By: KDKA-TV News Staff
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – If it’s not one school, it’s another. COVID-19 cases seem to be popping up in schools almost daily in the Pittsburgh region and now a middle school in the Seneca Valley School District has more cases than originally thought.
Families in the Seneca Valley School District were alerted early Wednesday morning that Ryan Gloyer Middle School would be closing due to additional coronavirus cases.
The school district says there are now five active COVID-19 cases at the middle school — three teachers and two students. Other teachers and students are waiting for test results.
KDKA’s Lindsay Ward talked with the mother of a sixth grader at another middle school in the district.
“I drive her every day because I don’t want her on the bus. I think they’re doing the best they can, we all are,” she said.
Craig Gehm says he got an alert from Seneca Valley School District at 6:46 in the morning Wednesday, alerting families that Ryan Gloyer Middle School was closed for the day.
“We were ready to head out the door when we got the alert,” said Gehm.
Thankfully, Gehm’s son got it just before he got on the school bus. Gehm said he shares the bus with the high school.
However, one parent said on Facebook that she didn’t get the alert in time and sent her daughter on the bus. She said her daughter was never told by the bus driver that students at Ryan Gloyer were staying home Wednesday.
“It was a little bit later than I thought it should be, but at least I got it in time. I could see other parents getting upset and not getting informed in time,” said Gehm.
According to the district, Ryan Gloyer Middle School will remain temporarily closed through Wednesday, Nov. 11. In the meantime, learning will go fully remote with livestreaming through Tuesday, Nov. 10.
School district officials say there are 12 total active cases across four schools in the district. Those schools are Ryan Gloyer Middle School, Seneca Valley Intermediate High School, Connoquenessing Valley Elementary School and Seneca Valley Academy of Choice.
There are no active cases at Rowan Elementary School, Haine Elementary/Middle Schools, Evans City Elementary/Middle Schools or Seneca Valley Senior High School.
In a letter to families, the district says,
“Please know we are taking the above action to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and families. We will continue to closely monitor state and local data. Future such decisions will continue to be made with the guidance we receive from officials at the state and local levels. As always, K-6 and 9-12 parents have the option to choose remote learning with livestreaming if the current in-person model does not meet their level of comfort at this time or if they have medical concerns.”
New coronavirus cases are something we’re seeing at districts in counties across our region. West Mifflin High School announced this week that it’s shifting to remote learning for 10 days due to the spread of coronavirus. Allegheny County said while there’s been a lot of spread among schools, it hasn’t been big numbers.
“Nearly every school district has a few cases, outbreaks in each school are very small and contained very quickly,” said Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen.
Seneca Valley acknowledges the decision to close the school was late, but the situation remains fluid. The district reminds parents that their kids can take part in remote learning at any time.