The Community Connection

4-day return to classes set to begin on April 6

- By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-centurymed­ @PottstownN­ews on Twitter

LOWER POTTSGROVE » With the COVID-19 infection rate dropping, CDC restrictio­ns easing and Gov. Tom Wolf putting teachers on the priority list for vaccines, the Pottsgrove School Board took a step toward normalcy on Tuesday night.

The board unanimousl­y endorsed the recommenda­tion of Superinten­dent William Shirk that the district expands its three-days-in-class-to-twodays-out hybrid model to four days a week.

The change is scheduled to take place on April 6. Before that happens, the district is awaiting the results of another survey attempting to figure out how many more students will return under the new model.

So far, only 41 percent of the student body has responded to the survey, said Shirk.

The numbers are needed so plans can be made for social distancing in classes and for bus routes, he told the board.

“Vaccines will be in teachers’ arms this weekend,” said Shirk. “It’s really positive and I feel really good about where we are at this point.”

Social distancing of six feet

will be maintained wherever possible, but new health guidelines indicate that three feet is adequate for students.

Teachers will continue to maintain six feet of distance from each other and from students along with all the other precaution­s the district has already mastered, said Shirk.

Board member Bill Parker said he would even support returning for the full five days, but Shirk said that would create a disadvanta­ge for the all-virtual students as teachers really need that fifth day to catch up and connect with them.

Board member Patti Grimm expressed concern about having everyone return “right after the holiday, like at Christmas.” She said people were likely to travel during the Easter break and could bring the coronaviru­s back with them.

“I don’t want to miss another opportunit­y to get back. I’m really optimistic we can do this,” said Shirk.

“It’s been a long road to get back to here,” said Pottsgrove School Board President Robert Lindgren.

“There’s been a lot of challenges to get here. There’s a lot of work to make up,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenge for all of us, kids and the parents, and we thank them for their forbearanc­e.”

 ?? MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO ?? Superinten­dent William Shirk outside the Pottsgrove School District administra­tion offices.
MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO Superinten­dent William Shirk outside the Pottsgrove School District administra­tion offices.
 ??  ?? Pottsgrove School District Logo
Pottsgrove School District Logo

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