Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School will be moving away from in-person learning beginning on Monday.
Senior High Principal Dr. Maureen Letcher said much of the high school population is already at home.
“We have over 100 students that are in quarantine right now and therefore those students aren’t getting any direct instruction,” she said.
Letcher said 8 students and staff are currently COVID-19 positive, meaning 130 students who were potentially exposed are now in quarantine.
While health and safety remains the top priority, Letcher said every student needs an opportunity to learn.
“We need to educate them,” Letcher said. “We feel that there were enough students who weren’t receiving direct instruction that in order for everybody to receive direct instruction every day, every period, this was the way to go at this time.”
The high school is already operating with just half of the student body in the building on a given day, but it will move away from in-person learning altogether starting Monday.
Students will not return to the classroom until at least Dec. 1.
“The platform we are pushing out starting on Monday, every student, whether you are a “Day A” or a “Day B” student, will go into a google hangouts with their teacher and their class for every period,” Letcher said.
The school will continue to employ mitigation efforts when in-person instruction resumes.
Students must wear masks, desk are spaced out in classrooms and in the cafeteria, and the staff are cleaning and sanitizing more than ever.
Letcher said she wants to maintain open lines of communication with parents.
“We ask the parents to please continue to let us know if somebody is having symptoms or if somebody is getting tested and what the test results are,” she said. “We still need to track that to help us make a decision whether we will go back Dec. 1 or not.”
Letcher said there’s always a possibility that students will not be able to come back on the planned return date, but the high school and the district will continue to assess the situation.
Letcher said she knows it’s a tough task, but she wants parents to try to keep their high schoolers from gathering in large groups.