District-by-district: Plans for reopening schools

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(WBRE/WYOU-TV) – The administration of Governor Tom Wolf has released guidance on the safe reopening of Pennsylvania schools.

Using updated guidance from the state health department as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all school districts in the state are to create a reopening plan of their own. These plans are to be available online for students, parents and staff.

Below, are the plans of local school districts, listed by county.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available. If you are a school district official or staff member and do not see your district’s reopening plan listed here, please email us at newsdesk@pahomepage.com

BRADFORD COUNTY

Athens Area School District: Multiple options are available for the district per the plan submitted to the Department of Education on July 8.

First is a traditional in-person education. A limited traditional option would see students utilizing zoom on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with in-person classes being held Tuesdays and Thursdays. Live streaming through zoom for all days would give learning from home a look into the classroom five days a week as an option. Lastly, the Wildcat Online Learning Academy (WOLA) would allow students to progress through online courses at their own pace.

Classes began on August 31.

Canton Area School District: Students returned to class on August 31, following a plan submitted on July 1.

Many social distancing and mitigation guidelines are in place for a full in-person return but parents have the options of a hybrid or full virtual instruction.

Sayre Area School District: Students returned to full-time in-person learning on August 25. Social distancing guidelines and protocols were put into effect and parents were able to choose an online-only option for their children.

Towanda Area School District: Maintaining a July 21 plan, Towanda Area is recommended for a full in-person return and has the option for families to opt out to distance learning for safety & health concerns. Classes began on August 25.

Troy Area School District: A full return to in-person classes began on Friday, August 21. Like Sayre and Towanda, the option is available for online.

Wyalusing Area School District: Plans submitted on August 5 recommend Wyalusing follow suit with much of Bradford County. The 2020-2021 School year began in the classroom on August 26 with the option for distanced education.

CARBON COUNTY

Carbon Career & Technical Institute: Limiting class sizes and a two-day rotational schedule are noted in the reopening plan submitted July 31.

The Institute plans on the first day of classes being September 8.

Jim Thorpe Area School District: The August 13 reopening plan submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education recommends a full re-opening with an online option.

The district has one-to-one initiative for devices and will allow a hybrid, online option. The anticipated start date is September 8.

Lehighton Area School District: The district kicks off classes on September 8 with a full, in-person reopening for grades K-8.

High Schoolers will be going between the classroom and online education, every other day, Monday through Thursday.

There are more online-heavy options available.

LUZERNE COUNTY

Crestwood School District: Following additional guidance from the state’s department of health and education, the district decided to begin the semester virtually. The virtual plan went into effect on the district’s first day of school on September 2 and will continue until at least October 1 as the district reviews data.

An athletics plan is now available. As a survey for parents of students asking to submit their input for the 2020-2021 school year played a role in the administration’s decision making.

An original plan released through a video uploaded on YouTube included in-person classes. This has since been scrapped.

Dallas School District: A hybrid model will be used for the district’s reopening. Students will be split into two groups that attend in-person classes on alternating days two times a week. First day of school was on August 26.

Greater Nanticoke Area School District: Students were split into two groups which will attend school in person on alternating days starting on August 31. Students will have two days of in-person education and three days of online school each week. Wednesdays and weekends will be used to santize the buildings.

Hazleton Area School District: Students will start the year remotely in a phased reopening plan beginning September 8. This decision will be re-evaluated every two weeks until officials deem it completely safe for students to return to school.

Student-athletes will be required to sign COVID-19 waivers prior to attending. Following guidelines, no equipment will be used until further notice.

Northwest Area School District: The district plans to welcome students back with a hybrid model allowing for in-person and online instruction each week starting September 8. Parents can choose to enroll their children in online-only classes.

Pittston Area School District: Students will begin the school enrolled in the Pittston Area Cyber Academy starting September 9. Students will receive a Chromebook for their online classes.

NOTE: An original plan had grades K through 6 meeting 5 days a week in a traditional environment while students in grades 7 through 12 were scheduled for a hybrid schedule. The school district has changed the plan.

Wilkes-Barre Area School District: Parents of students will have the option to enroll their children in three different plans, choosing between traditional in-person learning five days a week, entirely virtual learning with live classes and a virtual option through the cyber academy. Classes will begin September 11.

Wyoming Valley West: A hybrid model to reduce class sizes in school will be used with students separated by name and on a rotating schedule beginning September 8. In-school instruction is dependent on the phased reopening of the county. Masks must be worn at all times. Parents may choose to keep their children enrolled in cyber school.

Building-specific plans are available. The tentative decision will be made on August 1st with September 1st being the final decision date.

Wyoming Seminary: In-person classes and dormitory options are available for students of Wyoming Seminary in the Fall of 2020, the school announced in its comprehensive plan. Classes began August 31.

An online-only option will be available for students if their families choose. In the event that schools are mandated to close by the state, the school is prepared to go completely online and refund 15% of the tuition for the remainder of the semester.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY

Dunmore School District: Students are attending school with a blended schedule of online and in-person classes beginning August 26. Families who do not feel comfortable having their child attend on campus classes are given a 100% virtual option.

Lakeland School District: Students started the year on August 31 with full time distance learning with four days of live instruction.

The administration hopes to transition students back to in-person education in October but will analyze COVID-19 spread before a final decision is made.

Mid Valley School District: Students will be split into two groups that attend in-person and virtual classes on alternating days beginning August 31. All students will remain home on Wednesdays.

North Pocono School District: A combination of in-person and online education began for students on August 31. Online-only education may be available for families that find it preferable.

Old Forge School District: Students will have two days of in-person learning a week starting September 8. Kindergarten students will have half days.

Other efforts to limit virus spread inside the school include assigning students seats in the cafeteria and ensuring that students bring their own supplies to decrease sharing.

Riverside School District: Students will be split into two groups based on their mailing addresses which will attend in-person classes on alternating days of the week starting September 9. Classes will be held virtually during the rest of the week. The rotation will continue through at least the end of September.

Scranton School District: Students will begin the year with virtual-only classes on September 8.

Valley View School District: Online-only classes began for students on August 26. This is subject to change as the school year develops.

LYCOMING COUNTY

East Lycoming School District: Students returned to in-person instruction on August 26. Mitigation efforts include social distancing in classrooms and cafeterias as well as the restriction on non-essential visitation.

Jersey Shore Area School District: Students returned to in-person instruction on August 27 but are able to stay online-only if their families choose.

A resocialization plan for sports and extracurricular activities has been approved.

Williamsport Area School District: A hybrid learning plan started September 1. Students will be split into two groups that attend classes on alternating days.

A resocialization plan for sports teams and the marching band has been worked out, including required screening for athletes and staff 

MONROE COUNTY

East Stroudsburg Area School District: Students were split into groups by last name that alternate days of in-person instruction according to a calendar starting August 31.

Pleasant Valley School District: The district’s plan for reopening includes three distinct phases categorized by community spread of COVID-19. If there is community spread, even minimal or moderate, no face-to-face instruction will occur. In the ‘green phase’, when there is low or no community spread of the virus, in-person instruction will be available on a hybrid basis.

Students started the school year on August 31. They are split into two groups based on last name, reporting to school two days of the week. Classes on Wednesdays are held entirely online and families who do not feel comfortable with their students attending school are given an online-only option.

Pocono Mountain School District: Students began virtual classes on August 31. An athletic health and safety plan has been approved.

Stroudsburg Area School District: The district welcomed student back into the classroom on August 31. As long as Monroe County remains in the ‘green’ phase, traditional in-class education will be available. Students are split based on last name and attend school on alternating days even in the green phase. Parents can choose to keep their kids in online-only classes.

MONTOUR COUNTY

Danville Area School District: Three structural models are available for parents to choose including in-person instruction five days a week, live online instruction and the cyber academy. After a revision, classes began on September 3 with the last day of school being slated for June 4, 2021.

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY

Blue Mountain School District: Students will be returning to in-person classes on September 8. Online opportunities are also avilable for families uncomfortable with a complete return to school.

Mahanoy Area School District: Students returned to class on August 27. A chance to “opt-out” of in-person instruction is available.

Minersville Area School District: A blended re-opening of the school district began on August 31.

North Schuylkill School District: Students returned to in-person instruction on August 27 with a hybrid plan in place. Students are split into two groups that attend in-person classes on alternating days. Parents were also asked to commit to a either a fully in-person instructional model or an online-only one for the first month of school.

Face coverings will be required when students and staff cannot maintain a six feet distance away from others. Physical education, recess and other extracurricular activities will be allowed as long as social distancing can occur. Face coverings will also be required on school buses.

On September 3, the school announced that students in kindergarten through third grade will return for five days of full instruction beginning September 8. The school is re-evaluating data to see if this is possible for grades 4 through 12 which is still hybrid. Students who are 100% virtual will remain 100% virtual

Pine Grove Area School District: Students are split into two groups that alternate in-person instruction. When students are not on-site, assignments will be assigned but they will not have to be completed at a certain time. Classes began on August 27.

Pottsville Area School District: An online school board meeting will be held August 18 to finalize plans. The school district does plan on offering parents the choice of keeping their children online only if they choose. First day of school was August 27.

Saint Clair Area School District: The district is prepared for three different options ranging from a regular in-person education model to an online-only option. During in-person instructional days, students will be screened before entry, each classroom will be sanitized and other hygienic practices will be used. Staff will be required to wear face coverings unless doing so jeopardizes their health or if they can maintain a distance of 6 feet away from other people. Students will be recommended but not required to wear face coverings.

Plexi-glass shields will be installed on desks and other areas. No communal use of water fountains or coolers will be allowed. Students will not be permitted to use lockers and classes will be limited to 25 people including students and staff.

Shenandoah Valley School District: Lower grades returned to in-person instruction 5 days a week on August 31. Grades 4 and up follow AM and PM session schedules, staggering the school day. A video presentation is available.

A re-socialization plan for sports team has been released.

Tamaqua Area School District: A full return to in-person classes began on August 26. An online-only option is also available for students.

Tri-Valley School District: A hybrid re-opening plan has students split into two groups which attend in-person instruction on alternating days that started on August 24. Parents can choose to enroll their children in cyber school if they feel more comfortable.

Wiliams Valley School District: A blended plan, utilizing in-person and online education will be in place with students having alternating days of each which started on August 31. Staggered dismissal times will encourage social distancing in the hallways and classroom configurations will be changed to allow for sufficient distance between people.

Students and staff are required to wear face coverings unless the district stays in the ‘green’ phase during which students will not be required to do so and staff will only have to wears masks when they cannot maintain proper social distancing.

UNION COUNTY

Mifflinburg Area School District: A hybrid learning model will be used for students in grades K through 6. Older students will attend classes online. Classes began on August 20.

WAYNE COUNTY

Wallenpaupack Area School District: All students will return to a fully in-person educational model beginning September 8. According to the assistant superintendent, nearly 60% of parents that responded to a survey said they were willing to send their children back to school.

Families can still choose to keep students in online-only classes.

Wayne Highlands School District: Parents of students attending Wayne Highlands School District have three options for the 2020-2021 school year including a traditional in-person education, a live virtual environment and the virtual campus. Classes begin September 8.

Western Wayne School District: Students will return to classes in-person for the school year however, parents can opt students into online-only classes. Classes begin September 8.

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