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South Side schools going remote after Thanksgiving break

Due to an increase in cases of COVID-19 in the county for two consecutive weeks, raising the rate of community infection to substantial, the South Williamsport Area School District will transition to remote instruction for all students K-12 beginning Dec. 1 through Dec. 4.

The number of cases county-wide and the positivity of testing brings further requirements on school districts, a letter to district parents stated. In addition, the state Department of Health issued revisions to requirements for face masks and new guidelines for schools on closing determinations.

“Considering the COVID-19 challenges in Lycoming County, the new state requirements, the staffing challenges we faced this past week and the health and safety of students and staff, the district will transition to remote instruction for all students in kindergarten through grade 12 beginning Tuesday,” Dr. Mark Stamm, district superintendent, said in the letter.

Stamm added that some students with special needs will resume in-person instruction on Dec. 2. Those families will be notified individually by phone.

“Return to in-person instruction is tentatively planned for Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. This decision will be reviewed next week based on the most current information available at that time for community infection rates and staffing challenges,” Stamm said.

All district students are eligible to receive free meals which will be available for drive-by pick-up at the high school entrance daily from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Stamm stressed that this one pick-up location is for all students, every day and at no cost.

“Please take advantage of this opportunity,” he urged families.

Remote learning schedules will be emailed to students later this week for Rommelt Elementary and the Junior/Senior High School. Central Elementary families will receive remote learning information through School Story on the Class-DOJO page. Students and families should check these locations daily, Stamm said.

“I know this has been a difficult year filled with much uncertainty. The information on COVID-19 is evolving and we need to respond to those changes,” he said. “In all decisions, we will continue to place the health and safety of staff, student and community at the forefront of our decisions. I encourage you to do the same this holiday season.”

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