Breaking News: Northumberland County

SUNBURY — The Shikellamy High School will close its doors until Dec. 1 after Superintendent Jason Bendle said the district was informed of another COVID-19 case at the school.

Bendle said since the district has had four cases in the building over a 14-day period, the state Department of Health has advised the district to close the high school.

"Students will engage in remote learning during the closure and are expected to log in remotely each school day through Google classroom," Bendle said. "The high school will reopen after the fall break on Dec. 1."

The district continues to work with the Department of Health through these challenging times, Bendle said.

All other schools in the district will remain open and a decision on delaying all sporting events will be made Friday, Bendle said.

Shikellamy on Thursday is the second district to announce a temporary shift to remote learning after Shamokin Area School District Superintendent Chris Venna said all schools will begin online instruction until Dec. 4 starting Monday. 

Venna cited a rise in confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 within the district and community at large.

“Although we believe in-person instruction is best for our students, meaningful instruction will continue virtually with our amazing teachers and staff,” Venna said in an automated phone call to district parents and guardians. “Teachers will be teaching live all day and providing rich and challenging learning experiences for our students.”

There have been 13 reported cases of COVID-19 in the district, nine among students and four among staff, and at least 28 people having quarantined since Nov. 5.

Venna said district administrators maintain the position that students are safer attending school in person but that the switch was made in an abundance of caution due to rising confirmed case counts. The district will monitor the situation moving forward concerning the instructional model, he said.

The district has a full-day schedule Monday and a half-day Tuesday before beginning Thanksgiving break Wednesday. The holiday break continues through Nov. 30 with classes resuming Dec. 1.

Students in Danville Area School District, Milton Area High and Middle schools and Midd-West High and Middle schools are currently attending lessons online only.

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