Hazleton School District surveys parents on reopening plans


HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Officials from the largest school district in our region are finalizing the reopening plans for the new school year, and they are seeking input from parents.

Hazleton Area School District hopes to select a reopening plan in the next week or so. 

The Hazleton Area School District has around 12,000 students. They admit it is no easy task to reopen schools in the COVID-19 era, so they want to hear from parents.

“We have to live you know what I mean,” said Nicki Vajda, a parent.

Nicki Vajda has three children in the Hazleton Area School District. She is confident that her kids will be safe if they go back to school in-person.

“Even though it’s out there I think if you use enough precautions and you’re not face to face with someone that literally is sick you wash your hands and are doing everything you’re supposed to do I don’t think it’s a problem,” said Vajda.

And it’s those kind of opinions that the Hazleton Area School District wants to hear from parents throughout the district. Several reopening plans are being offered up to families.

“We have a hybrid model. What we are asking parents to do is make a decision on whether they want their child to come back to school or if they want to stay online full time for at least 90 days. That gives us the ability to plan accordingly on how many students may be returning and how many may not be,” said Brian Uplinger, superintendent of HASD.

Uplinger points out that in-person schooling will not look like it did in the pre-COVID-19 era.

“We are asking them if you are OK with 100 percent back or 100 percent online. The 100 percent back does not necessarily mean that they will be there every single day. They may be there Monday, Tuesday Thursday and Friday, what have you. It depends on how many students we have coming back,” said Uplinger.

Uplinger says the district is approaching the reopening in a very methodical way.

“We are taking our time. We don’t want to make a knee-jerk reaction and say yep we are bringing everyone back or we are doing a hybrid and then all of a sudden we have to turn around and say we are closed,” said Uplinger.

Hazleton officials are reaching out to every family in the school district either by phone or email for their opinions on the reopening.

Uplinger tells me they hope to have gathered all of the input by the end of the week or early next week so the school board can discuss the issue and approve a final plan. Classes are scheduled to resume on September 8th.

More information can be found on the district website.

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