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QCSD's 2020-21 reopening plan

More than 500 people called into the Quakertown Community School District’s Special Board meeting on the night of July 9 as the Board voted 8-1 in favor of the Health & Safety Plan.

The plan, a requirement of each district by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, was developed by four task force workgroups of administrators, teachers, staff, parents and community consultants. Their research included Virtual Instruction; Equity; Safety In A Live Environment; and Emotional Needs For Building Community In A Virtual Environment.

The plan is based on guidance and orders from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Answers to Parents’ Frequently Asked Questions

It includes several options for instruction for 2020-21 to meet the needs of as many families as possible. Parents made their choices as part of a registration process using PowerSchool. Here’s a summary of the plan.

“The plan has to be fluid,” said Assistant Superintendent Nancianne Edwards, the district’s Pandemic Coordinator, during the July 9 meeting. Ms. Edwards developed a cover sheet with important updated items. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if there were changes brought to the Board in August as governmental guidance continues to evolve.

Please click here for the story.


Special Board Meeting Wednesday, July 29

The Board of School Directors has scheduled a Special School Board meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 29th.

Board President Kaylyn Mitchell has invited Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Department of Health, to take part in a question-and-answer session with the QCSD community.

Please click here to join the virtual event. (Additional information to join the meeting may be found below).

If you would like to ask Dr. Damsker a question at Wednesday night’s meeting, please click here for a public comment request form to have your question read.

Please click here for more information.


School Board accepting applications for open seats

The Quakertown Community School Board has two vacancies as Directors Dwight Anderson and Ron Jackson announced they would be resigning at the July 9th meeting.

Mr. Anderson formally gave his notice on July 15. Mr. Jackson’s notice is effective July 31. Mr. Anderson resides in Region 1, and Mr. Jackson recently moved from Region 3 to Region 1.

The Board’s regions are broken up this way:

  • Region 1: Richlandtown Borough, Haycock Township, and Richland Township Election Districts 1, 2, and 3.

  • Region 2: Milford Township and Trumbauersville Borough.

  • Region 3: Quakertown Borough, and Richland Township Election District 4.

Please click here for more information.


Super Blog: For Online Learning, QCSD Virtual Option the Right Choice

As Quakertown Community School District plans to embark on the 2020-21 school year, there is the potential for virtual instruction to be part of every student’s learning experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few months, we have read your comments and feedback about your online experiences with us this past spring. I want you to know that QCSD’s Virtual Option will be far different this coming school year than the emergency model we employed last March after Gov. Tom Wolf quickly ordered all school buildings shuttered.

Please click here to continue reading Dr. Harner's blog.


School Calendar pushed back to Sept. 14

The Quakertown Community School Board has approved pushing back the opening of the 2020-21 school year for students until Monday, September 14.

The calendar revision was approved at the Board’s special meeting on July 9 in an 8-1 vote, with Director Keith Micucci dissenting.

The administration gave the Board several reasons for recommending the change, which will end the school year one week later, on Monday, June 21.

Renovations to Neidig Elementary School, which were expected to be ready for students on August 31, have been delayed because of state-ordered COVID-19 limitations.

Teachers will have more planning time before what is expected to be a challenging year with students taking classes both in-person and online. This includes some professional development days shifted to early September.

The administration said Upper Bucks County Technology School students would not miss time because of the calendar change. Upper Bucks County Technical School students also have options for live or virtual instruction. But their schedule will be determined by the Health and Safety Plan developed and approved by the UBCTS Joint Operating Committee, not QCSD.


2020-21 Superintendent/District goals

Domain 1: Academic Achievement and Support

  • Goal: Dr. Harner will use data to identify learning gaps resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and will develop and implement action plans to remediate the identified learning gaps for all students

Domain 2: Culture and Community Engagement

  • Goal: Dr. Harner will continue to engage internal and external stakeholders to develop major recommendations to the Board, and to consistently reinforce a positive culture of service, respect, and support for ALL students, faculty, and staff.

Domain 3: Academic Program

  • Goal: Dr. Harner will continue to increase rigor and college/career readiness at the high school, middle school and elementary levels while continuing to effectively address the needs of our at-risk students.

Domain 4: Safety, Security and Mental Health

  • Goal: Dr. Harner will be vigilant in ensuring the safety and security of all school buildings and the central office. The Administration will utilize strategies for student, faculty and staff wellness as a component of ensuring safe and secure schools.

Domain 5: School Operations and Financial Stewardship

  • Goal: Dr. Harner will ensure operations are systematically and consistently managed through planning, data analysis, systems audits, and excellent stewardship of school district financial and human resources.

Please click here for the 2020-21 district goals.


Summer athletics Health & Safety Plan

QCSD's Summer Athletics Health & Safety Plan was originally passed by the School Board on June 25 and revised and passed again on July 9.

It is intended to guide members of QCSD Athletics on recommendations for the reopening of the athletic program during the COVID-19 Pandemic in accordance with Gov. Wolf’s Guidance for All Sports to Operate during the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Document, which permits PK-12 schools under the PIAA to resume athletics in counties designated in the Yellow and Green phases of the Process to Reopen Pennsylvania.

Please click here for the document.


No tax increase in final 2020-21 budget

During one of the nation’s most financially stressed times, the Quakertown Community School Board has accomplished something that hasn’t been seen by district residents in nearly a half-century - a budget without a property tax increase.

As COVID-19 has decimated school, state and municipal budgets, both this year and into the future, the School Board and Administration made it a priority to maintain the district’s millage rate.

“We really understand people in the community are suffering (due to the COVID-19 pandemic),” Board President Kaylyn Mitchell said. “A lot of kudos need to go to the Administration for setting us up for success. In my opinion, COVID really just solidified us doing this because we have a pretty high rate here in Upper Bucks County of people that have had to file for unemployment.”

The 2020-21 spending plan of $118.9 million, passed unanimously on June 11, includes approximately $2 million from the sale of Milford Middle School and Tohickon Valley Elementary School. Removing that one-time transaction increases expenditures by 2 percent from 2019-20.

Please click here for the story.

QCSD Financial Fact Sheet.


President Kaylyn Mitchell’s speech to the Class of 2020

It is a privilege and a great pleasure to be here with all of you (virtually) for the opportunity to address our 2020 graduates, your families, and our community. Graduates, you did it! All of your hard work and dedication have led you to this amazing accomplishment. As we celebrate and congratulate our graduates for this milestone, I would like to also take a moment to acknowledge our faculty, teachers, administrators, parents, guardians, advocates, and friends, who supported our students and made this day possible. This certainly isn't what we envisioned for graduation, but I am amazed at the thoughtfulness and care that went into organizing this virtual celebration.

2020 has taken a toll on all of us, in varying degrees. For many students, the senior year is a definitive year. It is a time of lasts. Last time you walk down the hall of your High School Building. Last high school dance (prom). Graduation Parties. Last memories for life as you know it before you delve into the new world of adulthood. You did not anticipate the heartbreak of saying goodbye to your high school days prematurely. I won't pretend to know how you feel, seniors, particularly because I graduated what feels like a million years ago (kidding)….but I am amazed at your resilience.

Please click here to read Mrs. Mitchell's full speech.

Please click here to watch Mrs. Mitchell's speech at the 39:30-minute mark.


QCSD Student Learning Options This Summer

The Office of Teaching and Learning has created a website to support our students and families over the summer. The goal is to collaboratively share the required summer learning as well as additional options for students to independently continue their learning in the summer months.

We are grateful for the work of our teachers who helped create many of these choice boards for our learners as well as the required summer assignments.

Pease click here for more information.


QCSD Begins Its First Free Summer Meals Program

For the first time, the Quakertown Community School District has instituted a free Summer Meal service for all children 18 and under. They do not have to be students in QCSD.

The service began June 23rd and is scheduled to continue through August 20th.

Just like the district’s current meals program during the closure of buildings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, food pickup will be held at Quakertown Community High School’s Bus Drop-off Location. Food will be provided each Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Tuesdays, each student will be provided with breakfast and lunch for two days. On Thursdays, each student will receive breakfast and lunch for three days.

Please click here for more information.


Here's when the board meets

For Board meeting dates, please click here.

To submit a comment for a virtual Board meeting, please click here.

To view Board meeting videos, please click here.

Quakertown Community School District

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District.