrid), I wanted to inform you of a daily symptom checker for all students.  There is a separate symptom checker for staff as well. We ask that each parent review the symptom checker on a daily basis.  An email and text reminder will go out daily.


    SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: I cordially invite you to the Board Meeting on Wednesday, March 17 at 7:30 pm.  Zoom links, as well as links to the agenda, will be posted on our website and social media.


    SPRING FORWARD:  This is a friendly reminder to move your clocks FORWARD one hour on Sunday, March 14.  Spring is coming!!


    COMING SOON!  MOEF PRESENTS: Dr. Wallace is back in Morrisville!  A perennial Morrisville favorite, he will be back in town with a District and Community Presentation via Zoom entitled:

    “If there’s never been before, you’re just going to have to be the first: Exploring those who break down barriers and achieving your goals even in the absence of similar role models”

    Dr. Wallace serves as Assistant Professor of Physics; Discipline Coordinator of Physics Program; Director of Physics Laboratories; and Coordinator of Rocketry at Fisk University in Nashville, TN.

    The presentation for the community will be held virtually on March 23rd at 7 pm via Zoom.  All MS and HS classes will visit with Dr. Wallace virtually during school hours, also on March 23rd.

    For additional details, please visit the MOEF Website.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: February 28, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 2/28/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

    As you may be aware, the Board of School Directors voted to approve our Phased Reopening Health and Safety Plan, which includes a return to hybrid in-person instruction for some students in Grades K-2.  Based upon our committal parent selection survey data, approximately 47% of our students will return to in-person instruction, beginning March 22, 2021.

    At this time, if you selected virtual instruction for your Grade K-2 student, that selection must remain until the end of the 20-21 school year.

    All families will be reminded of their selection for virtual or hybrid instruction through a letter from Mrs. Palumbo.

    Additional details regarding schedule adjustments and other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) will be forthcoming.

    We plan to implement a similar approach when re-opening for in-person instruction for Grades 3-12. In order to inform that planning, I am asking all parents and guardians to submit a committal survey for each student in Grades 3-12 as to their choice of in-person (hybrid) or full virtual instruction.

    You can find the link to the survey here.  Please complete the survey no later than Tuesday, March 2If you do not respond to the survey, your preferred choice for instruction will be automatically indicated as FULL VIRTUAL.

    I understand that there may be more questions than answers about a full return to school. At this time, I ask that you please communicate with your Building Principal about any questions related to specifics that pertain to individual situations, and I assure you that a list of resources and information will be published next week.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this next step in our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: February, 23, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 2/23/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Community,

    I cordially invite you to the School Board Action Meeting on Wednesday, February 24, at 7:30 pm.  At this meeting, the Board will consider approving revisions to the District Health and Safety Plan, as well as the Return to Participate Plan for Athletics. 

    A copy of the revised plans will be posted on the Board agenda and shared on social media.

    If the Board approves the Health and Safety Plan as recommended, we will begin the return to in-person instruction for Grades K-2, followed by a staggered implementation of Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12.  It is our intent to return to in-person instruction (hybrid) by mid-April, for all families who have selected that mode of delivery.

    If the Board approves the Return to Participate Plan, Spring athletic contests and practices will resume for Morrisville students.

    Public comment will be allowed for both agenda and non-agenda items by signing up with your name and address in the Zoom chat.

    The link to the meeting as well as the agenda will be posted on our website, on the morning of February 24.

    Hope to see you there.

     

    My best,

    Mr. Harris

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: January 31, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 1/31/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Community,

     

    The past two weeks have been spent preparing for Preliminary Budget discussions as well as Return to School Planning.  Here is an update on both:

    2021-2022 Budget:

    In terms of budget planning, please see the following presentation for a very generic overview of our 2021-2022 General Fund Budget.  At this time, there are NO CUTS in program that are being recommended to the Board for consideration.

    Additionally, the School Board has considered a resolution to keep the local tax levy within the index allowed by law, 3.6%.  At last Wednesday’s meeting, the Board voted to approve this resolution.

    What does this mean?  This means that the Board can only consider an increase in the local tax levy of 3.6%.  This does NOT mean that taxes will automatically increase by 3.6%.  The Board is looking at all proposed expenses and projected revenues for next year and considering all of their options as it relates to the budget.  The budget picture will become clearer every month, especially after the Governor releases the PA State budget proposal.  From there, we can get a better sense of any additional State aid, reimbursements, and grants for which we might be eligible.  Also, our estimated expenses in areas like Special Education, Medical Benefits will become clearer as we move to a June adoption of a final budget.

    A list of General Fund Budget timelines and meetings can be found here.


    Return to School Planning

    Below is an update on COVID-19 metrics in Bucks County:

    For the week ending 1/28/2021 (yes, Thursday), the COVID metrics are as follows: 

    227.4 cases per 100,000. This is DOWN from 233.2 the previous week.

    10.4% PCR Positivity Rate. This is UP from 9.2% in the previous week.

    (Source: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Monitoring-Dashboard.aspx)

    Bucks County is still in the Substantial spread category.

    If you were not already aware, the revised recommendations from PDE included the consideration of in-person instruction for Grades K-6 while in the Substantial spread metric. This revision is part of our planning and discussion.


    VACCINE UPDATE

    We are discussing as a County how best to advocate for an increased supply of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, our ability to deliver any vaccine is hampered by the supply chain issues nationwide.  The Morrisville nursing staff has received at least their first dose, and we have encouraged our Phase 1A eligible staff to consider connecting with our Bucks County Health Department or their local hospital to get an appointment to receive the vaccine.   The Bucks County Superintendents have sent a joint letter to our State and Federal Legislators, asking for additional doses of vaccine, and to communicate our collective desire and ability to coordinate our own plans to distribute the vaccine to the staff who desire to do so.   You can see a copy of the letter here.


    FREE COVID TESTING FOR CHILDREN

    The Bucks County Health Department has recently expanded free COVID-19 testing to now include children who have exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 for at least 24 Hours

    This is in addition to school employees and contractors already eligible to be tested at these sites.

     Every child must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian who will be responsible for administering the nasal swab to the child.

    Please see the linked flyer with location addresses, hours of operations, and registration information.

    We thank the Bucks County Health Department for expanding this free COVID-19 testing for symptomatic children in Bucks County!


    The Pandemic Planning Committee, consisting of parents, teachers, administrators, and school board members, has been wrestling with the challenges of bringing a hybrid plan to bear.  The primary challenges of staffing (i.e., getting enough substitutes) and facility issues (room occupancy with 6’ social distancing) have led the Committee to recommend the current course of action to me, and I have recommended that action to the Board.  The Committee has been reviewing the metrics for reopening on a bi-weekly basis, and by current count, the metrics of COVID in our area seem to be diminishing.

    I understand that there have been frustrations and challenges to our instructional approach.  These have indeed been very challenging times for everyone, and the Pandemic Planning Committee was resolute in their recommendation to maintain the stability of expectation for a consistent instructional model.

    I have met with our administrative team, and we are working through scenarios to design a STAGGERED hybrid return to in-person instruction:  K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, in that order.  


    FAST FACTS TO CONSIDER

    Did you know that if we have just two unrelated cases of COVID-19 in our schools, that we would potentially have to move to virtual instruction for 3-7 days?  With five unrelated cases of COVID-19, that number jumps to a move to virtual for up to 14 days. 

    Source:  https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/SchoolReopeningGuidance/ReopeningPreKto12/PublicHealthGuidance/Pages/SchoolClosureRecommentations.aspx

    Note: Depending on contact tracing and in consultation with the Bucks County Department of Health, in any of the scenarios above we may be able to reopen for in-person instruction sooner than the PDE recommendation.

    Did you also know that the online attendance for students K-12 was HIGHER in December 2020 than in December 2019?

    COMPARISON WITH OTHER DISTRICTS

    Some have asked me, “What about the other districts? They have a hybrid program!” While I will never comment on other District’s approaches to the Pandemic, I will say that the general consensus is that having a hybrid approach complicates a consistent instructional model and has been wearing teachers and students out.  I stand behind my recommendation to keep our instructional model consistent and move to a hybrid model when our challenges can be solved in a sustainable manner.

    In terms of future planning, the Administration is looking at scenarios to bring a hybrid option to the Board at the February Education Committee meeting.

    It is also our hope that we can return to in-person instruction sooner than April 12.

    In order to accomplish this, we need additional information from parents regarding a commitment to in-person vs fully virtual instruction.  Please be on the lookout for an enrollment commitment, that will choose your child’s instructional model through the rest of the 2020-2021 school year.

    Stay tuned.

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Blog: January 10, 2021

    Posted by Jason Harris on 1/10/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Dear Morrisville Families,

    Happy New Year!  I wanted to take the time to respond to the events that occurred in Washington, DC this week.   If you haven’t heard, on Wednesday of this week, the US Capitol was breached by protestors, causing a lockdown and an interruption of the ceremonial counting of the Electoral votes in the Senate chamber.  I find the behaviors displayed yesterday deeply concerning, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all who are impacted by this terrible event.

    Below is an excerpt of what I shared with our district staff, and I encourage you to have conversations with your children about what has transpired. You are more than welcome to take advantage of any of the links provided here, and I encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any questions about how these events are being discussed in class. The resources are very helpful to frame these difficult talks, and I have instructed our teachers to be sensitive to the situation as well as mindful of our unique perspectives as to the constructs of the incident.

    “I believe it is our responsibility to help our students process this event in an age-appropriate, as well as a politically and ideologically neutral manner. With that said, I ask that you please be mindful of maturity levels as well as potential personal bias or inflection of political leaning when you discuss these events with your students.  You never know who is listening, or how a student can take a seemingly innocuous comment to heart.

    Continue to be purveyors of fact and truth, and help our students see the world in ways that honor this principle.”

    You will find the resources copied below. I hope you find them useful.

    From LeaderServices (AEDY):

    As we, along with our nation, process yesterday's events at the U.S. Capitol, our students struggle with the same emotions we feel ourselves. In light of these unprecedented events, we would like to share some immediate resources to support the work across the Commonwealth in your efforts to help students and check-in with yourselves (see the Self-Awareness pillar<https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/equityandinclusion/EPH/SelfAwareness/Pages/default.aspx> of practice from the PA Equitable Practices Hub).

      *   Responding to the Insurrection at the US Capitol | Facing History and Ourselves<https://www.facinghistory.org/educator-resources/current-events/responding-insurrection-us-capitol?fbclid=IwAR3KLG36yutCyL9GP6n-EjRbR829CiP1XnYQY2hTr33HrJ1m3_0xhwLseJg>

         *   Immediate recommendations based on January 6th, 2021

      *   When Bad Things Are Happening<https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/when-bad-things-are-happening> (Teaching Tolerance). When news breaks of disaster or violence, your students may want to discuss a crisis as it unfolds.

         *   Step 1: Listen

         *   Step 2: Protect

         *   Step 3: Model

         *   Step 4: Take care of yourself

    From BCIU Programs and Services (they recommended the above as well):

     

    Lastly, a few announcements:

     

    • The Facilities Committee Meeting will be held virtually, Wednesday, January 13th at 6:00 pm
    • The Finance Committee Meeting will be held virtually, Wednesday, January 13th at 7:00 pm

    All Zoom meetings will be posted on our Facebook and Website page on the morning of the meeting

     

    • The District will be closed on January 18th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

     

     

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