As districts across the state grapple with how the 2020-21 school year will look, a majority of those who responded to the Herald-Standard’s poll question say they don’t think it will be safe for kids to head back to the classroom for in-person instruction in the fall.

Of the 1,326 people who answered the question, “Do you think it will be safe for kids to go back to school?”, 775 (58.5%) said “no.”

Another 440 respondents (33.2%) said “yes,” while 111 (8.3%) answered “unsure.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has set up a website where the Health and Safety Plan for each district is available, once approved by the school board and filed with the state.

They plans run the gamut, and as PDE notes, they are tailored to the unique needs of each district.

Brownsville Area School District was the first of Fayette’s six districts to file their plan, and in Greene County, Jefferson-Morgan School District has filed its plan.

BASD’s plan is a “scaffolded approach” to reopen. Elementary students will return Monday-Thursday and remote learning on Fridays. Grades 7-12 will have their first nine weeks conducted by live, online instruction. Depending upon virus rates and health guidelines, the plan is for them to return to the classroom for the second nine weeks.

The J-M plan also takes a blended approach, depending upon which phase (red, yellow or green) the county is in when the district reopens Aug. 26.

The plans for the other Fayette and Greene county school districts have not yet been posted on the PDE site.

Once submitted, the plans can be found at

Go to to answer this week’s poll question, “Do you think the PIAA should postpone or cancel the upcoming high school fall sports season?”

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