Superintendent's Corner

October 26, 2020

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been back to school for two months. While school is very different than it was at this time last year, I am very pleased with how our students have adjusted to the "new normal" with mask-wearing, social-distancing, and all of the changes the pandemic has brought.

As we enter cold and flu season, it is critically important that we maintain good hygiene and continue to social distance both in and out of school. It is also important that parents and staff members check children and themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 each day before coming to school. A sick child who is awaiting COVID-19 test results must stay home until a negative test is received. You may visit our Web site for comprehensive guidance on guidance on when individuals are excluded from school.

In an effort to provide complete transparency as we move through the school year, the Souderton Area School District has developed a Web page dedicated to COVID-19 cases that will track active positive cases. We are committed to notifying the parents and staff members who are directly impacted by any positive or suspected positive cases. This new page is another way to keep our community informed as cases inevitably arise throughout the year. Please see the new Active COVID-19 Cases in SASD Web page. As cases do arise, we will continue to work closely with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, utilizing their guidance and resources to assist with contact tracing.

We are grateful to be able to return students to our classrooms five days a week, while also providing the Souderton Area Online Academy for students who choose to learn from home. For our in-person students, a full week of instruction has provided important educational opportunities. There are also many things, however, that have changed in our schools as a result of the pandemic, such as limiting the amount of hands-on collaboration between students. Many Science and Family Consumer Science labs have moved to a demonstration model. Materials aren’t shared in the same way, and, of course, physical distancing impacts so much of how we interact.

Along with these changes have come innumerable successes. Our students are genuinely excited to be in school, interacting with their peers and learning from their teachers. Each of our schools has found creative ways to host celebrations and spirit weeks, and to continue many of the activities that make our learning communities so dynamic. Our high school is still running mentorship programs with local businesses as part of our Pathway 360 program, helping students explore career fields and identify college and career interests. Learning is alive and well - even if it looks a little different.

The pandemic has been very hard on many businesses, including those in our own community. We were recently made aware that Hagey Coach & Tours will cease its bus tour operations at the end of November. However, we were pleased to learn that their sister company, Transportation Services (TSI), will continue to provide the quality school bus services we have all become accustomed to. Our thoughts are with the Hagey family and all of the local businesses who have struggled during this difficult time.

Finally, a return to athletics has provided important physical and emotional health for our student athletes. Souderton's football team is now 4 - 0, and Coach Ed Gallagher just celebrated his 100th win this season. All of our sports teams are playing with precision, skill, and most importantly, with character. Our players are very happy to be back in the game. We know that our community is missing being able to attend our athletic events. We are working hard to accommodate as many of you as possible, safely, while sometimes offering virtual options for viewing.

As we continue through this school year, I want to once again thank our teachers and staff members for all they are doing to make this school year a success. I ask our school community again to please continue to be safe outside of school. Our ability to continue full, in-person instruction depends on everyone’s cooperation.


Sincerely,

Frank Gallagher

Frank T. Gallagher, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools