SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Following a Facebook post Sunday evening, Springfield City School District has moved three schools to remote learning this week as COVID-19 cases surge. Springfield High School, Schaefer Middle School and Hayward Middle School are now remote.
“As I compiled the COVID dashboard on Sunday, we had over 250, 266 to be exact, COVID positive and probable cases across the district,” said Superintendent Hill. Especially at Schaefer and Hayward on Sunday, anywhere between one-third and one-half of the staff were absent and unable to report.”
Due to these high numbers, Superintendent Hill said remote learning became the safest option.
“With the shortage of substitutes who are also experiencing COVID like symptoms, COVID illnesses, and quarantines, we don’t have enough staff to provide in-person instruction effectively and safely,” said Superintendent Hill.
Though still in person with masks mandated, Fairborn City Schools Superintendent Gene Lolli announced Monday afternoon their district will go remote Thursday and Friday this week.
Superintendent Lolli also noted their district is suffering from bus staffing shortages due to people falling ill with COVID-19 and other winter illness. “We had to cancel some routes, because we were short of bus drivers this morning. They’re doing a phenomenal job over there our bus drivers, trying to get these routes run,” said Lolli.
At Sinclair Community College, Senior Vice President of Student Development Scott Markland said along with offering wider varieties of in-person and remote online learning classes, college leaders are upgrading their health precautions to reduce case spread. “Make sure we clean frequently and clean deeply, so the campus is very clean. Students are really supporting the decision we made to both keep going, and to ask students to wear masks. We encourage students to get vaccinated of course, and we provide testing on campus for our students,” said Markland.
Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County Health Supervisor Dan Suffoletto is also encouraging students and faculty still in the classroom to upgrade their masks for peak protection against COVID-19. “If you’re using a homemade cloth face mask or cloth type face mask those aren’t the best protection. You really wanna go with a more snug fitting mask such as a KN95 if you can find that,” said Suffoletto.”
Even with many of their students learning remote this week, Superintendent Hill said getting students the best education possible continues to remain a top priority.
“All students have iPad’s, all students have access to the internet from us if they need it. So, it’s really the best you can do with the limited circumstances. From our prospective any type of learning any type of engagement is better than none,” said Superintendent Hill. “I think we’re approaching a peak and maybe some type of better conditions towards the end of January. That’s my hope.”
According to Springfield City Schools’ Facebook page, remote learning for the three schools impacted is expected to end Friday, January 14. However, Springfield City School District will be off next Monday due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and next Tuesday due to a professional development day for teachers. Sinclair Community College said they’ll continue to monitor COVID-19 cases and make decisions based on their findings.