Hazleton Area asks families to commit to remote or in-person lessons

By Mark Guydish [email protected]



HAZLE TWP. — Hazleton Area School District Superintendent Brian Uplinger sent out notice to parents and guardians Friday asking them to commit to 90 days of either remote or in-person lessons for the coming school year set to being Sept. 8.

“We are working to get our plan out to the public by the end of this month,” Uplinger wrote. “We have decided, and rightfully so, to allow parents to choose what they would like to do (either 100% online or 100% in school). But we’re asking for a commitment of either option for at least one semester (90 days).’

Schools will call parents and ask which option they want, to make direct contact and to be sure they get correct information. The district is also moving toward having one computer for every student, which should make it easier for more to learn online.

Three options

Uplinger outlined three options for the school year, promising details will be coming later:

• 100% return of all students and staff – “obviously, no school district is able to do this yet. It would be when we receive the ‘all clear.’”

• Hybrid – partial number of students online and a partial number of students in school. “This could be 25% in school, 50% in school, or 75% in school. Then, the rest would be online.”

• 100% online – A worse case scenario with schools closed completely again. Uplinger promised it would be “much different than this spring,” when Gov. Tom Wolf abruptly ordered all schools closed March 16. “The spring gave us the opportunity to work out the issues with a fully online environment.”

Online learning plan

Any online learning, either hybrid or 100% would by “synchronous,” meaning students would have to log in at specific times for specific lessons. In hybrid setting, that would mean in-person and online students would be sitting in on the same class. Attendance will be kept. “We need to be fully capable of seamless teaching. The technology we will be using will allow for this.”

Uplinger closed by noting the plans can change, and that safety comes first as things are finalized.

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish

Mark Guydish
About Mark Guydish 220 Articles
Mark Guydish is the seventh of nine children born in West Hazleton. He earned his degree at Penn State, ran a bike shop, bicycled across the country, and worked as a paid EMT before joining the Times Leader in 1995 where he met and married feature writer Mary Therese Biebel. He has covered most beats, done editorial page work, columns, graphics and most recently "test kitchens" with MT. His main beat is education.