Pittson Area School District allows some students to return to school

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PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — As we approach one year of learning online for many students, several school districts are bringing back in-person learning options.

Some Pittston Area School District students are headed back to in-person instruction for only three hours a day on March 15.

Jessica Bennett has a 7-month-old, a preschooler, a 3rd grader and a 6th grader in her household. To say the least, she has a lot to deal with.

“I have to drop him off and then one’s home and it’s a bit chaotic because everyone is everywhere,” said Bennett.

The school district is only allowing kindergarten through fourth grade students to go back to in-person learning, which leaves parents like Bennett in a dilemma. Because she has to tell one of her kids that they can go back to school and another that they can’t.

“She started crying. She was so upset. She was like that’s not fair, why can’t I go back to school? And I’m like I don’t know, I don’t make the rules. I just know when you can go back and when you can’t, and right now you can’t,” Bennett explained.

Parents can still keep their kids learning online full-time. Pittston Area School District administration held a virtual town hall meeting to address parents’ concerns. They say students who opt for in-person learning will go back to school between two to five days a week, which will be determined by how many students plan to return to school.

“I would say following that first week of March would determine whether we’re going to do the two or five days. So, I’m hoping within that week we can really dig into it and go from there,” said Gennaro Zangardi, Intermediate Center principal.

On the days students can return for in-person learning, it will only be from 8:45 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. Then they will spend the rest of their afternoon from 1:00 to 3:23 in online learning. But at the end of the day, this is progress after nearly a year of students learning online.

The administration says the Pennsylvania Department of Education recommended they only send elementary school students back, which is why they made the cut off at 4th grade.

The full town hall is available here with a slideshow providing more information. 

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