COVID-19 surge forces Midstate high schools to switch to remote learning


CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — It is back to virtual learning for some high schools in the Midstate, for now.

“We’ve been continually looking at that number as we returned from school and yesterday met that threshold that we have,” said Dr. Chris Suppo, Shippensburg superintendent. 

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Suppo said his district has a threshold recommended by the Health Department. The magic number is 5% out of just over 900 students. Once Shippensburg starts approaching 50 cases, Suppo said the Health Department’s recommendation is to “go virtual for a period of seven days, which again really seemed to work out well with the fact that we’re heading into a holiday week.” 

Students only had three full days of in-person learning this week, but parents are wary of return dates. Shippensburg High School parent Anthony Faiano says he is always on standby.  

“I understand why people would be upset but I also understand why they felt like they had to do something. They put a line in the sand, it’s been a long time since we crossed it,” said Faiano.   

Other local schools, including Central Dauphin High School, went virtual with a targeted return date of next Monday. We have not heard a response on whether that date is set in stone yet, but over in Shippensburg, Dr. Suppo tells abc27 that its Jan. 19 date is. 

The Harrisburg School District shifted to remote learning on Jan. 10, too. In a statement from its Office of the Superintendent, the Harrisburg School District told abc27, “The District truly wants to prioritize in-person instruction and will do all it can to return to in-person learning as soon as we can do so in a safe and responsible manner.”

The statement continued, “At this time, the Harrisburg School District is scheduled to return to in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. Families and staff will receive additional information and updates from the Office of the Superintendent.”

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