School Covid numbers continue to rise


Two county districts transition from traditional schedules

By McKenzie Caldwell - mcaldwell@aimmediamidwest.com



As the number of Covid cases and quarantines continues to rise in local schools, two school districts transitioned from their traditional schedules this week.

On Tuesday, Bright Local students began working remotely following an increase in new cases and Covid-related quarantines. Currently, the district plans to return to in-person classes following Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The district will partner with the Highland County Health Department to reassess the situation before students return, however.

As of Nov. 13, Bright Local had seven positive cases involving students, according to the district’s COVID-19 report, available at blsd.us. In addition, 103 students and six staff members were in quarantine.

Fairfield Local transitioned into its blended learning plan on Thursday due to concern for students’ safety. Though students still attend in-person classes under the blended learning plan, the plan decreases the number of students on campus at one time, which allows for more social distancing. The district divided its students into two groups, “Group A” and “Group B,” which attend in-person classes on different days. While not on campus, students continue their schoolwork through virtual platforms.

As of Thursday, Fairfield had five positive cases involving students, according to the district’s COVID-19 report, available at fairfieldlocal.org. In addition, 145 students and three staff members were in quarantine.

On Tuesday, Hillsboro City Schools Superintendent Tim Davis released a statement that the district will remain open at this time.

Davis also reported that the district was working with the health department after a middle school student tested positive for COVID-19. Davis said that the school’s nurse and the health department notified the student’s close contacts.

“If you have not been notified by our school nurse or the health department, your student was not identified as having close contact with the positive case,” Davis wrote.

There were no new updates from Greenfield Exempted Village (GEVSD) or Lynchburg-Clay Local.

In other Covid-related news, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) created dashboards to track the number of cases in both child care centers and home-based child care operations. Find the dashboards at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Ohio families with children enrolled in Individualized Education Programs (IEP) may apply for up to $1,500 in grant funding.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced in late October that the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities is partnering with DeWine’s Children’s Initiative to provide financial support to families who may need supplemental assistance outside of their child’s IEP.

The administration launched Learning Aid Ohio, a supplemental tutoring program that can help connect families with tutors, aides, or in-home providers who can offer distance learning support for students with disabilities in IEPs.

“The primary goal of Learning Aid Ohio is to provide opportunities for meaningful educational experiences for students on IEPs learning full-time on a digital platform,” the news release stated.

To qualify, families must be Ohio residents with a child enrolled in an IEP during the 2020-21 school year who is learning remotely full-time, according to the Learning Aid Ohio website. Families also must be experiencing “financial hardship.”

The following is the number of COVID-19 in local school systems as of Thursday, according to the ODH:

* Bright Local reported seven new cases involving students. The district has had eight cumulative student cases this school year.

* Fairfield Local reported two new cases involving students. The district has had five cumulative student cases and five cumulative staff cases this school year.

* GEVSD reported three new cases involving staff members. The district has had 12 cumulative student cases and eight cumulative staff cases this school year.

* Hillsboro Christian Academy did not report any new cases this week. The preschool has had one cumulative student case and four cumulative staff cases this school year. The private school has had one cumulative student case and four cumulative staff cases this school year.

* Hillsboro City reported one new case involving a student. The district has had seven cumulative student cases and seven cumulative staff cases this school year.

* Lynchburg-Clay Local reported one new case involving a student. The district has had eight student cases and four staff cases this school year.

* The Highland County Board of Developmental Disabilities, St. Mary Catholic School, and Stonewall Academy have not reported any cases this school year.

Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner previously stated that there is a delay in the reporting process.

For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.

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Two county districts transition from traditional schedules

By McKenzie Caldwell

mcaldwell@aimmediamidwest.com