School directors approve virtual-only return this fall
By Jamie Wiggan
During a special meeting held July 27, Moon Area school directors voted to begin the fall semester with virtual-only instruction.
The decision came a week after the board approved a comprehensive reopening plan that kept a return to brick-and-mortar schooling on the table.
Acting Superintendent Barry Balaski said the board did not commit to a specific timeframe for the virtual-only restriction, to enable the district to respond to changing COVID-19 conditions.
“I think our board is committed to getting our students back as soon as possible,” he said.
The district’s plan for virtual education will resemble a typical class schedule, according to Balaski, with teachers live-streaming lessons from empty classrooms.
“It will be just like kids are in school,” Balaski said.
“We will provide live, synchronous learning.”
An existing cyber option will remain in place for students and parents who prefer more flexibility over their schedules.
Balaski said directors had indicated concern over spiking cases in Allegheny County while discussing the virtual-only plan, which passed 7-2.
Daily coronavirus cases in Allegheny County have steadily registered in the triple digits since late June, however, the county remains in the green phase, meaning schools can reopen with appropriate social distancing measures.
Surveys conducted by the district indicate about two-thirds of parents preferred a return-to-school option as of June 19.