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Superintendent will talk about calendar Monday

The earliest possible return date for students in Warren County is April 9.

The latest attempt to “flatten the curve” of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from an educational standpoint was announced Monday by Gov. Tom Wolf and clarified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

If the new return date holds, Warren County School District students will be back at school on that Thursday, then start their Easter break the next day.

Teachers would return to work on Tuesday, April 7. “They’re giving us two days to reboot,” Superintendent Amy Stewart said.

The situation is fluid, and the governor and department could announce further closures at any time. Still, the district must be ready to carry on.

“I will be discussing a calendar revision with the Board on Monday night,” Stewart said.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, March 30, but not in person.

According to Board Secretary Ruth Huck, she, Stewart, and Board President Donna Zariczny will meet in person, the remainder of the board will join using an online meeting application.

Anyone who wishes to attend the meeting is welcome to do so virtually. Details for logging in will be published in the Times Observer. The agenda for the meeting will be posted on the district’s website — www.wcsdpa.org — on Friday.

When Wolf initially announced the closure of schools, he said the state has a waiver that means lost days will not be required to be made up.

That it is not required does not mean it can’t be done.

Stewart said a decision about making up lost educational time will be made locally.

“It will be a district decision as to whether we attempt to make up days by going to school through June 30,” Stewart said. “That is a board decision, and one we will not be able to make yet.”

“We recognize this closure is creating a gap, and we are busy working on multiple ways to help repair that gap,” Stewart said. “Our county is too large and too rural to depend on an online solution for everyone. It is simply impossible for many of our families and teachers who live in areas without any service. We do, however, recognize it may be a good solution for some families.”

“We have been piloting one-to-one technology during this ’20-21 school year, and we are currently working on how we can use what we have to begin filling this gap,” she said. “We are committed to solving this problem. The difficulty is that the problem changes by the day.”

Blood drive

The district will open up Warren Area High School gymnasium for a blood drive.

“Our area is in critical need,” Stewart said.

The drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 3.

People who are in good health are encouraged to donate. Potential donors will be screened and personnel will take additional precautions including frequent cleaning of equipment and providing disinfectant.

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