The Pennsylvania Department of Education and State Health Department have recommended that elementary schools in the substantial level of transmission bring students back to the classroom for hybrid or blended learning.
Greater Johnstown Elementary school students have returned to face to face learning Monday through Thursday and will learn virtually on Fridays, but what about other students? Superintendent of the school district, Amy Arcurio, says vocational and special education students can return to that schedule as well. However, Arcurio says middle and high school students will only go back to the classroom twice a week.
“Middle school and high school students will stay in the two days per week hybrid learning model. We’ve recognized through remote learning that our youngest learners are having the most difficulty navigating the google classroom,” said Arucrio.
Arcurio says they noticed there wasn’t as much of an issue with elementary school students spreading the virus and saw more concern when it came to older students. The impact of virtual learning hasn’t gone unnoticed, Arcurio says they understand that students learn best when face to face with their teachers and peers.
“We’ve seen remote learning really impact our students in a variety of ways not only from attendance and their ability to be successful in the google classroom. But we also recognize the social and emotional that being at home full time and not engaged in face to face learning opportunities has created for students,” said Arcurio.
For high school seniors with the choice of college right around the corner Arcurio says they’ve done their best to prepare them through the Pandemic. She says they have dedicated staff in their Trojan College Access Program and guidance counselors communicate with students on important deadlines daily. They’ve also focused on making sure students are aware of scholarship opportunities.
In the next two weeks Arcurio says the school district will reevaluate the situation and see if they’re able to bring back middle and high school students for more in-person learning.