Hybrid or remote learning? PA schools and parents wrestle with choices

Hybrid or remote? More and more parents, and school districts, are contending with the question as the coronavirus surges through communities.

Lehigh County mom, Marie, struggles with sending her daughter to school or keeping her home. She says her daughter is supposed to be hybrid learning at her Bethlehem high school, but, for the last week, her daughter was virtual, by choice.

“We had to decide by,  like, the end of November and we weren’t supposed to change it until January, but with these cases rising this last week, I just kept her home. I think it should be all virtual right now, especially after Thanksgiving,” Marie explained.


But, in Pennsylvania, that decision is up to every individual school district to decide, for now.

In Montgomery County, the two week mandate for schools to teach fully online expired Monday.

A letter from Lower Moreland Township Schools’ superintendent said there are currently 11 staff members in quarantine, but they are able to continue teaching remotely, so the school district went back to hybrid learning, as planned.

Coronavirus Restrictions: What you need to know in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware

“When cases increase in the community, there is a greater likelihood for them to enter into our school buildings, through student staff member exposure. So, we have to take a look at that. We have to really pay attention to what’s going on,” explained Assistant Director of Communications for Pennsylvania State Education Association Chris Lilienthal.

Lilienthal says the Department of Education has guidelines on when a district should revert to all-virtual learning based on their size and how many cases. Then parents make decisions.

“We’re just dealing with a lot of repercussions from education during the time of COVID,” said Jordan Miller.

Miller says she pulled her son from Cheltenham Township Schools to a private school because virtual learning just wasn’t working.

Another parent , Heather Bruser in Lower Moreland Township, whose kids are virtual learning, has the same issue.

“If I had to pick, I would cancel all sports outside the school and send them to school and just not have all these gatherings on the weekends,” Bruser commented.



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