DANVILLE — School officials are dissolving a fourth-grade homeroom at Liberty Valley Intermediate School to allow for Bridge teachers to assist online students who need help with reading.

Administrators may also make some other classroom adjustments in the coming days, as most Danville Area School District prepare to return to in-person classes amid the lingering pandemic.

Liberty Valley Principal Lee Gump sent messages via the school webpage and phone to parents of fourth-graders in teacher Amanda Shepherd's homeroom to inform them the school would "dissolve" her homeroom.

"We needed to make some changes to our homeroom structure as we plan to continue the Bridge (online) Program for the remainder of the school year and increase the availability of reading interventions for our students," Gump said in his message. 

He said dissolving the homeroom would allow current Bridge teachers to begin much needed reading interventions with students and for Shepherd to host a homeroom of Bridge students. The approximately 15 students in her current homeroom will be reassigned to other homerooms starting on Monday, when students return to in-person classes.

"They still will have their normal teachers for their content (subjects)," Superintendent Ricki Boyle said. "We are not trying to disrupt their lives."

Gump said he would contact each family regarding the change, share the new homeroom information and answer any questions that you may have.

"We are working through the process and there may be other adjustments," Boyle said. "We are looking at where students are eating lunch to accommodate social distancing while eating."

The school board last week reaffirmed its Dec. 2 decision to wait until Jan. 18 to return to in-person school. High school and middle school students will alternate attending in-person classes every other day.

School district officials had considered having students return to in-person classes on Jan. 11, but after seeing higher COVID case numbers recently and talking with health officials at Geisinger and Evangelical Community Hospital, Boyle recommended keeping the previously determined return date.

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