Mahanoy Area School District is threatening to go to the extreme steps of pressing charges and contacting social workers for students who aren’t participating in its virtual school.
In a video posted to the district’s Facebook page on Friday, Superintendent Joie Green addressed virtual truancy and said Mahanoy Area is going to start contacting a local District Magistrate and Schuylkill County Children & Youth to get these students back to school.
Green is referencing certain students who chose “Option 3” out of several options available at Mahanoy Area during the COVID pandemic.
Option 3, according to The Shenandoah Sentinel, involves a virtual asynchronous schedule. That means students, in theory, are required to get all their school assignments completed but they don’t have to attend classes live. That’s Option 2, or a virtual synchronous schedule.
Mahanoy Area Superintendent Gets Real with Virtual Truants
Unfortunately, according to Green, “many” of the Mahanoy Area students who chose Option 3 aren’t doing their work.
She said Option 3 at Mahanoy Area was designed for siblings who had to help each other get through their virtual school days. Instead, it seems many Mahanoy Area students who selected Option 3 are getting part-time jobs during the day. And that’s not going over well with the district, mainly because those students aren’t completing their work.
“Option 3 was made available not for students to work during school hours,” Green said in her video address.
She added, “What we’re finding is that students are leaving the district and leaving in-person instruction and choosing Option 3 so that they can have a part-time job during those school hours. That is not acceptable and actually, pretty much, it’s illegal. Students are supposed to be in school during school hours.”
Green says the school is attempting to make contact with these truants but apparently, some aren’t getting the messages. After all, she said, the district is the one ultimately responsible for making sure students attend school.
“Still, there are many that are not completing their work,” Green said.
That’s why she says the school may need to take more extreme measures to combat absenteeism.
“Teachers are not going to continue to contact parents,” Green says in the video. “You chose Option 2 or Option 3 for your child. It’s the parent responsibility that the students get on and do the work that is required.”
Green said students taking Option 3 should “jump on Option 2 and start doing work” or to stay on Option 3 and “continue doing work you’re supposed to be doing.”
This is not the first time Mahanoy Area had to get a little tough with its students and families in the district. Earlier this school term, Mahanoy Area threatened to demote students who didn’t wear a face mask in the school buildings to virtual classes for a set period of time.
If a student became a serial offender of the face mask policy, they’d have to take virtual classes “until COVID passed the state.”
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