January 12, 2021
We began the second semester this week and we welcomed back more than 1,000 students to our buildings. Our staff is working hard to integrate our returning virtual students into their classrooms by meeting their educational needs and modifying classroom layouts to create safe social distances. As we promised before Christmas, we intend to return to full attendance following MLK Day. We monitor our local positivity rates dates and we are hopeful because our recent cases of COVID-19 are currently less than they were when we shifted to a hybrid in December. With this return to full student attendance, we recognize that we have positive cases in our buildings and that will result in quarantines for other students. Based on the information we received from parents in December and the data we have from the first semester, we believe it is currently our best plan to reopen and responsibly deal with the cases and quarantines as they happen. It is also important to note, that the virus is present in our community and we will continue to have infections and spread in our buildings.
The Ohio Department of Health and the CDC continue to clarify and adjust their guidelines for schools. We routinely modify our responses to meet those changing guidelines based on the most up to date information. In December, Governor DeWine announced a modification to the school quarantine guidelines. We will adopt the following guidelines based on the most current guidance:
- When close contact to COVID-19 happens in a classroom setting (including bus rides) the quarantine requirements will be as follows:
· If both students (positive and close-contact) are wearing a mask and they are 3 to 6 feet away from each other, there will be no need to quarantine close contacts.
· Close-contacts who are less than 3 feet must still quarantine.
- When someone is required to quarantine, the timelines for return will be as follows:
· Students can return to school after 7 days if they produce a negative COVID-19 test taken on day 5 or later after their last known exposure.
· Students can return to SCHOOL after 10 days of their last known exposure, with or without a negative test.
· Athletes are NOT eligible to return to participation after 7 days with a negative test. They must quarantine the full 10 days from athletic participation before returning to active participation since they do not wear masks or social distance while participating.
We are working to ensure our classrooms are arranged with desks at least 3 feet apart so we can minimize those in close contact with others. We have asked teachers to minimally use group activities in their classrooms and to keep them to less than 15 minutes. However, please note that 3 feet is not always possible and some labs and group activities will last longer than 15 minutes. We are committed to ensuring our safety protocols are adhered to by staff and students and we will do all we can to keep our schools open with students in attendance. Please continue to regularly monitor your child’s health and keep them home if they are ill. We must all do our part to keep our schools and community safe and healthy.
Thank you for all you are doing to support your student's learning while they are home. We are proud to partner with our community and we are thankful for your support.