It was this time last year when I sat down with a North Penn High School (NPHS) student who was writing a story for the Knight Crier about my decade as North Penn School District (NPSD) Superintendent, a milestone I reached just before the shut down of schools in March. We talked about what I felt were some of North Penn’s greatest accomplishments and challenges during my tenure, and we discussed what was on the horizon for this great school district.
Of course it would have been impossible to accurately predict what March would bring and the toll that this pandemic would take on students, staff, families and education as a whole. Instead I spoke about renovations at Knapp Elementary School and Crawford Stadium, improving academic achievement for all students, and the possibility of grade reconfiguration and the addition of a ninth grade center at a renovated NPHS.
Though much of that work continued despite COVID-19, endeavors like the ninth grade center are on the back burner for now. There is simply too much work to be done in keeping our students and staff safe, in making hybrid learning the best it can be, and in moving forward through the pandemic.
And while there seems to be a collective sigh of relief (including my own) that the year 2020 is almost over, I would be remiss to not also think back with much pride on how the North Penn School District faced and overcame overwhelming challenges this past year. I truly believe that with the technology we have in place and with the expertise and dedication of staff that we are as best positioned as we can be for both virtual and in-person learning and we can smoothly transition as needed between the two models. While many parents choose to have their students learning at home, I am pleased that we can offer in-school learning for those students who truly need this opportunity.
I hope that as you reflect on 2020 that you might find some bright spots as well. Please continue to be safe and stay North Penn Strong.