SHARON – Sharon City School District students are likely to return to the classrooms five days a week starting Aug. 25.
“Of course, that is subject to change at any moment depending on Department of Health and Pennsylvania Department of Education guidance that we receive weekly,” Superintendent Michael Calla said. “We hope to have as close to a final decision made by Aug. 10, again, dependent upon state and federal mandates.”
Sharon schools’ pandemic planning committees have presented a synopsis of their reports to the school board. The reports can be found on the district’s website, www.sharon.k12.pa.us.
The plans encompass three options being considered, with the first being all students physically returning to their school buildings full time for five days a week.
“It changes by the minute,” he said. “We have the option of full-time return with social distancing. The second option is a model where there’s online instruction. The third option is for the cyber academy, but that’s for long term.”
Calla said the board has not made its final decision yet.
All Sharon students will receive a Chromebook computer at the beginning of school.
“We’re revamping the curriculum in the first two weeks,” Calla said. “We’re teaching them the things they need to know with Chromebooks and remote learning.”
When school is back in session, students will be using the cafeteria, but with social distancing.
“Maybe it’s that everybody goes except those with a brown bag lunch,” Calla said. “In the high school, some may go in the cafeteria and some in the gymnasium. Where ever we can provide seating and social distancing.”
Students will also be required to wear masks during school.
“Under governor’s orders, all kids must be wearing masks unless they’re in a situation where we can maintain social distancing,” Calla said. “For example, they would have to wear masks in the hallways.”
When there is an opportunity for recess, the board has not determined whetherchildren will be allowed to play on swings and slides.
“That’s all still being reviewed,” Calla said. “We’ve told the staff to be creative. Maybe using the field areas instead of the others.”
Calla also said that although Sharon is mostly a walking district, busing costs are still likely to increase this year.
“We’re working with our vendors to ensure that we’re meeting all requirements,” Calla said. “All bus drivers will wear protective equipment. We’ll see limited increases in transportation costs in Sharon, but increased because of personal protective equipment and cleaning.”
Calla said the plans are a work in progress.
“Our hope is within the next week or so it is more formalized,” Calla said. “We’re just day by day, watching what the new directives are. We’re all going to have to be flexible.”