Cumberland Valley School District strengthening COVID-19 mitigation strategies

Carlisle/West Shore

SILVER SPRING TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — As COVID cases continue to rise in Pennsylvania, one of the Midstate’s largest school districts is cracking down.

Cumberland Valley is letting parents know things will be different for the time being.

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82 Cumberland Valley students had to quarantine this week because of close contact. Now, the superintendent hopes more mitigation strategies will slow the spread.

“We’ve had as many COVID cases in four weeks as we had all school year last year,” said Superintendent Dr. David Christopher.

It’s likely because of the much more contagious Delta variant and because more kids are back in school full time.

“We’re reporting more than 100 cases a day right now in the county and a lot of those are actually students, student age cases,” Christopher said.

Christopher says cases are higher among elementary school students.

“Beginning this Monday we actually moved our phys ed classes back outside and took over our gymnasium spaces so we could spread all our kids out at the elementary school,” Christopher said.

For those elementary students who do have to quarantine…They’ll meet with a teacher virtually.

“The students will be meeting with our quarantine intervention specialist who is actually going to do a morning meeting with them, going to go through their assignments, actually trying to identify what kind of work they should be doing so that they have this kind of contingency learning plan,” Christopher said.

At the middle and high school, they’ve asked teachers to be available to Zoom with students during planning periods and times when they don’t have students in class.

“It’s really important that the students know that we are available for them and that we’re able to support them,” Christopher said.

Christopher says desks will now be six feet apart instead of three wherever possible and he emphasizes the more stringent rules are only temporary.

“We do believe that this is a spike we’re kind of coming to the crest of what we’re going to see here and hopefully by Thanksgiving we’re back to a much more normal environment. That’s what our goal is,” Christopher said.

Christopher says the district is averaging somewhere between 20 and 30 COVID cases a week.

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