Southwest students back in class after delayed start

Southwest students return to school after 3-week delay

HARRISON, Ohio (FOX19) - The school year is underway for students in the Southwest Local School District after a three-week delay because of COVID-19 and the heat.

Some of the students at Harrison High School were happy to be back in class and be able to walk through the hallways when they returned on Monday.

Those first-day jitters were back, but in a good way for some students.

Senior Kailey Egan says she has been eager to get back inside the classroom for the past six months.

“I’m just grateful to be back honestly," Egan stated. "Getting back to normal is just is something I’ve been waiting for so long.”

Reconnecting with friends and getting with the rhythm of the new school year will be unlike any other year.

And that starts with a delayed first day of class.

The choice to delay the start of the year was made because students are required to wear masks and not all schools in the district have air-conditioning.

“We knew that with mask requirements coupled with the intense heat that usually comes in August we thought it was probably a wise decision to push back three weeks,” explained,” explained Southwest Local School District Communications Director Mike Morris.

A handful of measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of students because of the pandemic.

“They form lines out here on the school distancing dots, they’ll have their temperatures taken," Morris explained. "They will be asked the COVID symptom questions and they’ll use hand sanitizer and once they’re good, they enter the building.”

But those aren’t the only precautionary measures in place.

Masks are required, shields separate students in the classrooms, and makeshift lunchrooms have been made.

Morris says around 70% of the district’s 4,000 students chose the in-person learning option.

If students chose to do in-person learning, Morris said they still have the chance to switch and go to the virtual learning option.

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