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S. Butler changes reopening plan for fall

Multiple factors go into full-week choice

July 9, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

Students in the South Butler County School District will return to school five days per week in the fall.

The school board at its virtual meeting Wednesday night abandoned the plan it approved last month that would see the students split into two groups, with one group attending classes on campus Monday and Tuesday and the second group Thursday and Friday.

The new plan that was approved models the popular version formed by the Bucks County Department of Health that is being used as a template by many districts across the state, said South Butler County Superintendent David Foley.

Other factors in changing plans, Foley said, include the recommendation that students return to school in the fall made by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; a similar recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics; and the lack of a clear plan for returning to school from the state Department of Education.

More than 75 people attended the virtual meeting Wednesday night, where the new plan was approved 6-0.

Board members Matt Cimbala, William Gebhart and Dale Fennell did not attend the meeting.

The plan does not include taking students' temperatures when they board the bus or at the door when they enter school, but would include students and staff wearing masks.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in Thursday's Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article.

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.