London Schools: remote learning for now, sports continue

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(Posted Dec. 8, 2020)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

London City Schools has opted to go with 100 percent virtual instruction through the end of the semester.

The decision follows rising COVID-19 cases in the district and in Madison County. Madison County Public Health advised all schools within the county to switch to remote instruction as the county neared severe risk of exposure and spread.

The school district has seen 43 COVID-19 cases so far this academic year, including 16 staff members and 27 students. Thirty-three of those cases arose within the past month, beginning on Nov. 4.

As of last week, 15 district staff members were either diagnosed with COVID-19 or were quarantining due to potential exposure to COVID-19.

“For a district our size, that is rather significant and does have a disruption on operations,” said Dr. Lou Kramer, superintendent.

In a survey of 64 district teachers, more than 95 percent of respondents said they would prefer to hold class virtually for the remainder of the semester.

Despite the switch to remote learning, district sports returned to practice on Dec. 7 and will remain active through the remainder of the semester, Kramer said.

“Our coaches and our athletic department did a marvelous job this past fall. All of our teams were able to compete very safely and without a lot of interruption,” he said.

After winter break, the district plans to conduct classes in a hybrid model for two weeks before deciding whether to resume fully in-person instruction.

However, district families will still have the option to enroll their student in fully virtual instruction during the second semester, Kramer said.

“We will get through this. It will continue to take hard work and dedication but this is something our community is used to,” said Darryl Brown, school board president. “We come together in times of need, and this is one of those times. There’s light at the end of the tunnel for us now, but we need to continue to work together and support one another in our community.”

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