Posted Aug 11, 2020
Dear EASTERN Families,
As we prepare for the Joint Operating Committee meeting on Wednesday, I wish to inform you that after consulting with our eight Superintendents, I will be recommending that EASTERN start the school year with a fully virtual instructional model through the end of the first marking period. With Abington announcing a similar intent, although it is not official until it has been approved by their school board, over 80% of EASTERN’s enrollment will be 100% virtual, and possibly more once the last two schools reach a decision. Please know that this was not an easy decision to make. Career and technical education is beloved by many students because of the wealth of hands-on experiences in career training we provide students and we heard that loud and clear in your survey responses. Per your recommendations, we will focus this first marking period on a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning with opportunities for students to connect with our teachers. We will work with our teachers to develop kits students can have at home to practice some hands-on skills virtually. We will also focus the first marking period on orientation, safety, basic skills, and online certification programs to make the best use of this time. A virtual model to start the year will enable our students to have a better continuity of instruction directly from their teachers. In the meantime, we will continue to refine our safety plan and work with our districts to merge into a hybrid format for the second marking period, pending conditions with the pandemic.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times. Thank you for the feedback you provided in the survey. In addition to very helpful suggestions that will strengthen our Health and Safety Plan and virtual instruction, thank you also for the positive and supportive comments you included in the survey. I’m always humbled by the positive and empathetic energy our community shows! We can’t wait to see our students again, in person, for quality hands-on learning!
Cathleen Plesnarski, Ed.D.