Area school districts announce plans for fall classes

With weeks to go until classes begin, the Pennsylvania Department of Education released its instructional model Monday.

It has some districts scrambling to change plans, while others just wish they got it sooner.

“Safety is first. Health is first,” parent Khalid Dennis.

Dennis is focusing on the positives of his son learning at home for the start of his junior year at Upper Darby High School. But, with he and his wife working full-time, he says he knows it won’t be easy.

“It’s a lot, but we’ll make it work. He’s 17. He’s very responsible,” Dennis remarked.

Across Pennsylvania, parents may be scrambling to adjust to new plans once again, as some districts are adjusting their reopening plans after Governor Tom Wolf’s administration finally announced recommendations Monday.

They urge districts in areas with a moderate risk of transmission of the virus to have students do a blended learning model or a full remote model.

The Lower Moreland School District originally said students could return to school five days a week, but are now recommending a mix of in-person and virtual learning.

The Penn-Delco School Board is also offering both, as originally planned, instead of just remote learning.

And, in Upper Darby, the school district originally started with a hybrid plan, but switched to start completely virtually weeks before Monday’s announcement.

They say they are sticking with that, for now.

“I appreciate having some information yesterday, would’ve been nice a bit earlier, but it’s here now and we’re going to use it moving forward,” Upper Darby School District Superintendent Dr. Daniel McGarry.

Superintendent Dr. McGarry says district teachers can instruct remotely in school or at home and they will re-evaluate in September or October, a decision he says comes down strictly to teachers and students safety, but it hasn’t been easy.

“My biggest concern right now is students don’t do well in a completely virtual model, so the sooner we can get our hands wrapped around this and get our kids back in school, the better we are going to be,” Dr. McGarry said.

Abington School District and West Chester Area School District also announced all virtual classes with the hope of switching to a hybrid model in the fall.


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