Carlisle schools closed Thursday and Friday due to COVID-19

Carlisle Local Schools will be closed for the remainder of the week due to COVID-19 and other illnesses that has increased the absence rate to nearly 40%. Classes are expected to resume on Tuesday. FILE PHOTO

Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building.  NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Carlisle Local Schools will be closed for the remainder of the week due to COVID-19 and other illnesses that has increased the absence rate to nearly 40%. Classes are expected to resume on Tuesday. FILE PHOTO Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A growing absence rate due to COVID-19 and other illnesses in the Carlisle Local Schools has forced the district to close for the rest of this week

Superintendent David Vail said due to the increasing number of positive COVID cases and the quarantines that go with those, along with the students suffering from allergies, flu, colds, strep throat, and other ailments, Vail said the district’s absence rate is between 35% and 40%.

“There is so much going on and we’re all stretched thin,” he said. “This will give us a chance to recover and recuperate to get everyone well again.”

ExploreArea schools close amid spike in COVID among students

Vail said in order to help curb the spread of all of this, Carlisle schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday to allow us to assess our practices and to allow students and staff to recover from whatever might be impacting them. This will also allow the district to continue to keep our buildings, buses, and equipment clean, he said.

“When we resume classes after Labor Day, we are strongly recommending and encouraging students and staff to wear masks when in situations where they might be in direct or close contact with another,” Vail said. “We will continue to socially distance as best as we can and to monitor seating charts, in order to do contact tracing. If we have another spike in positive cases and excessive absenteeism, we might have to consider closing for an extended period of time while going remote and/or putting a mandatory mask mandate in place. At this time, we will remain mask optional until such time we have no other choice but to do so.”

Vail said the Warren County school superintendents are working with the Ohio Department of Health and the Warren County Health District to possibly relax the quarantine procedure as a pilot program. He said when that gets rolled out, the district will let everyone know.

During the closure, all staff that are not sick and/or quarantined will be in the building and available to answer any calls or emails. He said they are not expecting any remote lessons to be assigned during this time. The district is also treating the closure as calamity days,” he said.

Vail said he will be meeting with district principals and other staff to determine if any extracurricular activities will be canceled or postponed due to the closure. He said a decision on that and Friday night football is expected to be made by noon Thursday.

Other districts such as Lebanon, Huber Heights and New Lebanon announced they would be closed temporarily. Officials in other school districts are monitoring the situation and have not closed as of Wednesday afternoon.