COVID-19 Update, 04/09/2020

Dear Colonial Parents/Guardians,

I hope you and your families are well during this stressful time. Today, Governor Wolf announced (excerpt in italics below) that schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. While not entirely unexpected, we understand the weight of such a decision and the challenges it presents. The amount of energy and patience our faculty and parents have devoted to remote learning is greatly appreciated. As I said in a previous communication, we have had to redefine how education is delivered in a matter of days.

I am pleased to report that approximately 98% of our students have accessed remote education through a variety of tools. This past Wednesday we again distributed devices to families in need. Obviously, we want 100% participation and will announce additional dates for families to obtain technology next week. Thus far we have distributed more than 800 devices.

Our goals include:

  • maintain connections with students and families
  • provide solid instruction so that students can demonstrate growth
  • mitigate family stress

While we understand that this is not a substitution for our traditional program, we will strive to achieve these goals. We will resume these efforts on Monday, April 13. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is collecting “Continuity of Education” plans for each school district in the Commonwealth. We are all hopeful for a return to school and a semblance of normalcy in the fall of 2020. To that end our plan is to continue remote learning with the goal of promoting students to the next grade level with the understanding that we will need to identify, teach and reinforce certain elements in our curriculum. Specifically, the PWHS administration and faculty have prioritized advancing our seniors toward graduation. We need to celebrate our seniors and their accomplishments over the past 13 years. In the coming weeks, the District will address plans for graduation and summer programs. These events will certainly be impacted by social distancing efforts and government regulations. Hopefully, we will see a flattening of the curve and the number of Covid-19 cases decrease.

We recognize that these circumstances can produce additional stress and anxiety for our students and families. Counselors, mental health specialists and special education teachers are available for consultation throughout the day via District email and conference calls can be arranged as needed. Additional resources can also be found on our website under COVID-19 and Extended Closure Hub links. Please contact your child’s principal with regards to specific questions about counseling and other resources. Contact numbers are listed below.

I want to thank our faculty, parents/guardians, food services workers, support staff and administration during this time. I am exceedingly proud to work in this community. I hope you find time this weekend to shut down devices and focus on family.

Stay safe and healthy,

Dr. Mike Christian

From Governor Wolf’s press conference:          

Continuing his efforts to protect the health and safety of students and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tom Wolf today announced that all schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. The governor made the decision in consultation with Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine and Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “We must continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus during this national crisis,” Governor Wolf said. “This was not an easy decision but closing schools until the end of the academic year is in the best interest of our students, school employees and families.” Secretary Rivera said the administration’s primary consideration has always been to make the best decision in the context of student and community health and safety. “While the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its mitigation efforts have created uncertainty in our schools and communities, today’s action to close schools for the remainder of the academic year provides school communities with predictability and understanding of the conditions under which they’ll be operating and serving students,” Rivera said. “As schools and communities adapt to the prolonged school closure, PDE will continue to work with our state, educational, and business and nonprofit partners to meet the needs of students.”

Principal contact directory:

Conshohocken Elementary School – Denise Marks - 610-684-7146

Plymouth Elementary School – Rosemarie Gregitis - 610-684-7145

Ridge Park Elementary School – Eileen Carr - 610-684-7164

Whitemarsh Elementary School – Donna Drizin - 610-684-7149

Colonial Elementary School – Rose Rock - 610-684-7138

Colonial Middle School – Bob Fahler - 610-684-7160

Plymouth Whitemarsh High School – Dr. Jason Bacani - 610-684-7140