Superintendent's Letter - November 25, 2020
Dear Dock Parents and Students,
We deeply appreciate your flexibility and patience as we transitioned to remote learning this week. It seemed to go smoothly, thanks to our faculty, students, and parents! We will continue to adjust to improve the experience of our faculty and students.
On Monday, Governor Wolf issued an order with additional guidance for schools. He noted, “A priority of the Commonwealth is to have and to maintain in-person instruction at schools.” We agree with this goal and hope to have our students back on campus soon. He also recognized, however, the challenge of balancing that goal with keeping everyone safe during a pandemic.
Dock’s leadership team and board have decided to sign the “Attestation Ensuring Implementation of Mitigation Efforts.” This will be posted on our website. Dock will select the first option of following guidelines so we can keep our students on campus. While this attestation is only required of public schools, we want to be a part of the community effort, working together to keep our school a safe place for students. The Montgomery County Office of Public Health will continue to play a key role in decision-making regarding our school model. We have appreciated their role in approving our commencement program and 8th grade celebration last spring and in keeping our students on-campus through last week.
Our current plan is to allow students, who are comfortable with in-person learning, to come back on campus on December 7. Any student who is not yet comfortable coming back on campus at that time may choose to remain as a remote learner by emailing your campus principal: EC-Grade 8 - Mrs. Histand or Grades 9-12 - Mr. Wiens. Our ability to have on-campus learners depends on several factors:
- Our ability to sufficiently provide staff for our classes.
- Keeping our total active COVID-19 cases within the numbers considered safe for a small campus.
Please note at any time moving forward, we may have to suddenly shift to remote learning. We are grateful to have the system in place to allow that change as needed. You can expect additional communication next week as we monitor our situation.
Thank you for supporting the regulations that have kept our doors open. Please help us keep our students on campus by paying close attention to the following:
- Encourage your students to wear masks and stay socially distanced. This may keep them from being identified as a close contact—and will help keep them safe.
- Keep your family safe so we can lower the risk to the school community.
- When we get discouraged and weary with these regulations, encourage each other! Hang in there a little longer. We are almost there!
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break and find ways to connect with family and friends, even though this year will be different. We have so much for which to be grateful. God is faithful and cares deeply about you and your family. God knows these are difficult days but offers love and hope this Thanksgiving season.
Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber
Read all of the Superintendent's Letters:
"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!"