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Students In West Jefferson Hills School District Will Start Online Before Transitioning To In-Person Learning

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) -- Students in the West Jefferson Hills School District now have an idea of what the school year will look like.

The plan the district adopted is a bit different than most.

"Better to come back slow and get things right, especially when you're talking about health and safety," said Superintendent Michael Ghilani.

The West Jefferson Hills School District is comprised of Jefferson Hills, West Elizabeth and Pleasant Hills. Students in the district will spend the first week of school fully online beginning Aug. 24. Teachers and students will participate in health and safety training.

So on Aug. 31, when the district begins implementing a combination of online and in-class instruction, everyone is prepared.

"The rational was easing back into it, having data drive our decisions, but to ensure our mitigation strategies are working," Ghilani said.

KDKA had a chance to see what socially distanced seating looks like at the new Thomas Jefferson High School.

Families here have three options for students: fully online, cyber academy, or a combination of online and in-school learning. But after a month of combination learning, the district wants to bring students back five days a week, if they so choose.

"We'd like to bring as many students back five days a week starting Sept. 24," Ghilani said.

The district says the plan for five days a week is reliant upon coronavirus case numbers continuing to diminish and mitigation efforts being successful during the first few weeks of hybrid learning.

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