By Megan Kelley
Last month, like any schools in the area, Lake Orion Community School’s brought student’s back into classrooms in hopes to resume in-person learning safely. However, exactly one week after secondary students returned to buildings, on Nov. 16, the district reversed their decision and all in-person students were immediately shifted back to remote learning.
At that time, the district had confirmed 42 positive cases of COVID-19 in the district with 62 staff members, 310 students and 14 full classrooms currently quarantining.
During their meeting on Nov. 19, Mark Snyder, Director of Communications and Marketing at LOCS, informed the LOCS Board of Education and community of the steps the district is taking when it comes to communicating positive cases.
“We created a dashboard, as the state has required us to talk about the positive case counts. Ben (Kirby, Superintendent of LOCS) and Rick (Arnett, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources) and I have worked on the best way to communicate those things and we launched a new dashboard,” said Snyder. “Remember that that’s school associated cases, that’s what we’re dictated to do by the state so that probably won’t change too much because it involves personnel who were onsite in our buildings. So, with the students not in and very few teachers in, we probably won’t have too many, in terms of case counts, moving forward until we’re back in-person.”
On Tuesday, the district’s dashboard showed a total of 53 positive school-related cases since the beginning of the school year, only 11 cases more from the count two weeks prior. Of these 53 cases, 34 are students.
LOCS Superintendent Ben Kirby has stated that he hopes to have students return to in-person learning on Dec. 9, the day after the restrictions set in place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are set to expire.
“We are in hopes of moving to in-person instruction again on Dec. 9,” Kirby said at the district’s Nov. 19 meeting. “I understand that that is an optimistic approach, but we are very interested in getting our students back, certainly our special education and our elementary students.”
Update: After Review press time, LOCS announced that students would remain in remote learning until Jan. 19.