One week after returning from winter break, students at Bald Eagle Area Middle and High School and Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology are back home, working virtually through Jan. 15 due to a high number of COVID-19 cases at the schools.
BEA students returned from winter break on Jan. 4 and by Jan. 8, the middle and high schools had three students test positive and 30 students quarantined, according to a district message from Superintendent Scott Graham.
On Jan. 10, Graham announced that the number of positive cases had increased to nine, causing the middle and high school to close Jan. 11-15 and move to virtual learning.
With cases limited to only the middle and high school, all district elementary schools remained open for in-person learning.
After working with the state Department of Health, Graham said the school would remain closed for the whole week. Monday, Jan. 18, is a scheduled in-service day, so students are expected to return on Jan. 19.
With the move to virtual learning, extracurricular activities were also suspended. They may resume on Jan. 16.
Middle and high school life skills students will attend Wingate Elementary School for in-person learning while the rest of the students are in virtual studies.
The closure leaves most of the students finishing the second quarter of the school year, which ends on Jan. 14, in virtual learning.
CPI students from BEA were told they were able to attend CPI in-person when BEA first closed on Jan. 11. That changed later that day when CPI announced its own closure.
A message from CPI Vice President of Secondary Education MaryAnn Volders on Jan. 11 said the number of positive COVID-19 cases at the school had exceeded the limit of seven established for the school by DOH, so CPI also moved to virtual learning Jan. 12-15.
This affected students from all area school districts who attend CPI.
“CPI students should continue to log on to Google Classroom for important information from their instructor. Students are expected to log on during their regularly scheduled time at CPI. Instructors will take attendance during each class period like they would if we were in school,” said Volders.
CPI students are expected to go back to in-person learning on Jan. 19.