State College Considers Closing Schools Due to COVID-19


In the matter of one academic week, State College is considering moving online districtwide.

Within the last week, sixty-two cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the school district’s ZIP code. It must be noted that none of these cases were among the students or staff at the school. The safety plans in place will call for the administration to consider closing if 50-75 cases are confirmed in the district area.

The SCASD (State College Area School District) Superintendent Bob O’Donnell notified parents in a letter Monday saying, “Without a doubt, this is a troubling turn of events, especially so early in the school year, but the circumstances of our area have us moving in the wrong direction.” The SCASD also delayed its first day of opening to finalize plans and safety measures.

Penn State has tried to offer guidance to the district with help from biology professor Maciej Boni saying that there have been no indications that switching to remote learning is needed, though the outlook doesn’t look good.

Boni has said that with things moving in the wrong direction the district must prepare for the “riskiest” of outcomes. It comes down to what staying open means for staff and faculty and what closing means for students and families.

Boni has also suggested the school board revise their decision on Wednesday. This will help guide their decision on whether or not to close in-person school on Thursday and Friday.

At the time of writing this article, the SCASD has closed this Friday due to COVID-19.