All three school districts in Tioga County announced this week they’re moving to remote learning due to spikes in COVID-19 cases.
Southern Tioga made the announcement Monday evening after learning six additional members of the district tested positive for COVID. That brings the total to 18 reported cases since the beginning of the school year, according to the district’s website.
A letter from the administration posted on Facebook Monday said approximately 20 other district members are currently being tested or quarantined.
Grades 4-12 were scheduled to move to remote learning on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and grades K-3 on Thursday. This will be in place until Dec. 4, with a tentative plan to return to in-person learning on Dec. 7.
“On Dec. 3, the STSD Administration and Pandemic Response Team will evaluate a return to our hybrid and in-person models of instruction based on the level of community spread, the level of spread within our district and the availability of staff,” said the letter. “We would like to thank the members of our learning community and the community at large for their continued adherence with the Health and Safety Plan of the district. It is critical that we continue to work together as we navigate through this global pandemic.”
Northern Tioga School District announced its plan for remote learning on its Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.
“As you are aware, the county is experiencing a rise in virus cases which is beginning to affect our ability to staff face-to-face instruction,” read the post from Superintendent Dr. Diana Barnes.
Since this school year began, at least 11 members of the NTSD community have tested positive for COVID, all announced on the district’s Facebook page. This included one student at R.B. Walter Elementary and two at Williamson High School, which were all reported in October. The latest two cases within the district were announced this past Monday.
NTSD will switch to remote learning starting Nov. 23 through Dec. 6.
”I want to begin with thanking all staff for their valiant efforts to help keep our students in face-to-face instruction for the past (almost) 12 weeks,” read Barnes’ post. “By doing so, we have given the best option for instruction and learning, have helped parents to be able to go to work without having to worry about childcare, and have kept district personnel working and employed.”
Wellsboro Area School District also made its announcement Tuesday on Facebook.
“In response to our local substitute teacher shortage and to assist with community mitigation efforts, the Wellsboro Area School District will move to remote learning on Monday, Nov. 23 through Friday, Dec. 4,” read the post. “The District will continue to monitor both staff availability and community spread and may adjust the return date if necessary.”
The post said the district’s reported cases have remained low. Since the beginning of the school year, the district’s Facebook indicate at least two students have tested positive, with a staff member and other students presumed positive. These were all reported in early November.
“We would like to thank the Wellsboro community for their diligence in partnering with us to keep our school environment healthy and safe,” said the district’s recent post.
Galeton School District in Potter County has been fully remote since Nov. 10, with plans to return to in-person on Dec. 1. Letters from Superintendent Alanna Huck posted on Facebook last week said four students and one staff member recently tested positive and that several others were being tested.
“I realize this model is not the best model for learning, and I want nothing more than to be in school full time and face-to-face,” read Huck’s most recent letter. “This decision has been made to allow time for those who are positive with COVID-19 to become well and for those who do not have the virus to remain healthy.”
All the districts’ announcements said extracurricular activities and athletics are canceled and that meals are available for pickup while remote learning is in place.