The Shikellamy Middle School is closing until Dec. 1 after Superintendent Jason Bendle said the district was informed of a positive COVID-19 case.
"Because the middle school has had two cases that impacted the building over a 14-day period, the Department of Health has advised the district to close the middle school until Dec. 1," Bendle said.
Bendle said during the closure students are expected to login remotely each school day through Google classroom to attend class remotely.
The news comes one day after Bendle announced the Shikellamy High School would also be closed until Dec. 1
"The district continues to work with the Department of Health through these challenging times," Bendle said. "All elementary schools in the district will remain open next week."
Bendle said since the district has had four cases at the high school that impacted the building over a 14-day period.
The Line Mountain School District will move to 100 percent virtual learning after Thanksgiving break.
Superintendent Dave Campbell on Friday morning issued the announcement on the district's website, saying the decision is "in an abundance of caution" and "proactive" during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual learning will start on Dec. 1 and end on Dec. 4. The current plan is to resume in-person instruction on Dec. 7.
"Although our position has been and continues to be that our students are safer to be in school, several variables have led to this decision," said Campbell. "The rise in positive cases locally and in our school community alone is not the full impetus in this decision. Additionally taking into consideration the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and the Governor’s newly released travel restrictions have added to the consideration 'list.'"
By shifting to the model the district will be able to re-evaluate its situation and the appropriate instructional model during this time, said Campbell.
"The district believes it would be fool hearted not to expect families to give thanks together and wishes everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving," said Campbell. "Instead we ask that everyone continues doing their part in keeping the school community safe. By shifting to a district wide 100 percent Virtual Learning Model for this week the district will be able re-evaluate our situation and even more importantly allow a little extra time for potential covid-19 contacts to come to light, prior to returning to school and increasing our number of students requiring quarantine."
The district encourages parents to keep children home if there is any chance of exposure until appropriate contact tracing is completed. Families will be walked through the state Department of Health's protocols and resources, and most importantly when in doubt encourage families to contact their doctor.
More information is forthcoming regarding free meal distribution, deployment of technology devices for elementary students, connectivity options for families, and special education services.
"Please know that we certainly understand the challenges that temporarily switching to a 100 percent Virtual Learning Model causes for parents and families," Campbell said. "However, we believe that this decision is proactive in nature and keeps in mind the needs and concerns of all families. Thank you again for your patience, cooperation, and trust as we navigate this unprecedented time."