Following is update on where we currently stand with COVID protocols.
Return to School: As of right now, our plan is to be back at school in person on January 3. I am watching developments daily, though, and am prepared to make whatever decisions need to be made. Staffing levels will play a significant role in my decision, particularly with teachers and bus drivers.
Masks: Yesterday, superintendents and school board members across the state received this letter signed by members of the Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Children’s Hospital Association who are leading the COVID-19 response in their respective regions of Ohio. The letter stresses the importance of vaccination for those students who are eligible and the importance of masking. The letter also recognizes how important in-person learning is for our students. In order to keep our kids in school, health experts are recommending Ohio schools continue masking for students and staff as students return to school next week. Accordingly, masks will continue to be required for all Nordonia students, staff, and visitors during school hours through January 14.
Contingency Plans: With all things COVID, anything is possible. It is possible that we could close for a day or two if we can't staff classrooms or provide transportation. It is possible that we could go remote for a longer period of time, say a week or two. I hope we do not need to go to remote learning. However, in the event that we do need to go remote for an extended period, my intention would be for the first day of such a period to be a day for teachers to prepare.
Isolation and Quarantine Procedures: Summit County Public Health is aware of the 12/27/21 CDC Media Release titled "CDC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population." Although this media release represents an intention to change guidelines, we have yet to receive formal documentation of such changes. SCPH cannot change/update isolation and quarantine guidance until we receive this formal documentation from either the CDC or the Ohio Department of Health. They have been notified that this may take a few weeks to come through. The Nordonia Hills City School District will continue to follow standard isolation and quarantine protocols until updated guidance is sent out.
A Little Optimism: Though the latest variant is more contagious than previous strains, the symptoms are generally milder, particularly for those who have been vaccinated. If you have not yet been vaccinated, I doubt anything I say will convince you. But please get vaccinated if you are medically able, and please get your booster when it is time.
Enjoy the rest of your break and have a Happy New Year!