North Union Local School District News Article

Change in Learning Levels Beginning March 1, 2021

February 23, 2021

Our goal has been for our district to return to Learning Level 1 before the end of the 2020 - 2021 school year.

To date, we have been able to maximize our learning opportunities by making informed decisions through each of our learning levels.

August 17, 2020 - September 1, 2020 - twelve (12) days of staff professional development
September 8, 2020 - October 2, 2020 - nineteen (19) days of Learning Level 2
October 5, 2020 - November 16, 2020 - twenty-nine (29) days of Learning Level 1
November 17, 2020 - November 24, 2020 - six (6) days of Learning Level 4
November 30, 2020 - January 29, 2021 - thirty-seven (37) days of Learning Level 2
February 1, 2021 - February 19, 2021 - thirteen (13) more days of Learning Level 2 (NUHS)
February 1, 2021 - February 19, 2021 - thirteen (13) days of Learning Level 1 with working Wednesdays (NUMS and NUES)

We are currently twenty-five (25) days into the second semester, and sixty-three (63) days remain in the school year.

We have had six (6) calamity days with one (1) of those six days being a remote learning day. The remaining calamity days will be remote learning days.

We continue to gather input and information from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s office, Union County Emergency Management Agency (UCEMA), the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County (MHRBUC) and the Union County Health Department (UCHD). We gather information through surveys, meetings, and conversations from the community, staff, and students.

I am very proud of the work of our entire community, support system, board of education, administration, staff, parents, and students.

To date, we have had fifty-six (56) positive cases of COVID-19, twenty-nine (29) student cases, and twenty-six (26) staff cases. The first case in the district was reported November 4, 2020. We currently have one (1) active case of COVID-19 in isolation.

Six hundred and seventy-three (673) staff and students have been placed in quarantine. Three hundred and fifty-four (354) of those were placed in quarantine due to direct contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

On March 1, 2021, interpretation of ODH guidance will be extended to include all staff and students of school age. This guidance applies if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Students in grades PK-12
  2. The exposure happened in the classroom or on school transportation
  3. Students were not within three (3) feet of the positive student for more than fifteen minutes cumulatively.

As a result of this criteria, the students and staff will not need to quarantine in the classroom or on school transportation, but will still need to quarantine from all activities outside the classroom including extra-curricular activities for the required time.

This will allow for students and staff to be in closer proximity in the classroom and on school transportation.

As a part of our Reset/Restart Plan, in Learning Level 1, NUES students work in cohorts of less than twenty-five (25) students. This minimizes the possibility for exposure in large numbers. North Union Middle School (NUMS) students work in cohorts of less than fifty (50) students which also minimizes exposure. North Union High School (NUHS) students will continue in a block schedule for four days a week, and will work through a full scheduled day on Wednesdays.

All staff had the opportunity for vaccination in cooperation with UCHD on Saturday, February 20, 2021. Over one hundred fifty (150) staff members participated in this opportunity.

Therefore, unless further spread is concerning enough to change learning levels in the following time frame, the board of education approved a return to Learning Level 1 on March 1, 2021:

March 1, 2021 - June 3, 2021
All buildings in Learning Level 1. This is a full return of all students, every day.

Identifying and providing interventions for vulnerable and credit deficient students remains a focus for the second semester in all buildings at all grade levels as we extend into the summer and 2021 - 2022 school year. CARES funding dollars will be targeted to identify, support, and provide interventions to our students.

Success in the classroom depends on compliance and adherence to the safety procedures set forth in our Reset and Restart Plan. With a full return we will continue to follow the guidelines below.

  1. Wear masks at all times
  2. Maintain a safe social distance
  3. Continue symptom checks at home
  4. Wash hands often and thoroughly
  5. Stay home when sick

We will review the plan at the March 16, 2021 board of education meeting, with the goal of continuing Learning Level 1 throughout the rest of the school year.


Richard J. Baird

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