Hempfield Area School District Ditches Hybrid Model For Next Year

Summer break is just getting started, but one Westmoreland County school district is asking parents to make a choice when it comes to what kind of learning instruction they want their kids to get come fall; KDKA's Ross Guidotti reports.

Video Transcript

KEN RICE: Summer break is just getting going, but a local school district is already asking parents to choose a mode of instruction for their kids this fall.

KRISTINE SORENSEN: The Hempfield Area School District is giving parents and students three options. Ross Guidotti joins us with what those are. Ross.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: Yeah, basically the district is saying this. They're going to resume in-class instruction and they're going to give parents an online option as well. But the hybrid method that was so popular during the pandemic, that is not going to be an option once the school bell rings at the beginning of next year.

Hempfield Area High School's classrooms are empty, as are the hallways. But school district administrators say when the students crack the books or power up the computers come fall--

TAMMY WOLICKI: We are going to be looking forward to a more normal school year.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: --that said Hempfield Township's superintendent Dr. Tammy Wolicki tells KDKA. Many students will have three options when it comes to going back to school. First is the traditional in-class instruction. The second option is something called Hempfield Area Cyber Academy, grades 6 through 12 only.

TAMMY WOLICKI: That would be a total cyber program, which will be instructed by our teachers.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: The third option is something called Edgenuity, which is a program for grades 6 through 12, which is also online.

TAMMY WOLICKI: That's asynchronous. So therefore, the students are given the work and they work at their own self-pace.

CHRISTINE SPOLNICK: I believe everybody has a choice. It's their kids. They can decide what they want to do and they should have that option.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: Christina Spolnick's son Landon is a student in the district.

- At home, it was a lot harder.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: Mother and son say their choice will be to head back to school come September.

CHRISTINE SPOLNICK: It's just a better environment for the kids socially. And I think they learn better whenever they're in the classroom.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: Whatever their decision, Dr. Wolicki says parents and students aren't locked in to their choice.

TAMMY WOLICKI: So we are asking parents when they sign up to make a commitment for a period of time and I believe that period of time is a semester. But then at the end of that semester if a parent has a change in what they would prefer for their child, we would be able to honor it at that time.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: All right, Dr. Wolicki told me that they'd like to know sooner rather than later if you're going to take any of the online options so they could prepare staffing and materials. Meanwhile, if you are a Hempfield Area School District student or parent, you need information on this, you want to check this out some more, check out KDKA.com or any one of our KDKA online platforms.

Reporting live, Ross Guidotti, KDKA News.