Norristown, Upper Dublin school districts to start the school year all-virtual

Walter Perez Image
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
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Two school districts in Montgomery County have announced they will be going all-virtual to start the school year.

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Two school districts in Montgomery County have announced they will be going all-virtual to start the school year.

The superintendent of the Norristown School District, Christopher Dormer put it this way: "I will not be the superintendent who puts anyone, not one child, not one staff member, in harm's way."

And with that, Dormer announced the revised and final plan for the entire district, every grade, to go virtual until at least January 8th.

District teachers will do the instruction and Chromebooks will be provided for everyone.

A similar decision has been reached by the Upper Dublin School District.

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Officials there have decided to go entirely virtual through the end of the first marking period allowing them time to re-assess the situation as the school year unfolds into Winter.

Jennifer Penna's children attend Upper Dublin schools.

Penna says that while she agrees that the safety of students and faculty should be the priority, she wishes that local officials took more time to listen to the concerns of parents, and come up with a compromised solution.

She says, "Until, you know, two days ago we are still getting emails from the school district saying they think it's in everyone's best interest that we give you an option, you know, to come to school five days if you're comfortable, stay home if you're not, and as of last night there's no options for anyone."

RELATED: Philadelphia school leaders pivot, now propose all-virtual learning into November

Many school districts across the region remain undecided, but they are all grappling with the same issue: the undeniable value of in-person instruction against the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19, and the possibility that health officials will mandate virtual learning after the school year begins if infection rates worsen.

For his part, Dormer says, "Therefore, I believe this cause of action is morally and ethically the right thing to do."

Many more school districts will announce their reopening plans over the next few weeks.