Additional In-Person Instruction Planned for K-4 Students

FEB. 2, 2021 — As a follow-up to Monday’s announcement about additional in-person learning plans for K-4 students, Norwin Superintendent Dr. Jeff Taylor provided additional information about the upcoming transition to four days of in-person instruction in K-4 elementary schools.

In an email from the District on Tuesday afternoon, Norwin K-4 families received an FAQ document about health and safety measures being undertaken in Norwin schools. This FAQ document has been updated for the planned transition to a four-day in-person operational model. 

K-4 families also received a survey link that they will need to complete by February 8 for each K-4 child in their family. The brief survey allows parents to choose from among three options, which are summarized below:

  • Option #A: 4-Days In-Person Instruction
  • Option #B: 4-Days Remote Learning with Synchronous Instruction
  • Option #C: Norwin Online Academy 

These three options are described more fully in this document

As was stated yesterday, the School District’s goal is to begin the new operational models on Monday, February 15, 2021. However, if additional planning time is required, a short delay may be warranted.

Background

Currently, Norwin students follow a hybrid operational model with synchronous instruction that provides students with two days of in-person instruction per week. When this new plan goes into effect in the District’s K-4 schools, it will double the number of in-person days that K-4 students receive each week from two to four.

“I think we all can agree that in-person instruction is the most beneficial educational environment for the overwhelming majority of our students,” Dr. Taylor said. “Student and staff safety will remain our District’s highest priority while ensuring the best possible education for our students.”

Under the plan, Wednesdays would remain as asynchronous instruction days for all K-12 students until further notice. Additionally, the Norwin Online Academy will remain an option for K-4 students.

Unfortunately, at this time, there will not be any operational model changes for students in grades 5-12. However, students in grades 5-12 are included in the District’s plans for future phases. 

As part of the rationale for this, Dr. Taylor cited local COVID-19 cases moving in the right direction, including that the anticipated post-holiday spike in COVID-19 cases did not occur. Westmoreland County COVID-19 cases have gone down significantly compared to where they were prior to Christmas. Also, the Westmoreland County case data has continued to decrease continuously during the month of January. This improvement in local conditions, combined with a recent joint statement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, solidified the District’s decision to move toward additional in-person instruction for K-4 students.

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