What Do You Need to Know About A Possible Switch from In-Person/Virtual Learning to Full Virtual Learning Due to COVID

We have received numerous inquiries about if or when Hempfield School District may need to switch from in-person/virtual learning to full virtual learning for all students due to COVID cases. The following information is intended to proactively share information to address these questions based on our planning. 

First, we want to remind staff, students, and families that each case of COVID-19 is unique and handled on an individual basis with guidance from the PA Department of Health. All COVID cases have different possible degrees of exposure and levels of contact tracing/management. 

The decision to switch from in-person/virtual learning to full virtual learning will occur in consultation with the PA Department of Education and the PA Department of Health. This decision is not based simply on the overall number of COVID cases at one given time. It is more likely contingent upon epidemiologically linked school cases (“school spread”). This means that there has been a spread of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases as a direct result of individuals being in school. The intent of a switch from in-person/virtual learning to full virtual learning is to limit interactions between individuals in the building. 

If we need to make a switch to full virtual learning for all students, our district will:

  • Follow the contact tracing and communication protocols described here
  • Provide as much notice as possible that all students in the affected school building will begin virtually participating in their scheduled Hempfield classes from home using Google Meet. 
  • Continue classes being taught in real time by Hempfield teachers. 
  • Have teachers teaching from their classrooms, unless the district is advised otherwise from the PA Department of Health or the PA Department of Education.

We cannot predict if or when a temporary closure of in-person school might occur. We urge all students to carry their iPad, other learning materials, and personal items to/from school every day, including weekends. We urge all families to have a plan in place for childcare/a learning coach at home, should this switch to full virtual learning become necessary. These steps will help ensure that students can continue learning without interruption.

This switch would not have any impact on students enrolled in our HAVEN online learning program.

Thank you for all that you are doing to support our school community!