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Schools continue juggling act with schedules


By BRET BEVENS
Southern Ohio Today

            As COVID-19 numbers go up, many aspects of society are shutting down.

            Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his team are set to make decisions on restaurants, bars and fitness centers within the next day.

            In New York, the nation’s largest public school system will halt in-person instruction starting today. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio does not know when in-person learning will return, but the schools will be shut down through at least Thanksgiving.

New York has yet to shut down businesses such as restaurants with indoor dining, gyms, nail salons and hair salons.

            Locally, school districts throughout the region also find themselves in the position of finding the right balance for how to educate their students.

            Scioto Valley Local District, had all students attending school four days a week through Nov. 10, but then revised the schedule and reverted to where half the students attend school in-person while the other half does online instruction. That schedule will continue until Thanksgiving break, which begins Wednesday, Nov. 25. The whole district will be on virtual learning the week Dec. 1.

            Waverly City Schools is also deviating from the regular schedule to protect students and staff.

The district originally planned to have remote learning days Nov. 25 and Nov. 30 with students returning to school Tuesday, Dec. 1.  The new plan is to continue with virtual instruction through Dec. 4 and wait for further guidance from the state and health officials.

            Oak Hill Local School District believes the best place for its students to learn and stay healthy is in the schools, according to Superintendent Dr. Marci Shepard.

            “Our experience aligns with what state and county officials have been saying – spread is primarily occurring outside of schools,” Shepard said. “We want to serve our kids in our schools.”

            While Shepard doesn’t want to shut down, she said the district is “finalizing remote learning schedules” if the order to shut down comes from the state.

            Shepard praised the efforts of staff in the district during such an unprecedented and ever-changing situation.

            “I want to thank our staff for continuing to be diligent in distancing, mask wearing, and handwashing,” he said. “Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a team sport.”

            Western Local School District and Huntington Local School District are also adjusting their schedules, but no specific details were available.

(The Associated Press contributed information for this article.)

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