Mars closes high school through Dec. 1

COVID-19 cases lead district to decision

November 18, 2020 Cranberry Local News

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Mars Area School District announced online last week that the high school building will be closed to students through Dec. 1.

The high school previously was closed to students after district administration was informed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) that three high school students recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The closure allowed the district to conduct deep cleaning in the high school.

The DOH informed the district last week that a fourth high school student has tested positive.

Students returned to the building Nov. 10 following the closure. The decision to close the school for the rest of the month went into effect at the end of the school day.

There are 95 high school students in quarantine based on DOH recommendations and 32 students in quarantine from Centennial School, according to superintendent Mark Gross.

The district anticipates opening the high school to students Dec. 2, if county transmission rates remain stable.

“If there is a continued number of students testing positive, the remote learning at the high school may be extended,” Gross said in an email to the Eagle. “That decision will be made based upon the data closer to the tentative return date.”

High school students who were attending class in person were asked to shift to livestream interactive (LSI) instruction.

Staff were not permitted in the high school Nov. 11 and Thursday due to cleaning. Teachers worked from home. They were permitted to return to the building Friday to conduct LSI teaching.

The closure is restricted to the high school at this time. All other district school buildings will remain open and operate on schedule.

Any scheduled sports and other activities in the building resumed Friday, although students won't be returning until December.

Once the Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School returns to in-person learning, a bus will leave the high school at 12:20 p.m. for students who aren't in quarantine. Students are asked to find their own transportation to the high school for the vo-tech bus.

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Samantha Beal

Samantha Beal