District confirms 62 staff, 310 students and 14 full classrooms currently quarantining
By Megan Kelley
Lake Orion Community Schools (LOCS) announced early Monday morning that the district would be returning to a fully remote format for in-person students beginning on Tuesday of this week until at least Dec. 8.
The decision comes on the heels of a new order put in place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday evening that prohibited in-person learning at the high school level, as well as high school sports.
Also on Sunday, LOCS informed families that Stadium Drive Elementary would be closed through November, a date that has since changed to Dec. 8 as well.
“Additional Stadium Drive cases arose this weekend, creating the need for additional staff members and significantly more students to enter quarantine,” the communication stated.
On Monday, district administration confirmed 42 positive cases of COVID-19 in the district with 62 staff members, 310 students and 14 full classrooms currently quarantining.
“There has been a recent increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in our area and, with an increased number of students and staff in quarantine over the weekend, LOCS can no longer operate in the capacity necessary for in-person learning,” Superintendent Ben Kirby said on Monday morning.
“When Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shared the new epidemic order on Sunday, LOCS was directed, along with the rest of the state, to shut down the high schools beginning Wednesday. After lengthy examination, LOCS has decided to place all in-person students in Grades DK-12 into remote learning,” Kirby said.
Last week, Clarkston Community Schools and Rochester Community Schools both moved their students back to remote learning. Oxford Community Schools also announced their students would be returning to a fully remote format this week.
Oakland County currently finds itself at risk level E for contracting COVID-19, with an average of 508.9 new cases daily in the area.
On Monday, Oakland County reported a total of 30,774 confirmed positive cases and 1,283 deaths.
“The increase in COVID-19 positive cases and students and staff in quarantine creates an inconsistent learning environment for many of our students. With positive test results now taking up to 3-5 days, it is becoming more challenging to determine positive cases and quarantine situations in an adequate time period,” Kirby said.
“Returning to the remote format will hopefully prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide our students with increased consistency.”
Dragon Virtual students in high school and middle school are expected to proceed as normal while Dragon Virtual elementary students will have a slight shift in their normal Wednesday schedule.
Student’s who were signed up for in-person learning had independent work on Tuesday and began live instruction via Zoom, Seesaw, etc. on Wednesday.
For more information on the remote and virtual learning plans, visit www.lakeorionschools.org.
LOCS Board of Education is expected to hold their regular meeting on Nov. 19 in its virtual format.