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Sycamore Schools Moves to One-Week Remote Learning After Thanksgiving

Sycamore Community Schools will be moving to remote learning for all K-12 students between November 30-December 4 as a preventative measure to ensure our schools remain the safest place for students and staff following Thanksgiving Break. Face-to-face learners will return to school in-person on December 7, pending a major shift to our student and staff health data. 

 

Sycamore’s Data Assessment Risk Team (DART), composed of district leadership and local health professionals, have been carefully evaluating our school and local health data. While we continue to see zero in-school transmission of COVID-19, we are seeing an elevated number of cases among students and staff:

confirmed cases chart

The number of quarantines among students and staff has also increased. During the week of 11/6-11/12, we had 108 new close contacts enter quarantine, up 39 from the previous week (10/30-11/5) and 58 more than two weeks ago (10/23-10/29).

Meanwhile, community spread in our local zip codes continues to rapidly increase:

  • The 7-day moving average of new daily cases among residents in 45242 and 45249 is 21.375 (Up 7.75 from our last report on November 13)

We anticipate an increase in COVID-19 related absences following Thanksgiving due to the likelihood of increased exposure through gatherings, travel, and other activities during the break. 

“Our team of medical professionals has advised that on average, symptoms from the virus develop three to five days post-exposure,” said Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent. “By giving ourselves a week buffer, we minimize the risk and keep the community spread from entering our schools.”

The shift to remote learning only impacts face-to-face students and staff. Students already in Virtual Classroom Learning will continue on with school without any disruption or changes. Face-to-face students will be sent home with learning materials, including Chromebooks and chargers, prior to Thanksgiving Break. Please look for additional information from your student’s building and teacher(s). The HelpDesk will be available to assist with any tech issues during the week of remote learning. They can be reached by calling (513) 686-1793 or emailing helpdesk@sycamoreschools.org

In order for us to accurately assess our student and staff health data during the break and the week of remote learning, we encourage families to report any suspected, probable, or confirmed cases of COVID-19 as well as any quarantines to our Attendance Line at (513) 686-1707. We will monitor this line throughout Thanksgiving Break. 

As stated in our Healthy Aves Plan, Sycamore Community Schools will need to have the capacity to operate in various modes at different times, and sometimes, with minimum advance notice, in order the ensure the health and safety of all students and staff. We understand that this may cause a burden for some families and staff. Our teachers and administrators will make every effort to ensure that our students are prepared for a successful week of remote learning.