Westerville City School District (WCSD) Superintendent Dr. John R. Kellogg today announced to staff and families that the district would extend a planned, temporary return to Remote Instruction through at least Dec. 4, 2020, due to worsening health conditions in the region.
”A few weeks ago, long before any of the recent actions by the Governor or county officials, we announced that Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 would be fully Remote Instruction days for students,” Kellogg said. “That decision was made simply because Thanksgiving Break starts on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and we thought it would be best to have students remain at home for an extended period of time by going remote those two days.”
Now, on the heels of Governor DeWine ordering a statewide curfew and Franklin County health officials issuing a Stay At Home Advisory, district leaders have decided the best course of action would be to extend Remote Learning for at least one more week.
“Attending school was identified by health officials as an appropriate reason to leave home, and school-age children make up only 8 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases within our school district boundaries,” Kellogg explained. “Despite this, out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to extend the time that we are in remote instruction following the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Kellogg said district officials will continue to work with medical professionals to evaluate new information and health data for the district and region during this time.
“We have established a great working relationship with these experts and join them in their concern for how the next few weeks will impact not just our schools, but society in general,” Kellogg said. “This decision to stay in 100 percent remote instruction through at least Dec. 4 will provide us with one additional week of health data to evaluate and guide our decisions moving forward, particularly as it pertains to staff health data.”
Last week, district officials announced that sports and extracurricular activities would be postponed through Nov. 29. This decision is also being extended through at least Dec. 4 as well.
“We’re extending the postponement of athletic events and activities, as well as other extracurriculars, by another week,” Kellogg said. “The greatest increase in our positive cases and quarantines is happening among students involved in group activities; we believe this measure would be supported by county health officials as they have encouraged schools to cease extracurricular activities.”
In his message to staff and families, Kellogg urged everyone to enjoy the Thanksgiving break, but to remain diligent in their efforts to remain safe by following recommended health protocols.