BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Less than a month before the school year begins on August 17, the Middletown City School District Board of Education voted to start the year with fully remote learning.
The Monday vote was made as a result of COVID-19 cases remaining high in Butler County, according to a district release.
Butler County is listed as a Level 3 “red” county as defined by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, the second highest public health warning level, indicating very high risk of exposure and spread.
The district will continue learning remotely until further notice, the release says.
The following policies will be in place during the remote-learning period:
- Assignments will be graded;
- Attendance will be required and tracked;
- Teachers will be expected to provide live virtual classroom experiences;
- Teachers will be required to offer a certain number of hours each week for live classrooms, open office hours and individualized learning support;
- Schoology or Google Classroom will be the platforms used by teachers and students to provide access to homework, tests and lessons that students can access at their own pace;
- MCSD will provide students grades 3-12 a school-issued laptop.
For the updated MCSD Return to Learn: Remote Learning plan, click here.
District Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. released the following statement:
“This is a decision the Board of Education and my administrative team have not made lightly as we all want to get back to the classroom environment, but the risks to the health and safety of our students and staff are too great at this point in time.
“When it is safe to do so, we will make decisions on returning to an in-person classroom environment with the guidance and support of our area health departments.”
The district says it is in regular communication with Middletown Health Commissioner Jackie Phillips as well as the Butler County Health Commissioner and the Hamilton Health Commissioner.
“We are seeing a huge increase in positive Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in our community,” Phillips said. “The increase of our positivity rate, even as we are doing more testing, means that we are likely picking up signs of broader community spread.
“This is not a position that I would be comfortable putting our children, educators, staff and their families in at this time.”