An important message from our Superintendent, Mr. Scott Graham.
Dear BEA Community:
Earlier today, I had a conversation with the County Superintendents, The Department of Health, and Pennsylvania Department of Education. The purpose of the conversation was to discuss Centre County moving to the Substantial Category (similar to the Red Phase) due to having 105 cases of Covid-19 this past week.
Based on our conversation, there are two takeaways that are relevant to our district: 1. PDE recommends that district's do not go completely virtual with just one week's worth of data and 2. Even if Centre County remains Substantial for 2 or more weeks, the decision to keep schools open will remain a local one. The main factor determining whether schools stay open, regardless of the category or phase we are in, is how many cases do we have in our schools?
I found out today that the DOH considers 2 or more cases in a building an outbreak and if that occurs, they will work with the district to determine if a school or the district needs to go to remote learning for a period of time.
Fortunately, as of today, September 8, we have had zero confirmed cases in the school district. It is my intention, if we do have a case, to notify the public but do everything possible to keep the person's name confidential.
I have another call with PDE and DOH on Thursday. If anything additional to what I have already stated comes from that conversation, I will update you. I want to thank everyone involved with a good start to the school year under difficult conditions. The students have been wonderful, parents have been flexible and contacting the schools when they have questions, especially on whether to keep their child home, and the faculty, staff, and administration have all done a great job adjusting to a "new normal." The good news is that this will not last forever. Eventually this pandemic will end. Until then, thank you everyone for working together to do what's best for our students.
Scott V. Graham