The following area school districts updated the status of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on students, staff and programs:
The school district reported that a staff member at Blairsville Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19 and that six staffers are in quarantine.
In an online letter to the community on Monday, District Superintendent Curt Whitesel said changes in classroom and online instruction are under consideration due to an increase of positive COVID-19 cases in the Homer City area.
“The vast majority of these cases are being brought into schools rather than emanating from within,” Whitesel wrote. “We cannot control what happens outside of school.”
Whitesel said the district would continue face-to-face instruction for at least two weeks and support any students who choose to switch to synchronous online learning at home. Pending approval of the school board, Whitesel said the district would give students 10 days off over Thanksgiving, including the weekend of Nov. 21 and 22, Nov. 23 as an Act 80 in-service day, Nov. 24 as a snow day, Nov. 25 to 27 as the scheduled Thanksgiving break, the weekend of Nov. 28 and 29, and Monday, Nov. 30 for deer season.
District Superintendent Michael Vuckovich said Monday that an Indiana Area Senior High School student and a staff member at East Pike Elementary School had positive tests for coronavirus and that an East Pike student was presumed to have the illness. He said that through contact tracing, other students and employees who were exposed and their families have been contacted by School Health Services. Vuckovich said he expected as many as three adults, who had contact with the infected staff member, would be quarantined.
The superintendent said the student cases are unrelated to previously reported COVID-19 infections of a senior high student and one at East Pike. Vuckovich said the numbers fall below the thresholds at which school closings would be considered, and that the district would make no immediate changes in planned classroom instruction at either of the schools.