BASD lays out plan for shift to hybrid and virtual learning


Haley Campbell

BASD is making plans in case it would have to move to hybrid learning.

Rorie Wolf and Kami O'Shell

Due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, the Bellwood-Antis school district has instituted a plan to ensure the safety of all staff and students. 

On Tuesday November 17,  a mass email and voice message went out to all the parents of students who attend the Bellwood-Antis School District. The email and voice messages included a plan that had been discussed at last Tuesday’s board meeting. 

Staff and students are in hopes that student stay in school for face-to-face instruction for as long as possible, but if cases continue to rise the district will have to adjust to hybrid learning. This hybrid learning plan will take place if the total number of COVID-positive students and quarantine students reaches 10% of the school’s  in-person population. This goes for every individual building. With just over 350 students now attending in-person classes at the high school, 10 % is around 35 students.

If BAHS goes to a hybrid model, high school students will split into two groups: the blue group and the gold group. These groups are organized alphabetically by last name. Blue group is for students with a last name starting with A-L, and the gold group is for students last names starting with M-Z. Blue group will attend face to face instruction Mondays and Wednesdays; gold on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays, both groups will go full virtual.

If the number is reached, hybrid learning will last for a minimum of two weeks. 

There is also a possibility of having to go all virtual. If limitations prevent learning safely and efficiently, full-virtual instruction will take place. Another cause to switch to virtual would be if all buildings at BASD have moved to hybrid. Bellwood-Antis would then switch to virtual for at least two weeks.

Numbers in cases have been on the rise for weeks in Blair County and cases continue to increase as the days go by. November 11 saw a spike of 150 confirmed cases and on November 13 123 cases were confirmed. However, over the last two days of reporting (November 15 and 17, corona cases in Blair County fell from 87 to 56.

But as the letter shared with parents stated, in the last two weeks the district has had employees and students test positive for COVID-19 for the first time. Until then, the district had been among the only schools in the region to implement full-time in-person learning the entire year, choosing to use mitigating factors like mask-wearing and distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.