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Coronavirus Update #7

Loso

April 3, 2020

Dear Upper Moreland Families:

To start off my report this week, I would just like to remark that this has been some learning curve!  My sincere thanks and appreciation is sent out to all of our hard working teachers and administrators who have helped to make week one of our Continuity of Education Plan such a great success.  And also, thank you so much to our family members at home who have worked so hard with their children this week.   This has been a very fast, successful transition to remote teaching and learning.

In this correspondence, I would like to highlight some of the issues that have maintained our focus this week:

Attendance – When we began our Continuity of Education Plan this week, I was concerned that there would be so many students who would be lost and unable to be found.  I am so pleased to report that out of our more than 3,200 students, we are down to fewer than ten students from the entire district with whom we are still trying to make contact.  Our attendance has been phenomenal! Thank you for signing on;

Grading – For the fourth marking period at Upper Moreland High School, there will be no change to the grading system for student work.  There will be changes to final exams, and this information will be updated as it is finalized.  At Upper Moreland Middle School, all fourth marking period work will be graded as “pass/fail”.  At the Upper Moreland Primary School and Upper Moreland Intermediate School, our staff members continue to discuss grading practices for the third trimester.  We will update this information soon;

Technology – As of today, we have distributed chrome books to families who have needed to borrow them. We recognize that there may be some families who suddenly need one in the future, and there may be some devices that break down, requiring replacement.  We are currently working on a pickup/drop off location for those who need to borrow replacement devices.  Please look for more information on this early next week.  We plan to have procedures and a location ready for next Wednesday, April 8.  Until then, please continue to reach out to your building principal if you are in need of a device.  My thanks to our Upper Moreland Education Foundation (UMEF), who this week donated sixty chrome books to our School District to help us with these efforts;

Internet Access – A reminder that Comcast is offering two months of free internet service to qualifying families in need.  More information about this may be found on their “Internet Essentials” site which may be found here:  https://www.internetessentials.com/ . If internet connectivity is a problem for which you need additional support, please reach out to your building principal;

Activities and School events – Sadly, we continue to cancel field trips and activities which will be missed due to school cancellation.  Building Principals will continue to update students and families on these missed trips and activities.  On a bright note, there will be full refunds for senior families who had paid for the Disney trip. 

Spring Break is Next Week – A reminder that there will be no online instruction on Thursday, 4/9, Friday, 4/10 and Monday 4/13.  This will give everyone a chance to catch their breath and relax for a few days before we jump back into virtual instruction on 4/14.

Our Fields and Facilities are Closed – Please help to “flatten the curve” by staying home.  Our school athletic facilities are closed for a reason.  Please do not use them.

In closing, please know that our educators are doing amazing things every day!  School is in session, and we continue to make the best of a bad situation.  Yesterday, administrators from our Elementary Center cleaned out our building supplies of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers and donated these to Abington Hospital.  And just in case you were wondering, I have brought home all of the live fish and snails from the Elementary Center.  They are all happily in my living room in their temporary tank, where their “school” is in session!  I hope that everyone has an incredible weekend.  Thank you teachers, administrators, students and families! Stay safe.

Signature

Robert J. Milrod, Ph.D.,
Superintendent of Schools
School District of Upper Moreland Township
rmilrod@umtsd.org