GERMANTOWN, Ohio (WDTN) — Valley View Local Schools plans to temporarily send its fourth grade class home for remote learning after a “rapid and significant increase” in students absences in that grade.

Students in fourth grade will be at home starting Thursday, Sept. 30, until Monday, Oct. 4. Though classes will still be held Wednesday, Sept. 29, the district encourages parents to keep there fourth graders home but understands if that cannot happen.

“The past two days we have seen roughly 30% of our fourth grade students absent from school. There have been seven confirmed cases of COVID, with a number of students contact-traced out of school. Anecdotally, we also know there are some other illnesses going around,” said Superintendent Ben Richards in a statement.

The district is only sending the fourth grade class home for remote learning — families with students in multiple grades should only keep their fourth graders home.

“The goal is to keep students in school as much as possible.  Our hope is that by taking this action in 4th grade, we can hopefully prevent the spread to other grade levels.  The percentage of students absent in 4th grade is more than twice that of the nearest grade level,” Richards said.

The district will be in touch with the families of fourth graders with more information about the academic plan for those three days and an update about school picture day.