DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — As COVID-19 cases spike across school districts in the Miami Valley, many schools are having to make difficult decisions.
In New Lebanon Local School District, Dixie Elementary is closing its doors Tuesday and Wednesday for deep cleaning following a spike in cases and COVID-related symptoms being reported.
“Met with our team, and decided that it’d be best to close Dixie Elementary School for a period of two days,” said New Lebanon Schools Superintendent Greg Williams.
In Huber Heights, Wayne High School will begin remote learning Wednesday, Sept. 1, with Superintendent Mario Basora addressing the decision in a statement:
“Due to the overwhelming increase in student COVID-19 cases at Wayne High School, district administration has decided to transition all general education Wayne High School students to 100% remote learning for two weeks.”
Lebanon City Schools in Warren County is also closing its doors Wednesday, with Superintendent Isaac Seevers confirming 80 positive cases as of Monday, with 900 students quarantined. “The reality was what we’re seeing right now is unique to us in some ways, but we’re not the only ones experiencing this. So, we’re going to revert to some of the things we did last year to keep us safe.”
Seevers said the plan will be to return to the classroom Sept. 7 with a three week mask mandate.
The news of multiple schools across the Miami Valley temporarily closing or moving to remote learning is causing fear in many school district leaders.
“I think I’m already anxious. It’s certainly not news we want to see for any district including our own,” said Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper. “For the first eights days, which ended last Friday, we saw a pretty significant number of COVID cases in our district, and a concerning number of students that had to quarantine because of close contact.”
Many medical experts fear that we could see more of these changes in schools. “Ones that are very prone to go remote, are gonna start looking if it starts to head that direction they’re gonna be quick to pull the trigger maybe. Other ones may be delayed if they get to that point…if they get to that point ever,” said Dr. Joseph Allen, regional medical director for Premier Health.”
Miami County Public Health officials are also encouraging schools and county residents to take mask wearing more seriously. “Again, we want students to be in school…be in school safe. One of the ways to do that is to make sure they’re wearing masks,” said Nate Bednar, emergency preparedness coordinator for Miami County Public Health.
Though masks are currently not required in Troy City Schools, Superintendent Piper is strongly recommending them. “Those are the two clear paths in front of us. If we’re not choosing either of us then they are susceptible to COVID and to quarantine,” said Superintendent Piper.