Health and Safety Plan for Reopening School Buildings

We appreciate the patience of the entire Wellsboro Community as we navigate the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and ensure a safe path forward for returning to normal operating conditions.  As you most certainly understand, our first priority is the health and safety of our students and community while also serving in our primary role of K-12 education.

All educational facilities require adherence to new mandates dictated by the PA Department of Education (PDE) and the Governor.  Recently, those entities issued mandates associated with the re-opening of school buildings.  PDE has mandated that the district develop a comprehensive Health and Safety Plan which must be approved by the board of directors before the re-opening of any school facility.  The plan required many different topics that had be addressed. For this reason, the District partnered with both internal and external entities to develop our Plan based on expertise of a diverse committee including educational, health, and business members.

We recognize how frustrating this is, for students, staff, and community members. The requirements associated with the mandated Health and Safety Plan, and the continued changes in guidance, has resulted in multiple revisions to the district plan.  The Board of Education approved our baseline Health and Safety Plan on July 14th .  Keep in mind that this plan addresses the health and safety of staff and students when reopening our schools and remains a fluid document as new guidance comes forth.

A critical component of a successful reopening is partnering with our students, parents, and staff.  The only way that we can be successful is by working together with a common mission to educate our students in a healthy and safe environment.  Therefore, a parent survey will go out this week to gather additional information that will seek priorities and feedback from all stakeholders.  It is imperative for every family to respond!  A phone message will go out to all families with details on how to obtain the survey.  There will be a link on our district website and paper copies will be available for anyone who does not have access to technology.  Due to sensitivity of time, the survey will need to be completed and returned in a timely manner.

In addition to our adopted Health and Safety Plan, we are continuing to evaluate and enhance our Continuity of Education Plan. This plan will address components of education within the classroom, online, and/or remotely.  Please continue to be patient as we work through these processes. Guidance changes on a daily basis. Governor Wolf’s  brief today again poses additional questions and responses for the reopening of schools. We are working diligently to obtain clarifications.  We value the input of all of our stakeholders including , students, parents, staff, and community members to address and develop the best plan of action to assure continuity of education that provides for a safe and healthy learning environment.

 

Dr. Brenda M. Freeman, Superintendent
Wellsboro Area School District