Pittsburgh Area Schools Finalize Reopening Plans Amid Pandemic

By NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Bethel Park and Woodland Hills school districts are the latest to announce their plans for the upcoming school year as efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 cotninue.

In a letter parents and staff dated July 29, Bethel Park announced that they plan to have a "total reopening of schools for all students and staff."

That plan has to be submitted to the state. The district said they're working on details of how things like transportation and meals will be handled, but they hope to be ready to open on August 26.

Woodland Hills is set to begin class on August 24, but their school year will begin with remote learning instead of in-person instruction. In the summary plan posted to the district's website, Superintendent James Harris said they'll make decisions about in school instructions based on state and county COVID-19 data.

The school board for Pittsburgh Public Schools will vote Friday on how students begin the year. There are concerns from both parents and teachers about COVID-19 exposure with in-person classes. There is a proposed option for to utilize remote learning for the first nine weeks of the school year.

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Department of Education announced updated safety protocols for Pennsylvania schools as they prepare to reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Our goal is to ensure a safe return to school for students, educators and staff by following best practices to mitigate the spread of the virus, including wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.

CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said “It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall.” The CDC released their own set of guidelines for the reopening of schools and said kids suffer greatly from being out of school.

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