Tyrone Students to Return to Hybrid Instruction on January 11

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Todd Cammarata

Students at TASD will return to in person classes on Monday, January 11.

As Blair County’s COVID-19 cases have begun to plateau over the last week, Tyrone superintendent Leslie Estep announced that all Tyrone Area School District students will return to school using a hybrid instructional model beginning on Monday, January 11th.

Students have been attending school virtually since December 14.

“The cases per 100,000 residents decreased over the last seven-day reporting period from 468 to 275. The positivity rate in Blair County has dropped from 20% to 11%. In addition, the beginning of the vaccine distribution process is a positive step toward brighter days,” said Estep via email. “While COVID infections are still prevalent and we are certainly not out of the woods, we believe that the recent guidance from our state entities gives us a framework within which to work more concretely as we monitor cases within our district.

This instructional model will provide students with the opportunity to return to some in-person, face-to-face instruction while allowing us to implement the various safety protocols that have been in effect this school year with the universal masking order and physical distancing”

— Superintendent Leslie Estep

Beginning on Monday, students will follow an AA/BB schedule with students attending in-person instruction on consecutive days either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. On the weeks that contain five school days, no students will report to in-person school on Wednesdays.

High school students who attend the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center (GACTC) will attend TAHS on their scheduled days for in-person instruction but will continue the full-remote instructional model at the GACTC.

On five day school weeks, at-home, asynchronous learning will be implemented on Wednesdays.

A calendar for January and February is below and has been posted to the district’s website.

“This instructional model will provide students with the opportunity to return to some in-person, face-to-face instruction while allowing us to implement the various safety protocols that have been in effect this school year with the universal masking order and physical distancing,” said Estep.

According to Estep, there are currently five staff members and one student with active COVID-19 infections.

With the new mandates, the possibility of a return to the virtual instructional model could fluctuate with the number of cases that may arrive. Due to the unpredictability of COVID-19, students could return to the virtual learning model with little notice.

“It is extremely important that parents have contingency plans ready in the event that one of our buildings is forced to shift back to virtual instruction,” said Estep.