Pottsville Will Announce School Reopening Plan on August 18
Pottsville Area School District will announce its reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school term on Aug. 18. That’s less than 2 weeks before the scheduled start of school on Aug. 31.
That was announced on Tuesday night at the July meeting of Pottsville Area school directors.
Some people watching the virtual meeting expressed their displeasure with the seemingly last-minute decision on reopening.
One person said, “August 18th is ridiculous. They need to let families that work know way sooner.”
And another expressed similar concerns.
“August 18th sure doesn’t give much time to prepare,” another Facebook viewer said.
At the meeting, different scenarios were outlined on how the school district could go. The options mirror those being weighed by other school districts around Schuylkill County.
Pottsville Area School District Announcing Reopening Plan on August 18
School board members heard from interim Superintendent Jared Gerace as he outlined the potential reopening scenarios for Pottsville Area School District.
Basically, there are 3 options:
- Remote learning
- Hybrid learning
- Full reopening
Even though details were limited from Gerace’s presentation (and he was next to impossible to hear during the Zoom-hosted meeting on Tuesday), we got the gist of each scenario.
Total Remote Learning
This seems like the most unlikely of the 3 options right now. If schools are open and the PIAA doesn’t cancel sports seasons, it’s hard to imagine a school district that doesn’t open its doors at the start of the next school term, at least partially.
If Pottsville did choose this route, the school wants to outline scenarios in which students would be allowed to return to the school physically.
According to Gerace, the hybrid learning scenario would have students in school 2 days a week and learning remotely the other 3 days. Students would be divided up and assigned days to attend school physically. Siblings would attend school on the same days.
Pottsville would utilize Google Classroom to host its online learning curriculum.
The third option is that all students return to school on Aug. 31. Now, if the school district does go this route, there would be enhanced safety protocols in place. It wouldn’t just be like things were prior to the start of the pandemic, at least not initially. And students can be opted out of this plan if they express safety concerns about returning to school. If that’s the case, they’d have to participate in school online.
Student and Staff Monitoring
With either the blended reopening or the total reopening, Pottsville plans to implement health monitoring to potentially prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff.
The school outlined several safety measures it would take if and when it opened its doors to students at the end of August.
Gerace said the school would use a Symptom Screening Tool to spot potential infections in students and staff members. If anyone shows symptoms of COVID-19, they’re being asked to stay at home.
He said the school would do required screening before anyone comes into the schools. And any students or staff with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher would likely not be allowed to be in school that day.
Pottsville would adopt a “flexible” attendance and sick leave policy.