COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the region, leading to a shortage of staff at schools returning from winter vacation.
Despite this, many schools are avoiding distance learning and are moving forward with similar COVID measures in place since last semester. Ludlow Independent Schools began performing daily tests for students last semester with the help of Gravity Diagnostics. Once that happened, the quarantines dropped. On top of that, 93% of staff are fully vaccinated and a mask warrant is still in place for anyone entering school facilities.
Superintendent Mike Borchers says the community believes in the school district and the goal of keeping classes in person.
“There’s just no way you can do the things you usually do in person,” Borchers said. “You can’t replace that teacher right in front of your students, so if we have missing kids, we work really hard to make up for them, but we really want to keep the kids still here in the classroom.”
Borchers says the district could switch to distance learning overnight if needed due to staffing issues. But he says the district has been extremely lucky for the precautions teachers took during the pandemic.
“I don’t think people realize that our teachers somehow have to make some adjustments in their lives,” Borchers said. “When you get out of schools you don’t see masks there, so they maybe didn’t go to a community meeting or a family reunion at the end of the vacation just to make sure they weren’t there. were not exposed to being in school here for our children. Same thing on weekends. A lot of our people are very careful what they go out and do to know that they are going to be okay with being here at work all next week for the kids. “
The district will organize a vaccination clinic for students aged 5 and over next Tuesday. At least 25 students are currently in quarantine and 22 are in the Test to Stay program. Kenton County, where the district is located, is currently reporting 29.62% positivity rate.
Staff are “withdrawn”
The district recommends that staff and students wear face masks. Previously, students and staff in grades 1 through 6 were required to wear masks. At least 85% of district staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 and between 85 and 90% of students in grades one to six wear masks. However, only 30% of students between Grades 7 and 12 wear masks.
In an update uploaded to youtube Superintendent Jonathan Cooper said on Friday that establishing a warrant would not be easy to implement.
“Then we have to watch, watch and discipline for it [mandate]”Cooper said.” And it’s tough with a staff that’s exhausted. “
In an interview with WVXU on Friday, Cooper said staffing had been an issue all semester. The district increased the replacement wage from $ 85 per day to $ 100, and the bonus wage to $ 125. The district is currently accepting applications for substitute teachers.
As COVID-19 cases have increased among staff, this has created difficulties in filling the gaps. Teachers abandon planning periods to cover other classes. The building administrators are also replaced and the management staff have even worked in the dining rooms to fill the absences.
“When you start to get to that level, it’s not a long-term sustainable plan, so that’s where the challenge really lies,” Cooper said.
He says the district does not plan to conduct distance learning this school year.
“Now if we were to do that, of course we would do what’s best for the kids, but that’s not something that is part of our initial plans at the moment,” Cooper said. “We have other strategies in place, I think, that will keep us from going to that level.”
Cincinnati public schools decision expected Monday
Until now, eight schools in the Cincinnati public school district have converted to distance learning. CPS Education Council to Meet Monday at 6:30 p.m. to discuss whether to convert the entire district to distance learning or to proceed with school-by-school closures.
Schools of the city of Mont-santé switched to distance learning on January 5. Newport Independent Schools switch to NTI days between January 7 and 14. Click on here for a complete overview of school plans in the tri-state for distance learning, courtesy of our news partner WCPO.
Local universities are also delaying the start of their spring semesters due to COVID.
the University of Cincinnati will transition online with plans to resume full operations in person by January 24. The university demands that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. Northern Kentucky University has delayed the start of its spring semester by a week due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the region. All classes at NKU will start on January 18th. The university’s indoor mask mandate will still be in effect.
Miami University still plans to start her spring semester on Jan. 24. Last week, Xavier University the masks advertised will be mandatory indoors to start the spring semester. It starts on January 10.
As of January 6, Greater Cincinnati reports a COVID positivity rate of 30.1%.