(Posted Jan. 13, 2021)
By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer
London City Schools is looking at a potential switch to fully in-person classes starting in early February.
Following the winter break, the district resumed classes in a hybrid model on Jan. 4. The district has had a positive start to the semester, said Dr. Lou Kramer, superintendent.
“We are planning for a hopeful transition (to in-person classes) at the end of the month, provided our case numbers and the county case numbers continue in a positive direction and the advisory is dropped at the end of this month,” Kramer said.
The district has had a total of 63 COVID-19 cases since the start of the school year. Twenty-four staff members and 35 students tested positive for the virus, with the high school being the most affected.
The district and Madison County saw a large increase in cases following Thanksgiving break, leading to a mandate, later changed to an advisory, by Madison County Public Health that required schools to operate in an online format until winter break. Six-foot of social distance between all students and staff on school campuses is required until early February, at this time. The district did not have enough instructional space to adequately distance all students at once, so it moved to a hybrid format.
The district and the county did not see a similar rise in COVID-19 cases following winter break.
“So, allowing the mandate of six-foot social distancing to lapse at the end of month seems like a real possibility,” Kramer said.
The district is also preparing to make the COVID-19 vaccination available to school employees.
School employees who are in-person in schools are able to receive the vaccine during Tier 1-B of the vaccine’s release, which is estimated to arrive in February, according to Gov. Mike DeWine’s office.
Using a planning tool provided by Madison County Public Health, the district is polling school employees to see how many are willing to be vaccinated.
“A great deal of planning is taking place right now, so that we can work with the health department to get vaccinations out,” Kramer said.