More Butler County students are back in schools: How is it going?

Middletown School students at Miller Ridge Elementary were among the thousands to return to live classes last week after learning remotely from home as a preventive measure to spreading the coronavirus. Area school officials say the transition back to traditional, in-person classes went smoothly. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
Middletown School students at Miller Ridge Elementary were among the thousands to return to live classes last week after learning remotely from home as a preventive measure to spreading the coronavirus. Area school officials say the transition back to traditional, in-person classes went smoothly. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

As thousands of students in Fairfield return to live classrooms today , other area districts that resumed in-person learning last week say it went smoothly as they adjusted to school life under the coronavirus.

Monroe, Talawanda and Middletown Schools returned to more in-person classes last week, while Hamilton Schools did the same on Oct. 14.

Explore5 Butler County districts that will return to in-person classes this month

According to the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard for schools in the state, Hamilton Schools had nine students listed for testing positive to the coronavirus and 15 school staffers as of Thursday.

But Hamilton Schools' local dashboard, which like for many districts tend to be more accurate than the state tallies, listed 12 confirmed student cases from Oct. 17 to Friday.

Area school officials urge school parents to check the latest totals for their children’s schools on local district websites.

“Students, staff, and parents are excited to be back,” said Kathy Demers, superintendent of Monroe Schools. “It has been seamless because of the team effort between our staff, students, and parents. All of our staff have worked hard to make the transition between hybrid (schedule) and full return successful for our students.

“And parents are helping us by symptom checking and keeping children home if necessary and making sure children have their masks. We are proud of our students for stepping up and taking ownership and responsibility by wearing their masks, hand washing, and distancing."

Monroe school parent Wendy Pugh said that “my daughters are so excited to be back.”

“They learn better in person and they really missed the social interaction with their peers. I am happy and relieved to have them back in school full time. It is challenging to have them learn from home and miss out on that one-to-one personal interaction,” said Pugh.

Returning Middletown students, who were part of the district’s full remote-learning program from the start of the school year, had some initial adjustments, said Elizabeth Beadle, spokeswoman for the city schools.

“One elementary teacher said her students were so quiet at first that she had to remind them they weren’t on a Zoom call and weren’t on mute. That broke the ice and they immediately opened up,” said Beadle.

“We’ve had so many positive comments from parents and teachers. Despite being out of the classroom since March (the onset of coronavirus), the students are having a great first week back in the classrooms."

Of Talawanda’s 3,000 students, about 80 percent returned to in-person schooling last week with the remaining students opting for continuing to learn from home, said Talawanda Spokeswoman Holli Morrish.

“This has been very challenging and stressful, but our people have stepped up, and we are learning a lot about what we can do. We are pleased that everyone is doing their part by conducting daily wellness checks, and reporting illness and potential exposures,” said Morrish.

“One thing I noticed at Talawanda High School is that it is so quiet when the students are in the hallways. With social distancing and wearing masks, it is clear that it is more difficult for students to chat and I know this is probably hard on teenagers. That said, I can see that students are really happy to see their teachers and their friends.”

In Other News