HATBORO, Pa. (CBS) — In Montgomery County, schools have been ordered to move to virtual learning by Monday, Nov. 23. But one school district isn’t even waiting that long because of a rise in cases.
The Hatboro-Horsham School District, like all other districts in Montgomery County, was ordered to go all virtual starting next week, but after a Monday night board meeting, members have decided to revert to all virtual instruction on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, the numbers are rapidly increasing and entering in a very concerning area,” Superintendent Dr. Scott Eveslage said. “While the ordered closures is Nov. 23, we have some operational functional concerns about the likelihood of getting there.”
Parents were notified of the decision Tuesday evening via email with district officials citing rising COVID-19 cases and a struggle to continue school operations.
“Whether or not we have the staff and infrastructure to be able to properly operate a district,” Eveslage said. “We currently have 141 students who are quarantining. We have 31 staff members throughout the school district who are quarantining.”
Parents with Voice for Choice have been advocating for in-person learning since August and see the rush to get back to virtual learning as a setback for students.
“It’s not as easy as the flip of a switch,” parent Clarice Schillinger said. “There’s a lot of kids out there that we cannot ignore that are struggling with anxiety, depression, contemplating suicide, unfortunately. The kids that go to school that mandated reporters to escape the abuse. The kids who are not being fed.”
“They’re taking this right away from the student and the parent,” Denise Stasuk, another parent, said. “It’s almost like they don’t trust us parents and that’s a real problem because, in a public school district, you as the parents and the teachers are supposed to work together.”
On Wednesday, a group of parents filed a civil suit to stop the county from moving students back to all online learning. The suit alleges the county board of health violated the “Sunshine Act” by not giving proper notice of last week’s reconvened meeting during which the board voted to move school fully virtual.
The suit also alleges the public wasn’t given proper time to comment on the proposal
Hatboro-Horsham School District officials will decide when to resume their hybrid model of learning with kids back in classrooms come the first week of December.
CBS3’s Natasha Brown and Jan Carabeo contributed to this report.
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