(Posted on Sept. 16, 2020)
Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer
The London City School District is considering moving middle and high school classes to a fully in-person teaching method.
All high schoolers and middle schoolers are currently attending classes in a blended model to reduce the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19.
As of Sept. 15, one high schooler had tested positive for COVID-19. The student is quarantining at home. No additional students will be required to quarantine, according to contact tracing completed by Madison County Public Health.
“Overall, despite this positive test, we have demonstrated a very positive start (to the year),” said Dr. Lou Kramer, superintendent.
The state’s COVID-19 advisory level for the district remains low and teacher attendance rates are at their highest in the last five years, Kramer said.
If COVID-19 cases remain low and teacher attendance remains high, the district will move to a fully in-person teaching method for the middle and high schools during the second quarter of the academic year. The district will make that decision within the next three weeks.
However, if the middle and high schools move back to in-person classes, the district will have to determine how to deal with increased numbers of students in the school, particularly in classes and during lunch periods where it may be difficult to socially distance.
“We’re very encouraged. I don’t think we would talk about trying to bring everyone back on campus if we weren’t being successful. So it’s a good spot to be in and like (with) anything this year, I’d have to be cautiously optimistic about where we are,” Kramer said.
In other news, the district is reducing pay-to-participate fees for all of its sport teams by 50 percent for the academic year.
Sports programming has been reduced this year, with most sports playing fewer games than they would in an average season to help reduce the risk of virus spread.
“It was important and certainly appropriate to (reduce costs),” Kramer said.
Sporting events also have limited audiences. For most sports, each player is allowed four spectator tickets for family and friends during home games. During away games, the number of tickets allotted to each player varies based on the size of the auditorium provided by the hosting school. No sporting events are open to the public.