Chambersburg’s schools will reopen on a hybrid model combining classroom work with virtual learning next month.
Chambersburg Area School District’s board voted 7-2 to allow children back in their classrooms two days a week beginning Oct. 19 for elementary grades and Oct. 26 for middle and high school students. Students with IEP’s and in English learning programs will return to classrooms four days a week.
Parents can choose whether to send their children back to the classroom or keep them in the virtual classes where they are currently enrolled.
Board members Mike Finucane and Ed Norcross cast the dissenting votes.
The decision followed a long discussion and one failed vote on four different options presented by Supt. Dion Betts Tuesday night.
The first vote on a motion to bring all students back on Oct. 26 failed 2-7, with only Board President Dale Baker and Board Member Kevin Mintz voting for it.
Reopening plan details
The administration developed what it calls an AA/BB hybrid plan for reopening tje district;s classrooms. That plan calls for students with last names beginning with a-K to attend in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. Students with last names beginning with L-Z attend Thursdays and Fridays. Cleaning and disinfecting of buildings will take place on Wednesdays. That will also be a teacher prep day.
Students will attend virtual classes the two days they are not in the physical classroom.
The plan requires face coverings for all students while they are at school, as well as teachers and other staff. Those can include masks or face shields.
Earlier, Keystone Healths Dr. Michael Colli recommended a strict masking requirement if children were allowed to return to classrooms. He recommended the district stock enough extra masks and otherv equipment to be able to provide for anyone who didn’t have it with them when they arrived at school buildings.
Colli also recommended daily symptom checks if temperature checks weren’t feasible.