East Pennsboro Area School District switches to complete remote learning

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EAST PENNSBORO, Pa. (WHTM) — After an emergency executive session, the East Pennsboro Area School Board made the decision to switch to remote learning, just one week before the first day of classes.

The district was planning to start with in-person and virtual learning, but due to staffing issues over teachers’ and staffs’ health and safety concerns, the district moved to all virtual learning.

The superintendent also noted that a number of faculty and students have recently had to quarantine. Over the summer, the district advertised for fill-in positions but didn’t have much luck.

“As we started to begin that process of filling those holes and those schedules and teacher availabilities that we had, we were having a very difficult time of it, not easy,” superintendent Donna Dunar said.

A mother of four children says the last-minute decision puts parents in a touchy situation. “What are parents to do that we’re counting on those two days where they were getting in-person education that they arranged for child care or arranged to alter their work schedule?”

The district says it’s limited in what it can do to accommodate parents but is working with the two child care facilities at the elementary schools and will provide daily meals to students.

Teachers and administrators agree the best thing for students is to be in a classroom.

“Our preference is face-to-face in school,” Dunar said. “We believe — I believe that students need to be in the classroom. That’s the best place for them and it is with a heavy heart that we had to make that decision.”

The school board is set to re-evaluate this plan at the end of the marking period on Oct. 15.

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