CLARION - By a 6-3 margin, the Clarion-Limestone School Board agreed last week to continue with remote instruction at its elementary and high schools through Dec. 7.

(The Nov. 18 session was live-streamed on Youtube. This report is taken from that posted clip.)

The state Department of Health recently designed Clarion County as being in its second consecutive week of "substantial" infection of COVID-19.

While the ultimate decision to move to remote learning belongs to the district, the state Department of Health and the state Department of Education "recommends" district in a second week of substantial infection areas consider remote student instruction.

C-L had moved to remote learning prior to the school board meeting, but the board had the topic on its agenda for Nov. 18.

School board president David Schirmer read several submitted written public comment statements concerning the remote instruction, with two letters in support of remote instruction, one against it and two letters suggesting changes.

C-L has been conducting in-classroom instruction on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays. Wednesdays have been used as remote instruction days providing teachers and students an opportunity to stay familiar with the system and allowing district personnel an opportunity to "deep clean" the school buildings.

The Clarion-Limestone teacher's union representative told board members the split week has increased the work load for teachers and is reaching an unmanageable load.

After considerable discussion, the board opted to continue remote instruction until Dec. 7.

At that time, if COVID-19 spread has decreased, the district will return to its four days in-class instruction and "remote Wednesdays."

Voting in favor of the return to the classroom with "remote Wednesdays" also in place were Schirmer, Rebecca Allison, Joe Billotte, Corry Bish, Dave Eggleton and Kathy Henry.

Opposed were Nathaniel Parker, Roger Powell, and Gary Sproul.

Winter sports postponed

The board also agreed by a 5-4 margin to delay the start of any "winter sports" until at least Dec. 7.

Voting in favor of the delay were Schirmer, Billotte, Bish, Henry and Sproul.

Opposed to the delay were Parker, Powell, Eggleton and Allison.

District Superintendent Amy Glasl told board members the Pennsylvania Department of Education "highly recommends" students not participate in sports while a county is in the "substantial infection rate" phase.

In other business, the board:

4Accepted about $2,600 in bids from various individuals for surplus and no-longer-needed equipment.

4Approved John Pozza and Elizabeth Jane Floh as guest teachers.

4Approved the purchase of 100 back-lit LED flat panel lighting fixtures for the elementary school with capital projects funds in the amount of $4,900.

4Approved setting a $20 SAT prep course fee for students (the same as last year).