ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — School districts across the region are meeting this week to discuss health and safety plans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, the Quaker Valley School District approved its return-to-school plan. A spokesperson said the district surveyed teachers and parents, and a majority want some in-person learning.
Sarah Bell and other families in the district have until the first week of August to choose remote learning, in-person learning or a hybrid model.
“I would feel comfortable sending my kids to school,” Bell said. “I also like the idea of virtual learning.”
The plan approved by the district will now be sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In the plan are procedures like cleaning and sanitizing high-traffic areas and social distancing. As far as transportation, the district is asking parents to pick up their kids, but buses will be provided.
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Students, teachers and staff are required to wear masks. They are also asking parents to take temperatures at home and assess how their kids feel.
“It can be an anxious time,” said board president Sarah Stoessel. “The board is doing all we can to stay safe. The team has been working tirelessly.”
Quaker Valley is also reviewing the possibility of delaying the start of the school year in an effort to be more prepared. If they do decide, the board will meet and vote.
On Friday, parents in Pittsburgh Public Schools will get a better idea of what learning will look like for students. One school board member wants the first nine weeks to be virtual learning.
“I’m worried about our staff, our teachers, custodians,” said teacher Kathy Monti-Trievel.
Monti-Trievel is a fourth-grade math teacher at Pittsburgh Langley K-8 and believes remote learning is the best option.
“I never want to lose a student because of something we could have stopped or changed,” Monti-Trievel said. “I still think it’s a risk to put so many kids in the same space at the same time.”
The Plum Borough School District decided to delay the start of the school year until Sept. 2, while Serra Catholic High School is moving forward with a plan to fully reopen on Aug. 26 with in-person classes five days per week.
The Wilkinsburg School District will start the year virtually. And in Bethel Park, the school board passed its health and safety plan.