Local schools reopen in Pottstown


Photo Courtesy of Cecile Wegman ’23

On Aug. 24, the Pottstown school district began its opening for the 2020-21 school year. All classes will be taught in a synchronous virtual manner throughout the fall semester, according to the School Re-opening Plan Presentation delivered by Stephen Rodriguez, the superintendent of Pottstown schools. Mr. Rodriguez acknowledged that both students and faculties were unprepared when abruptly switching to online learning back in the spring and that there were many confusion and frustrations. However, for the upcoming school year, the administration has created better plans. 

“No one was prepared for last spring,” Mr.  Rodriguez stated in the recorded presentation, “but we were able to take some big steps forward.” 

The Pottstown school district received $1.7 million of CARES grants from the states, on a condition that the money will be spent on COVID-related expenses. A part of the grants will be used to purchase Chromebooks for students from pre-K to high school to facilitate online learning. 

Another major step taken by the school district is its new plan for food distribution

“The pandemic has thrown a lot on our community, but we don’t want food and food security to be an issue, ” Mr. Rodriguez stated. According to Mr. Rodriguez, the items in the food packages have improved a lot from last spring. The new plan included two options. Packages that include a week of breakfast and lunch for kids will be available to be picked up or delivered to families who have kids enrolled, on a weekly basis. 

While there are many challenges ahead, students are ready for the new school year. In a Pottstown School District board meeting on Aug. 21, Kishan Petal, a student representative from Pottstown High School, reported that students were planning and organizing different club activities that aim to engage students in a virtual environment. 

“Even though mine and many of my peers’ senior year is not starting off how we expected it, we are still confident in our ability to persevere and push through,” Petal said. “Virtual was not what we wanted to be in the spring, but I feel like this school year is going to be different.”