DEER PARK, Ohio (FOX19) - The Deer Park Community School District is shifting to fully remote learning for its Jr./Sr. High school and hybrid learning for Amity Elementary, according to Superintendent Jay Phillips.
Phillips’s full explanation of the change is embedded above. He cites county and state data on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and reproduction rates, but says ultimately what guided the decision is “what is happening in the walls of Deer Park Schools.”
Phillips says the high school has seen several positive COVID-19 cases in recent days. He adds he is seeing what he considers “active spread inside the building" for the first time.
“We’ve been able to trace back most of our positive cases to things that have happened outside of school, whether it’s family parties, weddings or things like that, but over the course of the last three, three-and-a-half days here in Deer Park, we’ve had a couple cases pop that, when we have done our contact tracing, we believe they have been connected, which shows me that there is active spread inside of our schools,” Phillips said. “Once we see that (…) there needs to be some action taken to alleviate this concern and to try to eliminate it as much as we possibly can.”
The same active spread has not been seen at Amity, accounting for the difference in the learning models.
Phillips provided the following data for the high school:
- 4 positive cases among students (i.e. lab-confirmed);
- 2 probable cases among students (i.e. symptomatic and had close contact with confirmed case);
- 52 students in quarantine based on contact tracing, up 29 from Wednesday;
- 1 positive case among staff members;
- 1 probable case among staff members;
- 4 staff members in quarantine based on contact tracing.
Among students at Amity there are no positive cases, two probable cases and eight students quarantined from contact tracing. Among staff members there is one positive case and no probable cases, according to Phillips.
The high school will make the change at once, such that students will not report to school Friday, Phillips says. They will be able to stop by the school to collect materials but will have to leave immediately.
High-school students will remain fully remote through Nov. 6. Beginning Nov. 9 through Thanksgiving, they will return to the hybrid A/B model with which the district began the school year. A reassessment will be made afterwards, Phillips says.
The changes at Amity will begin Monday, when students will move to the hybrid A/B model and continue in that model until Thanksgiving. A similar reassessment will then be made, according to Phillips.
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