Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School front

RIDGWAY — Ridgway Area School District resumed full remote learning Jan. 4, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, according to an update on the RASD Facebook page from Superintendent Heather McMahon-Vargas.

The RASD pandemic team met Dec. 30, 2020, to review Elk County’s data and discuss instructional models, according to the post. Elk County was considered “high” in terms of COVID-19 spread and cases, and Ridgway’s zip code for positive cases was also high.

“In addition, the hospitalization rates are increasing,” McMahon-Vargas said in the Jan. 4 post, noting that a post-holiday surge was a concern this month.

“Our case counts will likely get worse, which puts staff and students at increased risk of exposure and congregate gatherings increase the potential for transmission,” she said in the post.

It was determined RASD will have full remote learning and no extra-curricular activities Jan. 4-15.

“We recognize the academic, social and emotional stressors that our students are facing due to the totality of the circumstances of the pandemic,” said McMahon-Vargas in the Facebook update. “The district has a variety of supports and services available to students and families during these difficult times — school counseling resources, mental health resources and academic support. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s building principal or school counselor for additional information regarding these resources.”

According to an update from Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School Principal Pam Yeager, the school deployed additional materials and resources to all its students Monday. Staff brought materials out to parents’ vehicles during the day.

The RASD Facebook page has been providing regular updates on several things, including meal pickups via drive-thru, taking place Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-5:30 p.m. at either FSGES or the Ridgway Area Middle/High School. These pickups also include weekend meals.

On Monday, Jan. 11, RASD requested that parents and guardians fill out the survey being emailed by secretaries no later than Jan. 13, 2021 at 8 p.m. This survey will help district staff see what instructional model is preferred.

More updates can be found at

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