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HASD working on virtual class option

The Hollidaysburg Area School District is developing a virtual learning option for students whose families want them to learn from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent to parents Sunday, Superintendent Robert Gildea said the school board has approved a virtual option plan, and administrators were to meet Monday to finalize it.

According to the letter, virtual students will follow their normal class schedules with no live instruction. Students will submit their work virtually and correspond with teachers via email.

Gildea said students would have the opportunity to meet with teachers for office hours on Fridays by video conferencing.

Gildea plans to release more details about virtual instruction to parents this week and have the plan “fully operational” on Feb. 1.

The virtual option will be a third option for students and their families, along with in-person learning and Cyber Academy, a pre-existing virtual option. The Cyber Academy allows students to learn virtually through a separate curriculum by Odysseyware and Edgenuity, and the program is overseen by the district’s director of technology, Justin Arthur.

All district students returned to in-person learning on Jan. 19.

Gildea said the district experienced a minor hiccup Thursday when the senior high school reached its threshold of four COVID-19 cases, prompting its closure the next day.

The senior high school building was disinfected and contact tracing was completed over the weekend, allowing students to return in-person Monday.

Mirror Staff Writer Andrew Mollenauer is at 814-946-7428.

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