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Plans for Hickory Grove and the High School
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March 30, 2020

Dear parents and families,

We need to plan for the strong possibility that we will not return to the buildings this school year. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is telling us we must choose between “planned instruction” or “enrichment activities.” Planned instruction is formal, required and graded. Enrichment activities are optional and not for credit.

Because some of our seniors need the additional grades to graduate, because some of our underclassmen need the fourth marking period to pass, and because we want to motivate our students to participate and do good work, we have decided to implement planned instruction in grades 3 through 12. Students in grades K to 2 will receive enrichment and review, and their activities will be optional.

Some districts are putting courses online, but our recent survey data reveals that at least ten percent of our students lack dependable internet. Some of our teachers do too. Where internet is lacking, some districts are putting paper packets in the mail. We consider that a good backup plan, but we are focused on another approach – project based learning. Projects provide relevance and rigor and allow students to make choices and exercise their creativity.

For those with students in grades 3 through 11, an instructional menu is included with this letter. If you get a menu, please respond immediately by email. If you don’t have internet, please return the form promptly by postal service. If you have a senior at Brookville Area High School, this letter is accompanied by additional details related to the senior project.

This week our teachers are working in teams to design these projects – and the review packets that constitute another option on the menu. We plan to distribute directions and instructional materials next week and have students in a position to start back to work on April 13. Starting on April 13, students in grades 3 to 12 will have four weeks to complete their projects. Teachers and aides will have temporary cell phones so they can be reached during daily office hours between 9:00 and 3:00 Monday through Friday from April 13 to May 8.

This plan is a work in progress, but it should allow us to wrap up the school year in May and graduate seniors on June 2. Thank you for your patience and assistance. I hope all is well with you and your whole family.

Sincerely,

Erich May, Ed.D.
Superintendent
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