The Fleetwood School District has delayed a decision on increasing in-person instruction for its youngest students.

The school board at its meeting Nov. 17 tabled a motion to increase in-person instruction to four days a week from two days a week for students in grades kindergarten through second.

The motion will be revisited by the board at its January meeting.

The shift to four in-person days would have taken effect Dec. 7 for kindergarten and first grade and Dec. 14 for second grade, if the motion had passed.

Dr. Greg Miller, superintendent, said a decision on the motion was postponed because of recent increases in COVID-19 cases in Berks County. The county and the state are in the midst of a significant wave of coronavirus cases.

The state Department of Health reported 179 new COVID-19 cases in Berks on Nov. 18. The county has a seven-day average of 160 new cases per day. The Department of Health reported a record high 6,339 new COVID-19 cases statewide Nov. 18. It was the second straight day that the state set a record for new cases. Over the past week the state is averaging 5,498 new cases per day.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Fleetwood began the year with a hybrid instructional model. Students have been placed in two groups, with one group attending classes in person on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other group attending in person on Thursdays and Fridays. Students learn virtually on days they are not learning in person.

With the Nov. 17 decision, the district will continue that model with one adjustment. The board voted to livestream high school classes so students can receive live instruction four days a week.

High school students will now attend class in-person twice a week, participate in class through a livestream twice a week and, on Wednesdays, have asynchronous instruction.

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