WESTERVILLE — Students are back in classrooms after COVID-19 and the flu caused a brief switch to remote learning at two schools in Genoa Township.
Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mount Royal Ave., and Genoa Middle School, 5948 South Old 3C Highway, which are both in Delaware County, went to remote learning on Wednesday. The decision also impacted the Delaware Area Career Center.
“(DACC) students who use Westerville Central neighborhood buses will not be able to ride their neighborhood morning bus to WCHS to transfer to a career center shuttle for morning, afternoon, or all-day classes,” Westerville City Schools posted Wednesday on Facebook. “Morning Career Center students who come back to Westerville Central at midday will not have bus service home and will need to be picked up at Westerville Central by a parent or guardian.”
The district also announced Thursday that Blendon Middle School in Franklin County would go to remote learning.
On Friday, though, there was activity at all three schools, with full parking lots, parents picking up their children, and students walking with backpacks in the snow.
The Westerville City School District has developed a “Forward Together Mitigation Plan” for the 2021-2022 school year.
“Last school year, the Westerville City Schools opened in a fully remote instructional environment,” the district said. “By following established health and safety protocols, eventually the district was able to transition to a blended learning model and ultimately return all students to the classroom to complete the year.”
The district had a different approach this school year.
“The goal this year is to keep children in school, receiving in-person instruction, for the entire year while maintaining the health of our students and staff,” the district said.
Superintendent Dr. John R. Kellogg wrote a four-page letter to district families Aug. 2, 2021. The letter outlined health and safety measures to be taken during the pandemic.
The following topics were addressed in the letter: Masks/face coverings on buses and other district transportation, masks/facial coverings during school, physical distancing and barriers, lunch, special education, facility cleanliness, school health clinics, athletics and other extracurricular activities and monitoring local health data.
One item that was updated on Aug. 17 concerned when parents should keep their children home.
“Students should stay home from school or school activities, or they may be sent home, based upon their health and the health of others,” Kellogg wrote. He asked parents to monitor their children’s health daily and follow quarantine procedures if necessary.
“In the event of increased health concerns, contingency plans remain in place to put individual schools or the entire district in remote learning,” Kellogg said. “This would allow us to continue teaching and learning while slowing the spread of the virus.”
The district has a COVID-19 Dashboard. For the week ending Nov. 26, 2021, 23 new positive cases of the coronavirus were detected among staff and students. In December, the district had 113 cases on Dec. 3, 86 cases on Dec. 10, and 75 cases on Dec. 17. Genoa had a high of 10 cases on Dec. 3; while Central had a high of 15 cases on Dec. 15.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.