Many school districts are struggling with ways to keep classrooms safe.By Paul Martino

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — Steel Valley School District has a new plan to keep classrooms safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The district announced a hybrid plan that includes half-days in the classroom. But not everyone is pleased.

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Beginning Nov. 4, Steel Valley kids A-L will be in the classroom in the morning, Monday through Thursday. Students whose last initials are M-Z get the afternoon session. The other half of the day is online, while Friday is just a virtual half-day.

“I’m highly disappointed in the school district for a number of reasons,” said parent Amanda Ward.

Ward is a mother of three, with two of her children being school-aged. Her biggest gripes with the new hybrid plan: little communication and the plan keeps changing.

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“The lack of transparency, the lack of communication, and they have changed their minds multiple times,” said Ward.

“It’s not perfect,” said school board president Jim Bulger. “No model is perfect outside of getting the kids in five days a week.”

Bulger says deciding how to have students return to class is not easy. But he hopes this is the first step towards the return to full-time classes.

“If we don’t really have any significant spike or any significant problems, the intent is after those 15 days toward the end of November, we’re going to get kids back in the building 100 percent, five days a week,” Bulger said.

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Parents are circulating a petition in opposition to the plan. Parents will also get to speak their minds at a school board meeting next Thursday.