Rally to reopen UCF planned

A rally to reopen Unionville-Chadds Ford School District schools with in-person education is planned for 5:15 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21. Organizer Chris Brill, of East Marlborough Township, said Friday morning that at least 10 people said they intend on attending the rally to be held in front of the District Administration offices in the high school parking lot.

School Board directors had initially planned to reopen school with a hybrid plan — partial in-person classes and partial virtual — but that changed after the Chester County Health Department recommended virtual-only to start the school year. They plan to re-evaluate with a possible change on Oct. 9.

But Brill said there are several motivating factors for the rally.

“First, it’s not good for kids to be on the screens all day,” he said. “The learning is inefficient. Second, the data show kids can be in school and be safe and follow protocols.”

Brill said he didn’t have numbers in front of him during the interview but said other school districts around UCF are open for in-person activities without incident.

When asked about moving to a hybrid system, Brill said his goal is “fully open.”

“I think it’s completely understandable for people who are afraid to conduct in-person classes, that they follow virtual learning. But, for those parents who want to go 100 percent in-person, that should be a priority.”

He said he is OK with a hybrid system, “as long as the majority of time is in-person.”

The hybrid system UCF directors approved in early August called for students in grades K-3 to attend classes in school buildings five days per week. Other students would participate in in-person courses for two days each week with synchronous online classes the other three days. About one-third of the student body would have been in the actual buildings at a given time.

They changed the plan later in the month after hearing from the county Health Department.

Garnet Valley, Upper Chichester, and Lower Merion school districts plan a return to brick and mortar education — at least on a hybrid basis — this coming week.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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