SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Pope Francis Preparatory School has temporarily halted in-person learning after new cases of COVID-19 were reported among students.
The Springfield catholic school had to change course and go back to remote learning after two more students tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of cases to three.
This has raised concerns about hybrid learning in general, during this pandemic. They began the school year on August 27, with full in-person learning. In two weeks, Pope Francis Preparatory School announced that a student tested positive for COVID-19.
Four days later, the school confirmed that two more students tested positive. The students participated in a club sport and self-identified as being in close contact with the first student who tested positive.
As a result of these new cases, Pope Francis Preparatory School has shifted their reopening plan to red, which means remote learning only, and they won’t move it yellow for at least two weeks, and even then, only 50 percent of students would receive in-person instruction.
“I am very disappointed that we find ourselves shifting gears at this time. I strongly urge students and families to limit their out of school contact with others during this time,” said head of school Dr. Paul Harrington.
Dr. Harrington reassured families that there’s been no evidence that transmission of the virus occurred at school. Pope Francis Preparatory School is a Catholic, parochial school that enrolls 370 students.
Dr. Harrington said further details on the school’s re-entry plan will be shared over the next few weeks. 22News contacted him for an interview, but we hadn’t heard back yet.