In reviewing the first nine weeks, how have Greater Stark schools handled COVID? Hint: REALLY WELL!
All school districts have emergency plans but when COVID-19 arose last winter school officials knew they had to develop strategies that were different from any they had on hand.
Since March, Superintendent Joe Chaddock, Stark County Educational Service Center (SCESC), and his team facilitated weekly planning sessions with health department leaders and school district superintendents to develop detailed action plans to safely open schools five days per week – once Governor DeWine permitted the restart. At the same time, SCESC technology and curriculum consultants and district leaders met weekly. They determined high quality online curricula options and designed training sessions to equip online teachers for remote learning so parents had strong educational choices. School superintendents worked diligently with their district teams and boards to apply CDC and health department recommendations to their own school designs in order to create safe, restart settings.
Now, after nine weeks back in school with approximately 80% (52,000) of Greater Stark County students attending school in person, the results provide good news at a time when reports on COVID have been dismal. According to the Ohio Department of Health
, as of October 29th, there have been a total of 166 (107 kids and 59 adults) who have tested positive, are "probable" or been diagnosed with COVID. To date, there have also been no hospitalizations and zero spread from the schools.
Thank you to all early education, k-12 and higher education partners for figuring out how to bring our students back to school safely to continue their education. Your creativity and perseverance will pay huge dividends in student preparation for their futures!
“As science and medical professionals work 24/7 to beat Covid-19, Greater Stark has used the tools of mitigation to work with families and communities to keep children and their loved ones safe and well,” Joe Chaddock declared. “Across the county we will continue to be vigilant and attentive until this pandemic is over.”