Quarantines causing more changes in Butler County schools: The latest on area districts

A Middletown school will go back to remote learning from home due to coronavirus quarantines of some staffers, said city school officials.

More than 820 students at Middletown Middle School will move to all-remote learning for two weeks beginning Wednesday .

At least one other area school, Madison High School, recently announced it was doing the same and other officials from local districts continue to watch their staffing and student quarantine totals closely but have no plans currently for switching to all remote learning.

“With so many staff in quarantine, it was necessary to make the decision to go remote for two weeks,” said Elizabeth Beadle, spokeswoman for the 6,300-student Middletown Schools.

The district announced on Sunday night that the middle school would be closed Monday and remote classes will resume on Wednesday after preparation for remote learning. Students will plan to return to in-person learning on Nov. 16 in the hybrid model the district had been using — students with last named beginning A-L on Monday and Tuesday and students M-Z on Thursday and Friday.

In its latest dashboard, for the week of Oct. 26-30, Middletown reported one student positive case and three staff positive cases at the school that have led to 80 student quarantines and nine staff quarantines.

“We apologize in advance for the inconvenience and disappointment this causes,” district officials said in a statement.

Earlier, Middletown officials had announced a delay in returning to live classes districtwide until at least January. The district had planned to move to five-day, in-person classes this month, but it will stay on the hybrid schedule until the school board addresses the issue again in January.

Not all staff quarantines involve teachers as some non-teaching staffers may be part of a district’s total quarantine reporting. School systems do not break out a separate teaching quarantine number due to protect the medical privacy of teachers and other staffers.

The 16,800-student Lakota Schools reported a total of 19 staff quarantines from Oct. 24 to Oct. 30 for its 22 school buildings.

With more than 98 percent of students still attending live classes, district officials have no plans to switch to all remote learning, said Betsy Fuller, spokeswoman for Lakota.

This week, however, the district is closed today for election day, which in recent years the district has used for a professional development day for teachers.

Besides today, Fuller also said schools will be closed Wednesday for a two consecutive days of teachers practicing remote learning procedures should they be necessary in the future.

Also, she said, the Tuesday and Wednesday closure of Lakota schools will allow “our maintenance department the opportunity to deep clean the buildings after having thousands of visitors in our buildings to vote,” as some schools are used as polling places.

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