SUNBURY — Nearly two months into the 2020-2021 school year, the Big Walnut Local School District is reporting no students or staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the BWLS COVID-19 Dashboard.
As of Oct. 9, no cases have been officially confirmed and reported to Big Walnut by the Delaware General Health District.
“If your child or family member is being tested for COVID-19, we ask that your child remain home until you receive a negative test result or as directed by a local health department,” the school district states on its website. “Parents are requested to notify your child’s school within 24 hours if your child has positive case of COVID-19. Please notify the school nurse (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or attendance line to report a positive case.”
In the event there is a positive, confirmed case of COVID-19, parents will be provided notification within 24 hours, the school district said. Anyone identified as a close contact to that student or staff member will be contacted by the DGHD, including athletic teams or extracurricular clubs.
For those students in the Virtual Learning Program, “positive confirmed cases will be included on the overall count of reported cases.”
One parent recently commented on Facebook, “I continue to be grateful every day our son goes to school in person! BW you have been leaders in these trying times, and our house is more grateful than you will ever know. Thank you for all you’re doing for our kids during these extremely trying times. Look at our son’s grades from spring and now … that’s because of you and our child being in person in class!”
In addition to the challenges presented by a pandemic, Big Walnut has also opened a new school, Prairie Run Elementary, at 701 N. Miller Drive. Next door to the elementary, a new high school, one of the largest in the state, is being constructed. The building on Harrison Street is now known as the Early Learning Center (Preschool).
Fall sports have continued, with reduced attendance. Because of the shortened football season, the Ohio High School Athletic Association allowed participating schools into an expanded playoff tournament format. That meant Big Walnut, which was already enjoying a good season, hosted a game on Oct. 9. The ninth-seeded Golden Eagles routed Logan, 62-0. On Friday, Big Walnut will travel to Dublin Scioto for the next game in Division II Region 7. The OHSAA said the game can be seen on Spectrum News 1, the Spectrum app and on OHSAA.tv.
However, football isn’t the only sport that’s faring well: Austen Bennett and Blake Shade are district qualifiers for golf; and the girls tennis team had a 15-5 regular season and a “banner year.”
As for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year, the district calendar indicates there is no school on Friday, Oct. 16, for Conference Exchange Day. The next time off is Nov. 25-27 for Thanksgiving break. There is also no school on Nov. 30 for Teacher Professional Development Day. Winter break starts Dec. 23, and classes resume Jan. 5. Spring break is the week of March 29, with classes resuming April 6. Graduation is May 22, with the last day for students on May 26.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.