Montgomery County school districts making their own decisions on return to in-person learning

Two weeks of required remote learning is up for Montgomery County schools. So will students be heading back to the classroom? Well, it’s up to the school districts.

At a Montgomery County elementary school, the welcome back sign is already posted.

One North Penn second grader goes back early next week and her mom is pleased.

“I’m happy that the county allowed the districts to go ahead and make that decision for themselves. I think the districts needed to make that decision on their own,” parent Chrissie Tumolo said.

The return to in-person learning in Montgomery County schools comes after a two-week, countywide “forced” move to full “virtual” learning.

The county board of health made the “controversial” call fearing a Thanksgiving spike in COVID cases.

The Superintendent of Wissahickon Schools spoke on FOX 29’s Good Day. He said the next challenge is the winter break.

“With very little in school transmission, I think the bigger concern may be if too many people do too many irresponsible things over winter break,” Superintendent James Crisfield said.

But students will return as the virus is spreading rapidly across the county and Commonwealth.

Montco reported 587 new cases Friday and a testing positivity rate of over 8%. 

"With the amount of virus in the community, are you comfortable with kids going back to classrooms in a hybrid mode?" FOX 29's Jeff Cole asked the chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

“I think it can be done safely. However, it’s very important that everyone know we’re in this together and we all need to do what we can to reduce the virus in our region,” Dr. Valerie Arkoosh said.

Arkoosh says the COVID count would likely be higher without the two-week “pause." But warns “in-school spread” will force another shutdown.

For now, districts are making their own decisions on students’ return, as it should be says this parent.

“I’m concerned but not about my daughter’s school. School kids follow the rules,” Tumolo said.


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