February 23, 2021
Dear TAM&HS Families:
As you know, many factors have been considered over this school year when determining the instructional models in each school building. Positive COVID-19 case numbers in Blair, Huntingdon, and Centre counties, as well as our school district, numbers of staff and student quarantines, and our ability to adhere to current state guidelines regarding health and safety are among a few of those factors.
The intention of the current hybrid model being utilized at the Tyrone Area Middle School and the Tyrone Area High School has been to allow additional room for physical distancing and to provide the opportunity to participate in a mix of in-person and virtual learning. While our counties have remained in the substantial level of community transmission, we have been held to stricter standards for health and safety protocols and determining when to close schools following the identification of COVID-19 cases. The hybrid instructional model has afforded the chance to maintain a relatively consistent schedule for students and staff without many disruptions (except, of course, for the recent weather events) due to quarantines and closures based on our current guidelines.
The good news is that things are looking up. Over the last few weeks, area county case numbers and hospitalizations have decreased significantly, and our local staff and student incidence rate has also seen a decline. These things are coming together to bring the level of community transmission closer to reaching the moderate level. The number of staff and student quarantines has stabilized, which is partly due to the hybrid model from the school side and also a slowing number of quarantines due to outside of school exposures. We have continually transitioned more students back into the buildings on an as-needed basis and as of Monday, February 22, we have returned all our elementary students to the full-time, face-to-face model.
Given this most recent information, we will return the Middle and High School Students to full-time, face-to-face instruction on Monday, March 1, 2021.
Considering this, we are making a slight adjustment to the March calendar for the TAM&HS students. Wednesday, March 3rd will be an asynchronous, virtual day for the Middle and High School students only. Please see the updated March calendar that has been posted to the district website.
As the Universal Face Coverings Order is still in effect, as well as several other guidelines, it is important for us to comply with these rules. We must also continue to monitor our district cases on a rolling 14-day basis and close for additional cleaning when certain thresholds are reached. We will attempt to be as proactive as possible to avoid unexpected closures and virtual days, but please be aware that we are not always able to predict these situations. Our weekly updates to our COVID-19 dashboard (found on the TASD website) will continue so that families are able to monitor the situations in our buildings.
Moving into spring, we will still face challenges. Decisions will continue to be made in the best interests of all our stakeholders. Finishing the school year on the most positive note possible will take continued cooperation, patience, flexibility, and resilience.
Thank you for your support of our school community.