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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

School in Pennsylvania community returns to full-time classes after mysterious disease shut them down

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All students and staff returned to school this week in a small Pennsylvania community devastated by a mysterious virus that shut down schools for four weeks earlier this year.

Meeting the town’s biggest weekend after a break of almost four months, students and staff walked into the small school building just north of Pittsburgh, walked into the library, and walked around the cheer and handball courts again, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“Everyone kept complaining that it’s insane,” said Victor Baig, a math teacher at Magnolia Elementary School. “It’s gonna be hard, but we’re happy to be back.”

Unlike many students who have returned to classes full-time, Baig and many of his staff members returned to their jobs on Monday after just one day off.

While some teachers interviewed the importance of getting to work soon, with seven days remaining on the school year, teachers were skeptical of the district’s promise to resume classes on Monday. Some said they still expected to have Thanksgiving off — they couldn’t enjoy it with their families. Still, Baig had an expectation, which he said was the only way the school would function.

“We cannot take a vacation,” Baig said. “We’re here to get it done.”

The small school district in southern Michigan, which had about 800 students and about 90 teachers when it closed in February due to a mysterious and deadly virus, reopened in September. The disease-spreading norovirus struck the high school campus where inhumane bed bugs were found, closing most buildings. Some teachers were forced to work remotely, while others returned to school in the evenings to avoid the disruption of a school day.

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