January 5, 2021
Message from the Superintendent
Update on Instructional Model
Happy New Year! Over the last two weeks, we have monitored COVID-19 cases and local information within our school district. While our counties remain in the substantial level of community transmission, cases per 100,000 residents and positivity rates have seen some improvement. In addition, the beginning of the vaccine distribution process is a positive step toward brighter days! While COVID infections are still prevalent and we are certainly not “out of the woods,” we believe that the recent guidance from our state entities gives us a framework within which to work more concretely as we monitor cases within our district. Based on the data that has been reported to us, we currently have 5 staff members and 1 student with active infections. As we know, these numbers can change many times each day.
Given this information, we will make a change to our instructional model for next week. Beginning on Monday, January 11, 2021, all students in the Tyrone Area School District will return to the hybrid instructional model until further notice. GACTC students will continue the full-remote instructional model at the GACTC and will attend TAHS on their scheduled days for in-person instruction. We will follow the AA/BB schedule and on the weeks that contain 5 school days, no students will report to in-person school on Wednesdays. A calendar for January will be posted to the district’s website.
This instructional model will provide students with the opportunity to return to some in-person, face-to-face instruction while allowing us to implement the various safety protocols that have been in effect this school year (ex. compliance with the universal masking order; physical distancing; etc.). The new mandates do present the likelihood of a return to the virtual instructional model at any given time, and on short notice, based on the numbers of cases that may arise in each building. It is extremely important that parents have contingency plans ready in the event that one of our buildings is forced to shift back to virtual instruction. Please refer to the Superintendent’s Letter dated December 1, 2020 for links to the most recent information from the Pennsylvania Departments for Health and Education.
Once again, we urge everyone in the community to follow the guidelines and practices put in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This includes washing hands frequently, wearing masks properly, and taking personal responsibility for one’s interactions. It is critical for families to notify our school nurses when exposures or positive cases occur so that we can continue to make informed decisions and keep our staff and students safe.
As always, we will continue to monitor our case counts and quarantines and adjust as necessary. We look forward to a happier, healthier 2021!