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State updates school learning models

The Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education announced changes to its instructional model recommendations Monday as a result of updated guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a press release.

Based on the CDC updates, the departments recommend that schools in areas with “moderate” levels of transmission operate on full-time, in-person or hybrid learning models. Counties in the “substantial” range are advised to use either hybrid or fully-remote models.

“We remain committed to doing everything we can to create the conditions for a return to in-person instruction as soon as safely possible,” Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega said in the release. “Our updated instructional model recommendations create additional flexibilities for school leaders to make decisions at the local level consistent with best practices and with public health and safety at the forefront.”

Blair County, which is in the “moderate” range, has gradually opened back up for in-person learning over the last few months, experiencing minor hiccups along the way with a handful of schools in Altoona and Hollidaysburg reaching their respective case thresholds.

Area counties listed by by transmission level as of April 2 are:

— Moderate — Bedford, Blair and Cambria.

— Substantial — Centre, Clearfield and Huntingdon.

According to the release, “the departments will continue to monitor evolving research and data and adjust recommendations and resources accordingly.”

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