State College schools could go remote after two weeks of in-person classes

Regional News

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ)– State College Area School District (SCASD) students may start the year attending in-person classes, but transition to online classes two weeks later.

The SCASD School Board could consider making this change at their Monday evening meeting.

Why?

According to SCASD’s Director of Communications Chris Rosenblum, “This ties directly to the influx of Penn State students returning to school.”

Like members of State College Borough Council, some SCASD School Board members are concerned that with PSU students returning, Covid-19 cases will spike.

The school board will consider making the aforementioned change–they say– in the name of student and teacher safety.

Details on the change are in the story below:

An action item is on the table for the SCASD School Board. It states that students, who chose to return to school, will start start the year with in-person classes for two weeks.

But: “After that two week window, according to this proposal, the district would shift to full remote learning for all students,” Rosenblum said.

He told WTAJ that some school board members are concerned it may take at least two weeks to know if local Covid-19 cases are on the rise.

Rosenblum said some board members feel that by shifting students online after two weeks, the district will have more time to assess local Covid-19 numbers–including cases in the district and county (along with the capacity of local hospital beds).

Some board members feel this will allow the district to “stay ahead” of a possible case surge… before it’s too late.

“If there were an outbreak—this would allow the district to keep students and faculty as safe as possible in remote–while the district assess the data from the two weeks,” Rosenblum said.

If a school board member makes a motion to vote on these proposed changes, Rosenblum said that member would also have to list exactly how long the district would stay in remote learning. Once that timeline expires, SCASD can decide to either return to in-person classes, or continue online learning.

SCASD did not list a specific threshold for how many Covid-19 cases it will take to move to 100% online classes.

Monday’s school board meeting beings at 7:00 p.m.

WTAJ will update this story with the board’s decision.

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