A Cambria County School District is returning to in-person learning as other area Districts move to online-learning due to rising cases of COVID-19. On Monday morning, more students came back for in-person learning at the Portage Area School District, but Students won’t come back all at once. Students in the Portage Area School District will soon be back in the classroom for full time face to face learning, but this will be done in three phases.
Superintendent of the Portage Area School District, Eric Zelanko saying: “We’re not going to go full tilt all at once. Some Schools are doing that successfully some schools have done that not successfully. We feel that a gradual approach will give us time to adjust and protect the safety of our Students the best we can.” Zelanko says Vocational Students will come back first. Then, on November 9th Students in Grades 9 and 10 will return and the following Monday all students can come back, but the choice is theirs. Zelanko adding: “We will keep the hybrid in place for families that want to stay with that, or the full five day remote option. Everyone’s all across the spectrum here with what their expectations are and concerns with the Virus so we’re trying to accommodate everyone.”
With classroom sizes, Zelanko says it won’t be possible to keep everyone 6 feet apart at all times, but they’re doing what they can, including the use of masks, desktop shields, and a cleaning and disinfecting program. Zelanko says their Students’ grades show in-person learning is more beneficial than remote learning. Since the start of the School Year, Zelanko says Elementary School Students were able to have in-person learning, with a half day on Wednesday, but now they too will return 5 days a week.