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April 24 Update from Our Superintendent

April 24 Update from Our Superintendent
Posted on 04/24/2020

Dear School Community,

I have a great deal to share today. For those of you who have a specific interest in a particular topic, today’s message covers the following: (1) Parent Survey #2; (2) Student Building Cleanout and Library Books/Textbooks/Devices Drop Off Schedule; (3) End-of-Year Instructional Calendar; (4) Grading Overview by Level; (5) Garnet Valley Strong and GV-CTC; and (6) Food Relief.

Parent Survey #2

The input of students, parents, and teachers continues to be a vital component of our continuous learning plan. So that we can maintain this important communication loop which drives both our professional learning topics and instructional decisions, please take Parent Survey #2 by clicking here.

Student Building Cleanout and Library Books/Textbooks/Devices Drop Off Schedule

We understand that students did not have an opportunity to clean out their lockers and retrieve their belongings when we left in March. We appreciate your understanding and patience through the stay-at-home orders. We, however, will have to clean-out our buildings so that we can prepare for the upcoming school year. Simultaneously, students at the elementary and middle levels will have to return their devices to our technology department. Both cleanout and device drop-off will take place on the dates detailed below. Building principals will communicate with families and provide specific directions as we get closer to the dates. It’s also important to note that after our technology department collects devices, they will clean then redistribute them to students during the summer so that we are prepared for every possibility next year.

Student Building Clean-out & Library Books/Textbooks/Devices Drop Off Schedule

Dates Student Groups

June 1 through June 5 Seniors
June 8 GVES, BSES, and CES
June 9 GVES, BSES, and CES
June 10 GVHS, GVMS
June 11 GVHS, GVMS
June 12 Make Up Day

End-of-Year Instructional Calendar:

We have finalized the instructional calendar for the end of the year, and it appears below. Since student activities–exams, transition assemblies, awards ceremonies–that normally occur during the last few days of school will not occur this year and since our students and their families are becoming more and more fatigued with virtual learning, we will be closing schools approximately one week earlier this year.

Please understand that we are already in the process of planning for next year. Not only are we planning to redistribute devices to elementary and middle school students this summer, but our teachers will be determining where students’ learning ended and where they will start next year. Additionally, we continue to explore strategies, professional learning, and other means to make instructional delivery methods as agile as possible. As a school community, we have to accept that we need to be able to provide learning regardless of whether students are in school or at home. I think the sooner we accept this new reality, the more prepared we will all be intellectually and emotionally.

End-of-Year Instructional Calendar

Mon 5/11 Tues 5/12 Wed 5/13 Thurs 5/14 Fri 5/15

Online Learning Online Learning Online Learning Online Learning Inservice/Student CatchUp
Mon 5/18 Tues 5/19 Wed 5/20 Thurs 5/21 Fri 5/22
Online Learning Online Learning Online Learning Online Learning Inservice/Student CatchUp
Mon 5/25 Tues 5/26 Wed 5/27 Thurs 5/28 Fri 5/29
Memorial Day Online Learning Online Learning Online Learning Inservice/Student CatchUp
No School *Last Day for Seniors
Mon 6/1
Underclassmen Online Learning / Senior Building Clean-out
Tues 6/2
UnderclassmenOnline Learning / Senior Building Clean-out
Wed 6/3
UnderclassmenOnline Learning / Senior Building Clean-out
Thurs 6/4
UnderclassmenOnline Learning / Senior Building Clean-out
Fri 6/5
**Last Day for Underclassmen
/ Senior Building Clean-out
Mon 6/8
Underclassmen Building Clean-out
Tues 6/9
Underclassmen Building Clean-out
Wed 6/10
Underclassmen Building Clean-out
Thurs 6/11
Underclassmen Building Clean-out
Fri 6/12
Underclassmen Building Clean-out

*All outstanding assignments and assessments for 12th grade students are due on Friday, June 5th.
**All outstanding assignments and assessments for K-11 students are due on Friday, June 12th.

Grading Overview by Level:

Your children’s building principal(s) will communicate with you specifically about final grades for the 2019-20 academic year. All students are expected to complete their assignments to the best of their abilities and engage with their school work during the scheduled instructional days.

Expectations and grading differs by developmental level. At the elementary level, we will not issue our typical standardized progress report. Instead, teachers will continue to provide meaningful feedback on student learning through Seesaw and Schoology. At the close of the third trimester, parents will have the ability to download a .zip archive of their children’s Seesaw journal and any courses in Schoology.

At middle level, teachers will continue issuing numerical grades for assigned work for the remainder of the school year, and parents can view the progress on their virtual work through Alma. However, in regard to final grades for the 3rd and 4th quarters, we will not issue a numerical grade for each. Instead, we will evaluate the cumulative virtual learning that took place during these quarters and students will receive either a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. Then, at the end of the school year, students will receive a final grade based primarily on the first two marking periods. The middle school is implementing a “do no harm” philosophy, an approach that does not allow any poor performance in virtual learning to impact students’ grades negatively. Finally, report cards will contain a statement that acknowledges that the 2019-20 school year was interrupted by COVID-19.

Grades at the high school level are more complex. We have to acknowledge that the vast majority of our students apply to college; consequently, we have to be mindful of their transcripts. To this end, we will maintain the numerical grade structure at the high school, albeit with significant accommodations. The high school will also place a brief reminder of the COVID-19 pandemic event on students’ transcripts. Similar to middle school, GVHS will apply a “do no harm” philosophy when evaluating student performance; therefore, poor performance in virtual learning cannot impact students’ grades negatively. Finally, no student will earn a grade less than 60 (D-) in any course, thus allowing every student to move on to the next course and/or grade.

GV-CTC, Garnet Valley Strong, and Food Relief

The GV-CTC continues to receive donations. If you would like to participate, we ask that you use the GVCTC Venmo account: @GVCTC. If you are asked, the 4 digit code is 3706. Jennifer Tront, GV-CTC Treasurer, owns the account, so you will see her name appear. If you know anyone in our community who needs assistance, please have them complete this updated link (Food Services Assistance) and we’ll reach out as soon as possible.

The Little Hero Foundation (to learn more about the non-profit click here) has created Garnet Valley Strong wristbands to remind everyone that we are stronger together. We hope the free wristbands provide a smile to Garnet Valley families while showing support for our awesome community! The foundation’s primary goal is that the wristbands bring joy to everyone at home missing their friends. On the order form link (click here) there is also a completely optional donation section. 100 percent of every optional donation received is divided between GV-CTC and the AI DuPont emergency families fund (to help families in the hospital pay for adult meals without having to risk unnecessary exposure during the COVID19 crisis by leaving isolation units). To date, we have dispersed nearly 700 wristbands around the community and raised $1,200.00! (Jenn, please let me know how to send you a check for the ~$600 GV-CTC portion raised so far.)

Food Relief

We understand that not having the availability of the school lunch program during the school closure may present a significant hardship for some of our families. If this is the case for your family, please complete this form - Grab and Go Food Distribution Form

Garnet Valley School District will be providing Grab and Go meals to families in need for their children 18 years of age and under. Meals will be available for pick up from 11AM to noon on Mondays and Wednesdays at Garnet Valley Middle School’s rear entrance. 

You will need to pre-register using the link above by Monday morning at 7AM to receive food for the week. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Kristin Smeins -

Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent
Garnet Valley School District

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