Olentangy Schools moving to online only Nov. 23, 24

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek

Olentangy Schools will return to remote-only learning for all students, including students in the hybrid attendance model, Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24.

The Thanksgiving break starts Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Olentangy Local School District administrative building

Superintendent Mark Raiff made the announcement late morning Wednesday, Nov. 18, on the district website and social-media platforms.

“Next week is a two-day school week with a holiday. Traditionally, we experience a relatively high volume of absences during this week among students and staff,” Raiff wrote.“We anticipate low student attendance and a higher-than-normal staff absence rate, leaving the potential for many unfilled substitute positions. This decision is made with an abundance of caution, as there is a high likelihood of the need to cancel school with short notice due to the anticipated substitute shortages.”

He continued: “Making this decision now will allow teachers time to properly prepare meaningful virtual learning opportunities.”

More:Olentangy Schools to keep hybrid model through first semester

District spokeswoman Amanda Beeman said the decision was made by the district’s administration.

Beeman also said the district has been experiencing “a substitute shortage across all positions.”

“We are not seeing an increase in staff absences but a shortage in the substitute pool,” she said.

“We are presently in the middle of our 12th week of this school year and continue to monitor the effectiveness of the hybrid attendance model and the Committed Distance Learning program,” Raiff wrote. “We also continue to track positive COVID-19 cases, quarantine rates and our ability to fill staff absences with substitutes on a daily basis.”

Students and staff members tentatively will resume hybrid attendance Dec. 1, following the break. Nov. 30 is a previously scheduled professional development day.)

“This change does not affect students in our Committed Distance Learning program,” Raiff wrote.

The Delaware City Schools board Nov. 17 voted to return the district to remote learning only from Nov. 30 to Dec. 18 in response to the increasing number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in the county and state.

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