Senate committee hears concerns about the upcoming school year

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)–The countdown to the start of school is on. Education professionals voiced their concerns to a state Senate committee about the upcoming school year. Virtual learning was at the top of the list.

“This is not a one and done, maybe this isn’t our last pandemic, said Jennifer Hoff, school board president of William Penn School District. ” We have to be able to move from in-school buildings to out of school buildings with nimbleness from now until forever.”

Hoff says her school district in Delaware County is underfunded and in order to teach students virtually, there must be WiFi for all and training for teachers when it comes to online instruction.

Before the state took over receivership of Harrisburg School District, it struggled financially. Today, its back-to-school plan was applauded. Teacher will give their lessons from their classrooms, while students follow along virtually online.

“They have the administrators there and other staff to make sure there are lesson plans and continuity of education, said the president of Pennsylvania State Education Association, Rich Askey.

Dr. Keough says parents should also keep up with their children’s regular immunizations, especially for the flu. Dr. Keuogh says vaccinations in Pennsylvania have decreased by 60 percent since the start of the pandemic.

“Schools and the healthcare system will not be able to serve their populations safely and fully if we are experiencing outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases while simultaneously dealing with community spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Keough of PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A school district’s developed plan must be submitted and approved by the Department of Health and the Department of Education before in-person classes resume.

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