Lakota Schools push back in-person return to avoid COVID-19 holiday surge

Lakota Schools push back in-person return to avoid COVID-19 holiday surge
Lakota Schools will return to in-person learning on Jan. 19, the district says. (Source: Pixabay)

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The Lakota Board of Education unanimously voted 4-0 Monday to push back the return of in-person learning districtwide after the upcoming holidays.

Students will begin school in the new year remotely through Jan. 11, the district says.

The return to in-person learning will be staggered Jan. 5-19, after which all students will return to the classroom, according to a district statement.

Students who have opted for virtual learning will begin the semester Jan. 5 and follow a normal schedule, the district says.

Superintendent Matthew Miller recommended the change acknowledged in-person learning is “best for our students.”

“However,” he said, “the increase I positive cases we are seeing throughout our community following holidays has a direct impact on our students and staff attendance.

“We know that the quarantines are not all related to being in close contact with a positive case from school. Regardless of why you are quarantined, you cannot come to school. This is a concern.”

Cases arising from holiday gatherings to be at the crux of Miller’s recommendation. The virus’s incubation cycle of two weeks means any such cases could be resolved by the return of in-person learning.

“Based on the CDC’s updated guidelines, quarantines as a result of the holidays will most likely be over by Jan. 19,” Miller explained. “This means the majority of our staff and students should be able to return to our buildings health and ready to learn.”

The district provided the following schedule:

Jan. 4-8:

  • Mon. Jan. 4: Professional Development for staff - no school for students (no change)
  • Tues.-Fri. Jan. 5-8: Remote learning for in-person students; VLO students begin their second semester as normal and continue unless otherwise noted

Jan. 11-15:

  • Mon. Jan. 11: Remote learning for in-person students
  • Tues. Jan. 12: Students with last names beginning with A-L report to school; Students with last names beginning with M-Z participate in remote learning
  • Wed. Jan. 13: Students with last names beginning with M-Z report to school; Students with last names beginning with A-L participate in remote learning
  • Thurs. Jan. 14: Students with last names beginning with A-L report to school; Students with last names beginning with M-Z participate in remote learning
  • Fri. Jan. 15: Students with last names beginning with M-Z report to school; Students with last names beginning with A-L participate in remote learning

Jan. 18 Forward:

  • Mon. Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Day - no school (no change)
  • Tues. Jan. 19 forward: All in-person learning students report to school

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