Clarion-Limestone plans Jan. 11 hybrid reopening

Clarion-Limestone School Board on Tuesday approved returning the district to the hybrid instruction plan – with certain modifications – used earlier in the year when Clarion County was in the moderate COVID-19 infection rate status.

The plan, proposed by board member Nathaniel Parker, will have the district return to a blended instruction model, with the district providing in-person, synchronous (live, online) and asynchronous (recorded, downloadable) instruction.

The modified plan was approved 5-4, with board members Parker, David Eggleton, Gary Sproul, Roger Powell and Rebecca Allison voting in favor.

Under the new plan, teachers will return Monday and begin remote instruction for all students on Jan. 7. The district’s buildings will open for in-person instruction on Jan. 11.

The district will revert to its schedule of holding in-person classes four days per week, with Wednesday being a remote instruction day for all students.

There are hurdles involved in returning to in-person instruction, especially when it comes to adhering to state Department of Health and Department of Education guidelines regarding physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings.

In order for a district to reopen in a hybrid instruction model when its home county is in the substantial phase of infection, students must maintain 6 feet of social distance while also wearing face coverings the entire day.

Superintendent Amy Glasl said she plans to poll the district’s parents as to whether they will have their students return to in-person instruction or keep them in remote learning.

The poll would give Glasl an idea of how many students will return for in-person instruction and what adjustments have to be made in classrooms to ensure 6 feet of physical distance between students.

Glasl said she is certain there is not enough space in the school’s elementary or high school buildings if all students return.

An attempt on Wednesday to contact Glasl for more information about her plan was unsuccessful.