With the local winter sports seasons just under way, Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner speculated that the state could announce changes.
Many larger school districts have already postponed their winter sports seasons for a month or so, Warner wrote in a Monday post to the health department’s Facebook page.
“Just today I placed two school sports teams in quarantine after contact with several positive cases in a recent scrimmage,” Warner wrote. “In general, we tend to see more disease spread in the sports and extracurricular setting than in the classroom setting, so there would appear to be some benefit in reducing extracurricular activities this winter. I don’t have any answers right now, but there is a lot of attention on this topic currently across the state.”
In the meantime, all local public school districts are proceeding with winter sports, though the season already differs from previous “normal” winter sports seasons. Schools must continue to comply with drastically decreased capacity limits for their audiences, which are largely limited to student-athletes’ family members.
However, to compensate for the decreased capacity, all of Highland County’s public school districts have begun live-streaming sports events at no cost.
In other Covid-related news from Highland County’s public school districts:
* Bright Local students returned to campus on Wednesday.
The district transitioned to fully remote learning on Tuesday, Nov. 17 after an increase in quarantines involving students and staff members. The district originally planned to resume classes on-campus on its usual schedules on Tuesday but closed due to winter weather conditions.
“We will continue to work closely with the Highland County Health Department in following the health and safety guidelines in each of our buildings,” the district stated in a Tuesday post to the Bright Local Schools Facebook page.
Superintendent Mike Bick was not available to comment as of press time.
* Fairfield Local Superintendent Tim Dettwiller previously stated that administrators would decide and announce on Thursday whether the district would continue with the blended learning plan, return to on-campus learning, or move to fully remote learning beginning Monday, Dec. 7.
As of press time, no information was available, and Dettwiller was not available to comment.
Fairfield previously transitioned to its blended learning plan on Nov. 19 after an increase in quarantines involving students and staff members.
During the district’s Nov. 23 school board meeting, Dettwiller reported that the blended learning schedule had drastically reduced the number of students quarantined due to close contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
* Greenfield Exempted Village School District (GEVSD) will continue with on-campus learning, but the district is preparing students and their families for other learning plans in the event that it must transition.
On Nov. 24, students received more information regarding GEVSD’s hybrid learning plan, under which students would attend classes on campus two days per week and complete coursework remotely during the remaining three days.
In the event that the district moves to its hybrid learning plan, GEVSD will provide students with academic instruction as well as meals, social interaction, and emotional support.
“Our district is continuing on a regular schedule with students attending physically five days per week,” GEVSD Superintendent Quincey Gray told The Times-Gazette in a Thursday email. ”We have notified our families of the days that their children would attend school on campus if we would need to change to a hybrid model of instruction. Although we are hopeful not to have to make that change, we do want to make sure that families have time to prepare. Our winter sports season has started, and we greatly appreciate the support of our spectators in following the guidelines that are in place so that student activities can continue. “
* As of Nov. 24, Hillsboro City Schools will also remain open, according to a letter from superintendent Tim Davis, available on the district’s website at hillsboro. k12.oh.us.
In the same letter, Davis reported that a high school student had tested positive for COVID-19. The district worked with the Highland County Health Department to identify those who had close contact with the case, whom the school’s nurse then notified.
“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 case,” Davis wrote.
* During the Lynchburg-Clay school board’s Nov. 19 meeting, superintendent Brett Justice revealed that the district did not have a Covid-related contingency plan.
Justice was not available to comment as of press time.
There were no other updates were available on the district’s website, lynchclay.k12.oh.us, or on the Lynchburg-Clay Local School District Facebook page.
As of Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported the following Covid statistics for Highland County’s school systems:
* Bright Local did not report any new cases. This school year, Bright has had nine cumulative student cases and one cumulative staff case.
* Fairfield Local reported one new case involving a student. This school year, Fairfield has had 11 cumulative student cases and five cumulative staff cases.
* GEVSD reported one new case involving a student and one new case involving a staff member. This school year, GEVSD has had 13 cumulative student cases and nine cumulative staff cases.
* Hillsboro Christian Academy reported one new case involving a private school staff member. The school system did not report any new cases in its preschool. This school year, the private school has had one cumulative student case and six cumulative staff cases. The preschool has had one cumulative student case and four cumulative staff cases.
* Hillsboro City Schools reported three new cases involving students. This school year, Hillsboro City Schools has had 14 cumulative student cases and 10 cumulative staff cases.
* Lynchburg-Clay Local reported one new case involving a staff member. This school year, Lynchburg-Clay has had eight cumulative student cases and six cumulative staff cases.
* The Highland County Board of Developmental Disabilities, St. Mary Catholic, and Stonewall Academy have reported no cases as of Thursday.
Warner previously stated that there is a delay in the reporting process.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.