November 18, 2021
Dear parents, guardians, and staff,
I hope this communication finds you well. I unfortunately do not have good news to share with you today but the information is very important. As you know, our district moved to mask optional on October 28, 2021. At that time the numbers of positive cases in our schools and throughout the 43402 zip code were trending downward.
The Board of Education asked me to monitor the number of cases impacting our schools and authorized me to make decisions in regards to the health and safety of our students and staff.
On November 4, one week after we moved to mask optional, the number of positive cases in the 43402 was 59. As of today that number has increased to 154 which is approximately a 161% increase.
Meanwhile our in-school and out-of-school cases during the week of November 4 were a total of 2 staff isolations (positive tests) and 10 student isolations. Last week we had 1 staff isolation and 14 student isolation. Since Monday through today at noon we have 4 staff isolations and 31 student isolations, with more suspected cases that we are awaiting results for.
In addition, we have nearly 400 students who are mask to stay. As you can see from all of the data shared, our numbers are concerning and with the holidays around the corner and people moving indoors, we need to do all we can to slow the increases. Therefore, while some may not agree and certainly will not be pleased, on Monday, November 22, 2021 we will be returning to masks being mandatory in our schools for students, staff, parents, and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
I encourage all to continue to practice proper hygiene practices including regularly washing hands thoroughly and maintaining social distancing whenever possible.
Superintendent Francis Scruci