DuBOIS — The DuBois Area School District expects to provide planned online instruction for its students due to the declaration of extended school closures as a result of COVID-19, Superintendent Wendy Benton said at Thursday’s board meeting.

The meeting was held via telephone conference in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and was attended by all board members. Directors approved a proposal to hold upcoming meetings this way until further notice as a result of the pandemic.

Benton said the Pennsylvania Department of Education provided school districts three options with regard to the extended school closures. All schools in Pennsylvania are to remain closed through at least April 6. The order could be extended beyond that date if necessary, the state Department of Education said.

The options, Benton said, include:

  • Provide nothing and have the schools be closed, similar to a closure due to inclement weather.

“This, is clearly not an option we would ever consider for our students,” said Benton.

  • Provide enrichment and review. As defined by the PA Department of Education, it “consists of informal activities to reinforce or extend students’ prior learning. No standards and skills are addressed through Enrichment and Review.” Participation is optional.

“While this may be a good fit for some school districts, it is not the best option for DASD,” said Benton. “Through this option, you may only review and enrich the material that you have already covered. We have completed 130 days of instruction and have 50 days or 10 weeks remaining.”

  • Provide planned instruction. As defined by the PA Department of Education, this “is formal teaching and learning similar to that which occurs in a classroom setting. Within this process, teachers use planned courses of instruction of new concepts/skills aligned to grade level standards. Teachers assess the learning of their students and make adjustments to instruction based upon student progress. In order to receive grade and credit, students must attend regularly and complete the course requirement.”

“This is clearly the best option for DASD and the option we will embrace with confidence,” said Benton. “Our students deserve the absolute best educational opportunities we can possibly provide. Over the past two weeks, we have worked diligently to plan for the best approach to provide continuity of education through an online educational platform.”

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