Superintendent's Letter and Reopening Plan - July 27, 2020
Dear Dock Students and Parents,
I hope you had a good weekend! This week, we plan to provide additional information regarding our 2020-21 school year. We continue to work with our board, faculty, and staff in discerning the best plan for welcoming students back on campus in August while allowing students who are not comfortable returning to begin learning from home. While a more normal year is desirable, we feel these two options will give families greater flexibility.
Health and Safety Plan
The safety of our students, faculty, and staff will always be a top priority. We continue to shape the draft of our Dock Mennonite Academy Health and Safety Plan. We hope to finalize this draft for approval of our Board of Trustees in the near future.
Zoom Presentation on Learning Options
On Wednesday, July 29, our Pandemic Team hosted a Zoom presentation for parents to more fully describe the school's plan for both on-campus and remote learning as well as the rationale for our direction. We also provided some insight as to how these options might be experienced by your student. Parents were encouraged to ask questions through the Chat feature on Zoom. The presentation was recorded for those not able to join at that time. The archive recording of that presentation, as well as the Powerpoint used, are available to you (see below).
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued a recommendation for people from Pennsylvania traveling to other states. Their FAQ link provides additional information. We encourage families to be familiar with this recommendation and to take precautions as we all strive to keep everyone safe around us. The school expects that families will follow this guidance for our students on campus; we will not be monitoring this activity.
We have designed the in-school and remote learning options to provide flexibility for families and meet various student needs.
During the first quarter, applications for a change in learning options will be accepted on September 8, September 21 and October 23. We will work with families as much as possible for their desired change.
Students who are ill for any reason, or quarantined due to COVID-19, may participate online for the duration of that event, even if the on-campus mode was selected. We will evaluate these guidelines throughout the first quarter and communicate any changes as needed. We appreciate that this is a difficult choice to make in early August and thank you for understanding that we need this information to plan for students to return on August 20.
Remote Learning Option
Last spring we provided emergency online learning. This fall, there will be different expectations for students who choose remote learning.
● Assessment - Remote learners will be expected to participate in all activities, assignments and assessments that are a part of the course, unless otherwise noted by the teacher. In the event that activities can not be replicated at home, the teacher may assign an alternative task. Remote learners will be graded in the same way as if they were on campus.
● Attendance - Attendance will be recorded every day for each class. Remote learners will be expected to connect synchronously, if possible, and have their webcams turned on during class time to increase engagement.
Register for Learning Option
We ask that Dock parents register for each of your children by Monday, August 3. Use the link provided to you through Schoology to select the learning option of your choice. As a reminder, applications for a change in the learning option will be accepted on September 8, September 21, and October 23. We will work with families as much as possible for their desired change.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time period. We will continue to monitor advice from PDE, the local health department, and other sources as we finalize our plans for the next school year. We look forward to connecting again with your students, whether on campus or virtually.
Blessings as you continue to enjoy the summer!
Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber
"I just want to take a moment to say thank you. It is obvious that Dock has spent time and prepared a plan that takes into account the many different thoughts, opinions, concerns, and frustrations of all families during this pandemic. While it is impossible to please everyone, it is clear the two options you have outlined have the biggest probability of satisfying the majority of your families. Providing two options is so refreshing and I realize this will be much extra work for your staff and teachers…thank you! This will be our oldest child's first year at the school, and we could not be more pleased with our choice of Dock!"
Dock Elementary Family
"I am confident in the decisions made by the administration, board and pandemic team. There are two options, on-campus learning or remote learning, for Early Childhood through 12th grade. Thank you, Dock administrators, for spending your summer planning for the fall. I know many families from other schools are concerned about the options available to them. Dock has a large facility with a smaller number of students, so safety, academics, and social interactions will not be compromised!"