December 15, 2020
The District was notified of two additional positive cases over the weekend. One at Horace Mann and one at the Junior High. Both of these cases involved staff. These are the first cases at each building under the rolling 14-day count. Thus, in alignment with our Health and Safety Plan as well as the attestation that the District signed, we are able to remain open. See below for the current case numbers at each building as of this morning:
- Senior High - 1 active case
- Junior High - 1 active case
- Eisenhower - 0 active cases
- Horace Mann - 1 active case
- Ben Franklin - 0 active cases
- East Pike - 0 active cases
To further complicate the matter, we are expecting inclement winter weather on Wednesday morning. As a result, I have made the decision to make Wednesday, December 16, 2020, a remote learning day. This will allow us to keep everyone safe without extending the school calendar or using a snow day. This remote learning day will not only count as a school day but will also reset our COVID-19 case count under the state guidelines. I recognize that this may cause some hardship for our elementary families, and I apologize for the inconvenience. This one-day closure will allow us to use the inclement weather closure to continue to develop our remote learning options and lessons for all students in preparation for a longer-term shutdown should it become necessary later this winter. Again, the benefit of this option is that the remote day will also permit us to reopen on Thursday with zero active cases due to the closure and provide the District time to continue to investigate cases, contact trace, clean, and disinfect as per the PA Department of Education. I am hopeful this decision will allow us to finish in-person up until the holiday break.
As we all know very well, the weather forecasts in Western Pennsylvania change by the hour. All of the experts are saying that Wednesday will be bad enough to warrant a school closure. In order to allow families and staff to plan for the remote instruction day, it is necessary to make this call sooner rather than waiting to be sure that the weather comes. I have not yet made a decision regarding Thursday. I will try to make it on Wednesday evening after looking at the most up to date projections. If we are closed on Thursday, it would also be a remote learning day. Stay tuned for more information from your child’s teacher for the day’s activities and assignments.
Mr. Michael J. Vuckovich