South Williamsport Area School District prepares to welcome students back to the classroom

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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Next week, the South Williamsport Area School District will welcome back all of its students for the first time this school year. The board voted 5-4 to bring all students back to classrooms.

The district says it’s a decision made after careful consideration, informed by the area’s COVID-19 numbers.

The district’s elementary schools will begin full-fledged, in-person instruction on Tuesday while the junior and senior high schools will start Thursday.

Jen Avery is the mother of a 7th grader in the district, saying she supports the decision for her daughter to return.

“She likes the structure of the classroom. So, having had to do two days in the classroom, then three days, independent online learning. It’s been kind of tough for her.”

Superintendent Dr. Mark Stamm cited the district’s increasing familiarity with the virus, and the county’s rate of infections per 100,000 and low-test positivity, saying:

“Based on these three factors, I feel we are prepared to reopen schools for all students in-person and that if challenges arise, we have the processes in place to adjust our school schedule accordingly and continue to provide instruction remotely if needed.”

Avery says making sure students buy into the safety protocols is her main concern.

“The general guidelines. You know, as long as they’re following those and everyone can adhere to them, I’m fine with her going back.”

Around the same time as South Williamsport’s announcement, the Williamsport Area School District said they are moving forward with developing plans to potentially have their students return five days a week. That too came after a district board meeting. They’re currently in the process of getting feedback from district parents.

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