Hamilton schools move to remote learning through Jan. 21

The 10,000-student Hamilton Schools will be closed until early next week after district officials announced Tuesday no more live classes starting Wednesday due to teacher and staffer absences. The district is the first in Butler County to close all schools during the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the region. (PHOTO BY NICK GRAHAM\Journal-News)

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The 10,000-student Hamilton Schools will be closed until early next week after district officials announced Tuesday no more live classes starting Wednesday due to teacher and staffer absences. The district is the first in Butler County to close all schools during the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the region. (PHOTO BY NICK GRAHAM\Journal-News)

The Hamilton City Schools will have students learning remote when they resume classes on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

The district has already been closed this week because of low staffing caused by COVID-19 quarantines and illnesses. It was to return from closure on Tuesday, the day after the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

The district’s remote learning schedule is available on its website, hamiltoncityschools.com. This is the plan at least through Jan. 21, the district said, and ideally classes will resume in-person on Jan. 24.

An announcement from district officials on Friday said the move is out of an abundance of caution for students and faculty. Students in the Virtual Learning Institute will follow their regular schedule.

All extra-curricular activities throughout the district are suspended at least through Sunday, Jan. 23, officials said.

Students who may not have their remote learning devices at their homes are invited to pick those up at their school from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18. Masks must be worn.

The eight elementary schools will be providing lunches from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday next week. Any Hamilton student may go to any of those schools to get a meal, which is available for pickup in the cafeterias.

The elementary schools include Bridgeport, Brookwood, Crawford Woods, Fairwood, Highland, Linden, Ridgeway and Riverview.

At the Hamilton City Schools Board of Education meeting Thursday, Superintendent Mike Holbrook said the decisions to close or go remote are difficult and “unprecedented.”

“We are going through something that has never been dealt with before,” Hamilton Schools Superintendent Mike Holbrook told the board.

Holbrook praised the district’s employees for their sacrifices since the American onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

Hamilton Board of Education President Laurin Sprague described the virus’ impact on the city schools this school year as “a rollercoaster.”

“I wish we had a crystal ball to tell our parents what to expect next but we don’t know what to expect next,” Sprague said.

For now, in-person education is expected to resume on Jan. 24, the district said.

In other school district news, the board on Thursday elected Sprague to return as president for 2022, with Margaret Baker also returning as vice president.

Both will be serving in those board capacities for a second consecutive year.

Sprague said the two-year tenures are by design and a tradition in recent years for the board to take advantage of leadership continuity.

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