In a matter of two months, Gibraltar Area Schools will go from completely virtual to allowing the entire student body back for in-person instruction. The Gibraltar School Board made the decision Monday to allow for a change to the district calendar to be open every day for students. The elementary school had already made the transition to five days a week in-person learning. The seven secondary school grades were previously split into two groups that alternated every five days between in-person and remote learning. Secondary students will also transition from two 210-minute class periods to five 80-minute class periods. Superintendent Tina Van Meer said it took longer to get to this point than many parents would have wanted, but she looks at the positives.
Van Meer hopes the longer the schools can prove their COVID-19 mitigation strategies are working, coupled with the change class day structure, the more parents will feel comfortable sending their children back for in-person learning. Students at the secondary school have not been 100 percent in person since the pandemic hit the area last March. Parents will still have the option to keep their kids in remote learning.