Dear Hampton Families,
This week has been an unprecedented lifetime experience for all of us (A formal PDF version of this letter is available here). I am extremely proud of our students, faculty, staff, and families as we have worked together to implement online teaching and learning through our pre-planned Flexible Instruction Days (FID). As I reflect on this past week, I am so pleased that our students have been able to continue their educational experience and have some sense of normalcy during this unpredictable time. As we all know, the events related to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve minute-by-minute. As events have been unfolding, our focus has been on the education of our students and providing continuity of learning, which we believe is very important at this time. We know that we could not have initiated this successful online learning experience without the tremendous support of our Hampton families, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to you.
Yesterday, we received some important information and clarification of guidelines that were recently promulgated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. We have learned that school districts have been given the authority to maintain their current school calendar regardless of the length of the closure. Additionally, we have learned that our Flexible Instruction Days will count towards our requirement of the 180 day school year. In addition, a transition from FID to Remote Learning Days is acceptable under the current guidelines. Based on this information, we will be transitioning to Remote Learning days on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and we intend to continue with Remote Learning throughout the current closure and beyond, as necessary. The Remote Learning days will parallel the Flexible Instruction Day learning experience for our students and faculty. We intend to make a smooth transition to Remote Learning during the closure that is in place and beyond, as necessary. Just to be clear, regardless of the extent of the school closure that may occur, the school calendar that has been approved and is in place will continue as it exists (including spring break). The last day of school for Hampton Township School District students will be on June 5, and graduation will be on Thursday, June 4.
While we do not have any additional information regarding an extension of the closure, we are preparing for that strong possibility at this time. If the closure would be extended, we will continue with our Remote Learning days and we expect there may be some adjustments to our online instruction to ensure that it is meeting the needs of all of our students. We also wanted to confirm that all PSSA and Keystone Exams mandated testing for this school year have been cancelled. Therefore, we will continue to focus on continuity of instruction recognizing that the online teaching and learning experience will not completely replicate what our students would be able to receive should we be in session. However, we are committed to providing the most positive educational experience as possible through the Remote Learning model going forward.
Again, I would like to thank you for your support during this challenging time. As we transition to Remote Learning, we will continue to look for ways to improve the experience for our students.
I have attached a parent resource that was distributed by the Fred Rogers Center relative to “how to talk with our children” about the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that is helpful and supportive. In addition to this resource, we have many additional resources and links on our district website that we hope will be helpful.
In closing, I am urging everyone to take appropriate steps to keep all of our families healthy and safe.
Dr. Michael R. Loughead
Superintendent of Schools