HUNTINGDON, Pa. (WTAJ) — Huntingdon Area School District will completely reopen schools to students on Aug. 27, according to superintendent Fred Foster.
The school district is implementing and following safety steps and guidelines leading up to the students’ return, but masking remains a consistent concern, along with how to encourage students to keep them on and what happens if there is a positive test result.
The Huntingdon Area School District is asking parents for cooperation and support as students walk back into school for the first time since March, only this time with strict COVID-19 guidelines.
“I can’t say that academics aren’t gonna be important, but the first couple weeks of school, it’s gonna be more about how are we gonna…this is what we have to do to sustain this environment,” Foster said.
“Nobody wants to start off battling over whether we’re gonna wear a face covering or not. But we know if we can’t meet the six-foot, that’s certainly gonna be a requirement and kids are gonna need time to get used to that,” Foster continued.
Foster said that one thing he wants parents to focus on at home with their children is wearing a mask. One recommendation includes turning masks into costumes.
“Like Halloween, they like to dress up. Make a superhero mask. Do whatever you wanna do with the mask,” Foster said. “And elementary people, if you make it fun and you kinda have fun with it, they’re gonna be on board.”
According to Foster, the school district’s goal is to prevent any spread of the virus through their schools so students stay in the classroom rather than at home. He noted that if people want to dispute the mask, the district ends up not being able to make the six-foot distance and if cases do break out, they will be in the bind of going back to “what nothing wants to do, and that’s being remote at home.”
An online option is still available if parents have safety concerns for their child. The school district’s website contains information about the school’s reopening plan. Town halls and virtual meetings with parents will be scheduled leading up to the first day on Aug. 27.