The Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District has announced that Goshen Lane Elementary School, 370 Goshen Lane, will reopen Thursday, March 12, the day after it closed so custodians could conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection.

The closing was the result of a statement by a parent March 10 regarding exposure to the coronavirus, said Steve Barrett, superintendent.

The parent later retracted the statement, he said.

“Our response was immediate, and we continue to take this very seriously,” Barrett said. “District leaders have been in close communication about this situation with Franklin County Public Health, and we are grateful for their counsel as we navigate through this issue.”

From that conversation, he said, it isn’t necessary to keep the school closed.

As a precautionary measure, in accordance with all public-health recommendations, the school was disinfected and received a thorough cleaning.

“This issue is a reminder that while we must be vigilant in protecting from the spread of COVID-19, we also must take care to speak accurately and appropriately,” Barrett said. “This is a quickly evolving situation and one that requires all of us to use good judgment and common sense.”

As a district, he said, school leaders continue to consult experts to make decisions related to school management and what the next steps might be if the disease continues to spread.

“As a continued preventative measure, we are ensuring thorough cleaning is taking place in all of our school buildings and facilities,” Barrett said. “As usual, we are reminding students to practice frequent handwashing during this cold and flu season in an attempt to reduce the transmission of all viruses.”

He said the district is working on an instructional plan that would enable remote teaching and learning should the district need to close school for any reason, he said.



Previous story

Gahanna-s Goshen Lane closed March 11 after parent's statement about coronavirus

Gahanna-Jefferson Schools leaders announced Wednesday, March 11, that Goshen Lane Elementary School, 370 Goshen Lane, has been closed for the day as a precautionary measure related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Superintendent Steve Barrett said the decision follows a statement made by a parent on March 10 regarding exposure to the coronavirus. The parent later retracted the statement, he said.

“Although we believe there is no cause for continuing concern, these kinds of statements cannot be taken lightly,” he said. “As such, we are guided in our decision-making by our commitment to keep our students, staff and our school community safe and healthy.”

The district sent a letter to Goshen Lane staff and families, explaining that on March 10 a parent at a PTO meeting in the library said her husband had been exposed to the coronavirus.

“After being made aware of this comment, we moved quickly, recognizing the concern this type of information creates,” the letter said. “We spoke with this parent, and she retracted her statement, said her comment was a mistake and that no one in her family had been exposed to the virus.”

Out of an abundance of caution, the letter said, the district made the decision to close Goshen Lane on March 11 so a deep cleaning of the building could be completed, with plans to resume school on Thursday, March 12.

All other Gahanna-Jefferson school buildings remain open.

“This is a challenging time for school districts, and we appreciate your patience,” Barrett wrote in the letter.

A news release said district leaders would follow up with Franklin County Public Health on the matter.