PA Cyber hired a wave of new instructors before the start of the school year.By Royce Jones

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As schools welcome students back, districts are changing their masking guidelines at the last minute.

Some parents are now making last-minute decisions about whether or not to send their kids back to in-person learning.

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Brian Hayden, the CEO of PA Cyber, said, “It is significant and it is often because of masks,” regarding the recent surge in inquiries.

According to Hayden, mask-wearing has ignited an enrollment explosion, with hundreds of parents submitting last-minute inquiries before school starts.

“We had 142 web inquiries when we came in Tuesday morning. Two years ago, we had 75 on the same day,” Hayden said.

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Anticipating high enrollment, PA Cyber hired a wave of new instructors. However, PA Cyber’s cap on students set by the state is 11,677, and enrollment numbers are already over 10,000.

“This week has been another record-breaking week,” Hayden said.

If this pace continues, the system could max out for the second year in a row, meaning parents considering cyber school should not sit on submitting their inquiries. PA Cyber starts school on Monday.

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