Although state health and education officials held a press conference yesterday recommending elementary students return to in-person learning, local school officials say the announcement doesn’t dramatically impact their current operations.
Elementary students in the Butler Area School District returned to in-person instruction five-days-a-week on Monday. Superintendent Dr. Brian White said the district is already following the revised guidance released by the state.
“We have sort of been doing this since August. Our elementary levels, we split our homerooms in half, put the kids socially distance, and not having them move in the building. And that’s why we’re able to have school five days a week in the elementary,” White said.
Butler and other districts in the county signed an attestation form that allows schools to return to in-person learning. That form outlines the number of cases schools can have before they have to close. That guidance did not change according to White.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education told our newsroom that schools must still abide by the attestation form if they signed it.
“All K-12 public school districts in the substantial range counties exercised local control by choosing to sign the attestation form and commit to safety measures to ensure the safety and well-being of students and educators,” spokeswoman Kendall Alexander told our newsroom via email. “Additionally, by choosing to sign the form, the local schools agree they must follow the requirements in the Department of Health order on mask wearing and guidance on how to handle cases in a building.”