SPRINGBORO, Ohio (WDTN) — Springboro Community City Schools begins a districtwide voluntary alternative quarantine pilot program Friday, October 1.

The pilot program will only be available to students in grades 7-12 and will allow unvaccinated students who are exposed to COVID-19 to remain in school using masks and testing, as long as they are symptom free. However, students can still choose the traditional quarantine method.

For students who opt in to the program, they will be required to wear a mask for at least 10 days and show a negative COVID test for several days after.

The district has made it clear that the program only applies to students exposed in the classroom, cafeteria or on the bus. Students exposed outside of the classroom, which includes athletics and extra curricular activities, will not be eligible for the pilot.

The district said that by the second and third weeks of the school year nearly 100 students were in quarantine. Since then, they’ve averaged between 10 to 20 students per week. They created the program to keep more kids in the classroom after finding that over 90 percent of the students quarantined didn’t show symptoms.

“How quarantines are set up right now is really hurting school districts in terms of staffing and putting kids home that are relatively healthy,” said Scott Marshall, public information officer for the district. “So if we can alleviate that and have an alternative program to remedy that, that’s something we’re all for.”

Students in grades K-6 will become eligible for the program starting October 11.