We are aware that Stark County has seen an increased number of COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks and has been categorized as “Purple” by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. After consulting with the Stark County COVID-19 Response Team and the Stark County Health Department, the North Canton City School District will maintain in-person learning for our students.
The health and safety of students and staff is foremost in our mission, and we will continue to take precautions to protect them. Our success in maintaining in-person learning is due to the strict adherence to all suggested protocols: masks are required at all times, social distancing is observed, contact tracing with quarantining is in place, and surfaces are routinely cleaned multiple times each day. We also appreciate the support of staff, students, and families in following our safety guidelines. We’ve had limited positive cases and relatively limited quarantine requirements from close contacts so far, and we have no indication of spread of the virus in our settings at this time. In fact, we have determined that the spread of COVID is happening through social events outside of the school day.
As we look forward, our plan is to remain open with in-person learning (and online for those enrolled in that program). If the need arises to move to remote status, we will do so at the classroom/program or school building level. Our goal is to keep the district open, and our plan is to stay open with in-person learning as much as possible. Of course, if Governor DeWine or the Stark County Health Department orders a remote status, we will comply. You may experience, however, a modification in some transportation routes/services on an occasional basis depending on staffing. There may be an occasion where a high school bus route may be canceled for a day or two or a delayed transportation schedule for an elementary building will occur. We will clearly communicate in advance with affected families should either of these options be implemented. Students who chose online learning in August will remain with the online program currently being used. We are also prepared to pause extracurricular if necessary and to move to remote learning on a day’s notice, based upon advice from the Stark County Health Department.
We appreciate the patience of our students, staff, and families as we strive to provide educational services. As the Ohio Department of Education has stated, “there are questions about the implications of the Purple level guidance to ‘only leave home for supplies and services.’ Education qualifies as a service for purposes of this quoted statement.” Data have shown that the safest place for students is in the school, and we will do our best to protect and serve the families of North Canton City Schools.