Beginning Mon., Nov. 9, Luzerne County Head Start (LCHS) will re-open two Wyoming County Head Start classrooms for 20 preschool-aged children. The Head Start classrooms, located in the former Mehoopany Elementary School and Tunkhannock Intermediate School, have been closed for in-person learning since March when Gov. Wolf announced the closure of all Pennsylvania schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. LCHS has been working closely with administrators at the Tunkhannock Area School District in preparation for these children to safely return to the classroom. The two Wyoming County Head Start centers will be the first classrooms at LCHS to offer in-person services since the March shutdown.
Executive director, Lynn Evans Biga, cited the relatively low number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wyoming County as the reason for re-opening these classrooms. “Information from the Pennsylvania Department of Health has shown a small number of COVID-19 cases among residents in Wyoming County. Based on the data and survey information from our families in Wyoming County and feedback from our LCHS COVID-19 taskforce, we feel this is a good place to slowly begin to re-open our in-person Head Start services.”
Classes will be limited to 10 children and will take place in a hybrid format from Mon. through Thurs. for 4.5 hours each day. Families have the option to keep their children enrolled in virtual services. All staff and children will be required to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and take part in extensive hand-washing. Classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each school day.
LCHS operates 23 Head Start/Pre-K Counts centers and five Early Head Start centers across Luzerne and Wyoming Counties. The additional 21 Head Start/Pre-K Counts centers and all Early Head Start centers will remain closed indefinitely for in-person learning. These centers will continue to operate using LCHS’s virtual services model.