HOUTZDALE — Moshannon Valley Area School District counts itself fortunate to not have any students or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 to date. The district has also not had to close schools or switch student instruction to a hybrid learning model.
But as Clearfield County creeps ever closer to 10 percent substantial community spread for the virus, days of face-to-face student instruction in the district’s school buildings could be numbered.
Superintendent Dr. John Zesiger on Monday told Moshannon Valley School Board directors the district is the only one in Clearfield County not to have closed buildings or altered instruction modes because of positive COVID-19 cases but if case numbers continue to rise rapidly in the county, a decision to shift to remote learning for students may be out of the district’s hands.
“If the substantial spread numbers continue to grow I am not sure what that will mean for the district. Currently there are no confirmed students or staff in the Clearfield County cases,” Zesiger said.
He said only two percent of the county’s COVID-19 cases are found in children age 18 and younger.
“The school-age numbers are low but we are concerned about the district’s staff and we will continue to monitor those numbers.”
He said if necessary, instructors and administrators are ready to shift to remote model to educate students.
“The staff is prepared to change at the drop of the hat if we have to. The case counts in the county are growing in percentage of positivity. They currently stand at 9.6 percent and have gone up significantly,” Zesiger said.
In August, the board approved a matrix to guide administrators and help them determine whether buildings in the district should close.
Additional information may be considered in helping to determine what administration should do. The date includes local area and county case counts, increased staff absences and the ability to provide instruction safely and increased bus contractor absences and the inability to transport students to school in a safe manner.
If buildings in the school district close because of the levels of infected school population, all students will learn remotely on days schools are closed.