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Altoona Area School District Update

Students in the Altoona Area School District will continue virtual learning for the foreseeable future, officials decided Thursday night.

During Thursday night’s special meeting, the school board approved a plan to return students to hybrid learning two weeks after teachers receive their first rounds of COVID-19 vaccines.

They said the ultimate goal is to get all students back to the classroom full time, but the next step would be a mixture of virtual and in-person learning.

School officials say they currently do not have a date for when teachers will begin being inoculated but they say the administration is working with local health providers to coordinate the effort when vaccines become available.

The school board meeting was streamed live on the district’s YouTube channel.

School officials listened to public comments from parents who were able to call into the meeting.

Many of the parents who provided comments called for their children to return to in-person classes noting concerns for their kids’ mental health and overall academic performances.

The board also heard from city emergency management officials who voiced concern for sending students back as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to surge.

Students in the Altoona Area School District have been learning remotely since Dec. 1.

The district made the decision back in Nov., saying at the time they would remain in remote learning until Feb. 1, or “until Blair County reports two consecutive weeks at a disease transmission rate below the substantial level.”

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