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Some Schools Choose to Remain Open

As a result of the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases across the region, many schools are moving to a hybrid or virtual learning plan, but others are sticking to face to face lessons.

Schools like Richland, Greater Johnstown and Cambria Heights changing to hybrid or virtual models. Other districts like Ferndale and Westmont Hilltop are sticking to in-person learning. Westmont superintendent, Thomas Mitchell says the decision was made by the district’s COVID-19 task force.

“Our local incident right here in the school is unchanged. We feel it is still safe for our students to attend in-person classes,” said Mitchell.

One thing which has changed at Westmont, is the spreading more information about when students should or shouldn’t quarantine. As well as continued safety measures.

“So, I think it’s about education. We are still following our health and safety plan with increased disinfecting, masks are mandatory, social distancing when possible. We are just trying to follow our plan with fidelity and continue to move forward one day at a time,” said Mitchell.

But if schools in Pennsylvania are forced to move to full-time remote learning, Westmont is prepared.

“This past week, we’ve reviewed our continuity of education plan to make sure that we are 100% ready to go,” said Mitchell. “If the worst-case scenario happens but we are hopeful that we are able to mitigate the risks at this time,” he added.

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