Dear Bloom-Carroll Community,
There have been a few questions about the instructional status level of our school district as a result of the rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases throughout the county, state, and nation.
We are committed to making every effort to keep our schools open on our current Modified Green Instructional Status Level, in which students are attending five days per week with a forty-five (45) minute early release.
We are fully aware of county and state COVID-19 case data. More importantly, we closely analyze case data on a local level involving students and staff within our school buildings. We have been extremely fortunate to this date. I commend our students, parents, and staff for their efforts to implement safety precautions. Our District has not been immune to the virus. In accordance with the ODH Reporting Order, we have notified families and staff in the respective school buildings, buses, and activities when we have experienced a positive case of a student or staff member if the positive individual was in attendance during the infectious period. At this time, health officials have not been able to confirm the spread of the virus within our schools to those individuals considered close contact in the cases we have had. To date, most of the cases we have experienced appear to be contracted through family members or non-school related gatherings and non-school related contacts.
As we move forward, there will be more cases. The District will work with our nurses and county health officials to assess each situation. If they determine there is an outbreak – confirmed transmission of the virus among students and staff within our school buildings - or an alarming number of cases due to exposure at school, then we will determine if modifications to our instructional status level is needed. Other potential factors that could change our status levels include closure orders from the FDH or ODH, insufficient staffing levels, or mass quarantines of excessive numbers of students/staff due to virus exposure at school. Governor DeWine is scheduled to address the state on Wednesday and it is unclear tonight if his message will address the status of schools.
Closing schools for in-person instruction may be effective if all other non-school activities also ceased, but to close school and see our county, state, and nation continue work and social activities outside of the school setting, seems counterproductive and a disservice to our students and families. Cases per capita continue to rise in counties where schools are all online or hybrid – sometimes with a higher case per capita than those counties with schools fully open.
Educating our students in-person as safely as possible is our priority. In order to do that, we ask that we all do our part outside of the school day to reduce the spread of the virus. Be cautious, keep your distance whenever possible, wash your hands, wear a mask, and isolate when ill.
As we have communicated for the past seven months, we have a family plan for every instructional status level – all in, alternating days, and all online. My goal is to always provide adequate notice of any changes; however, that may not always be possible if an outbreak is confirmed or if an immediate status change is needed due to insufficient staffing levels.
The situation will continue to change rapidly. Our District’s conditions at this moment may be totally different in a matter of days or hours. We continue to ask for your patience and flexibility as we do our best to serve the amazing students and families of the Bloom-Carroll Local School District.