Downingtown parents rally for school district to provide full week in-person learning option

DOWNINGTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- More than two dozen parents and students within the Downingtown Area School District held a rally on Wednesday night, fighting for the option to return to full-time in-person education.

"It's really hard to learn from home. My kids have struggled for a year, all three of them," said parent Stephanie Moyer.

"Before this was going on, everyone was talking about children's mental health and how important it was and to keep kids off-screen. Ironically, we're locking children in their rooms and keeping them on screens," said parent Melanie Lewis.

Parents don't want to wait any longer.

"We're here tonight basically to try and make sure that that football makes it across the finish line," said parent Jim Holt.

A decision on the matter could happen soon.

District officials say they're looking to provide an option for a four-day in-person week with a virtual Friday sometime in mid-March. Then in April, after review, potentially offer a full week in-person learning option.

"What I'd like to suggest for the board's approval is to continue through April 16 and go to a full five days after April 16," said Superintendent Dr. Emilie Lonardi.

District officials say they've been waiting for the COVID incidence rate in the county to drop below 100 per week. That has happened.

Per county guidance, they're waiting for two more weeks below 100, and then they plan to launch the new option. The two dates they're considering are March 15 or March 22.

"Frankly, I don't think we need to wait that time period," said Holt.

"Teachers that don't want to be in school, the district needs to accommodate that," said Moyer.

Officials say next Wednesday, March 10, they plan to vote on the potential new option.
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