TURBOTVILLE — A large majority of students polled said they would return to school in person, according to the results of a survey revealed Monday night by Warrior Run School District Superintendent Alan Hack at a school board meeting.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, Hack said, they had received survey responses from 1,045 students. Of that number 81 percent of students (851) said they were coming back to school "in person."
Eleven percent (115) preferred the synchronous live virtual option, "with our teachers," Hack said.
Five percent (51) chose Warrior Run Cyber, and just under three percent (28), chose homeschooling.
"The one thing we don't have numbers on are families choosing an outside cyber," Hack noted.
Those families who haven't responded, Hack said, would be contacted by phone.
The total number of surveys sent out was 1,495, he said. "So we have about 450 students we haven't accounted for yet."
As far as medical conditions that would prevent students from wearing masks, 96 percent of those responding said they had no medical condition that would preclude wearing masks. Thirty to 35 kids do have conditions the district will have to follow up on.
In summary, Hack said, "things look very favorable for coming in. As we get all the data finalized, we will go ahead and break things down by grade level, and thereby go ahead and schedule."
If there are questions about the survey, Hack said, the district has created a Frequently Asked Questions on their website.
Earlier in the meeting Hack noted two revisions to the Health and Safety plan — changes recommended by the state's Department of Health and recommendations by the CDC.
The first change deals with the use of face coverings by staff and students. Essentially, face shields should not be considered a substitute for masks, although it can be additional protection. The exception is someone with a medical condition, like asthma, who can't wear a mask. Then, a face shield would be acceptable.
Hack noted that if students are seated six feet away from each other, they don't have to wear a mask.
The second revision comes from the CDC and has to do with re-admission into the classroom.
The methodology for returning is symptom-based, Hack explained. "Before we had it that students or faculty had to have two negative tests before they could return. As long as 10 days have passed since the onset of the symptoms and at least 24 hours since the fever has been resolved, the person could return. "That is now in the plan," Hack said, noting that the situation remains fluid and things could change at any time.
Meanwhile, Aug. 24 has been set as the date for an Act 24 public meeting to discuss the proposed new $28 million elementary school, which is to be built on the District campus.
Architect Mike Bell, of Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects, of Allentown, explained the procedural steps to approving the construction of a new school, and it begins with that public meeting.
After that, plans will be open to the public for consumption and questions, all before a proposed vote in October, Bell said.
Board member Doug Whitmoyer cautioned patience because the situation with the pandemic could cause the project to be delayed.