The Summit School District will return students to in-person learning after winter break on a slightly delayed schedule due to potential staff shortages and travel delays, according to the district.
Despite the increase in transmission of the coronavirus thanks to the omicron variant and a mask warrant making a comeback across the county, the school district will delay the start of school by one day after winter vacation.
Middle and high school students will return to school on Tuesday January 4, 2022. Primary students will return on Wednesday January 5 and preschool students will return on Thursday January 6.
District spokeswoman Andrea Ridder said the school administration met with officials from the Summit County public health department for about four hours on Thursday, December 30 and health officials did not not recommended to remove children from school due to all mitigation protocols in place by the district to reduce transmission.
“They’re not calling the students out of school at this point and really saying that because we cover up, because we do screening tests, because we do whatever we do, it really alleviates a lot of spread, ”Ridder said. “Because of what we do, we keep our employees safe and our numbers are actually quite good. “
The one-day delay will give district leaders time to adjust to possible staff shortages due to illness as well as potential travel delays with snow in the forecast.
“What we’re trying to mitigate is coming Monday morning and just don’t know what’s going to happen with whatever is going on,” Ridder said. “What we need to understand is where we are, and the staff are away because they are on vacation, so a lot of them haven’t been on a call.”
Ridder also said that since this is an ever-changing situation, the extra day will allow the management team to review all of their backup plans and protocols to make sure everything is in order. order.
“We have backup plans, but we have to assess those plans and really revise them based on what’s going on with this new variant, what’s going on with different directives,” Ridder said. “… We are grateful to everyone for showing patience and flexibility as we all seek to resolve this issue together. “
Since public health has not deemed it necessary to remove the children from the classroom, Ridder said the district wants as many healthy children to enter if they can. There won’t be any temporary distance learning options just yet, but Ridder reiterated the ever-changing nature of the pandemic.
“We want children to go to school,” Ridder said. “We know that’s what’s best for them. … It’s better for them to all be together, and we see it now.