January 24, 2021
We began the return from the holiday break in remote learning for the Middle School and High School on January 11, 2021, amid concerns with the continued rise of cases over the holiday break, especially with our older students. Since returning from the break, we reached the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s positive cases threshold in both buildings and have had to temporarily close the Middle and High School for several days last week. The secondary schools were scheduled to transition to the four-day learning model on February 1, 2021. However, due to positive cases in Allegheny County still averaging around 400 cases a day, the community transmission in the county remaining in the “substantial level,” the potential increase of the number of quarantines that could occur when bringing more students in the secondary buildings, and the amount of time that would be needed to contact trace in this climate, South Fayette Middle School and South
Fayette High School will remain in the hybrid learning model throughout the month of February. Additionally, as the statistics have consistently shown over time (based on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Dashboard
), students in the age group of 10-19 have roughly three times the positivity rate than students under the age of 10. The Allegheny County Health Department supports our decision to delay the four-day
in-person learning model.
The District will consider a transition to the four-day model once the community transmission levels move from “substantial” to at least “moderate,” among other factors. We will continue to monitor the cases and re-evaluate at the end of February. Hopefully, by this time, we will also have more information on the timeline for our faculty and staff to be vaccinated as well. We want to increase the contact time of our students with in-person learning but must look out for the safety of our faculty, staff, and students as we continue to manage the challenges of this health crisis.
Dr. Ken Lockette
Superintendent of Schools