Worthington students will return to remote learning; sports will continue without spectators

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group

Beginning Monday, Nov. 23, all Worthington Schools students will return to remote learning because of a COVID-19 coronavirus health advisory issued by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health on Wednesday, Nov. 18, according to a blog post by Superintendent Trent Bowers and a message on the district's website, worthington.k12.oh.us.

The district has been in a hybrid learning mode for several weeks.

Previous story:Worthington Schools officials ready to implement hybrid learning

The blog post said the remote learning period would continue until Dec. 18, the last day of scheduled classes before winter break. Whether remote learning continues following winter break still must be be determined. 

Bowers wrote that the district decided to pivot to remote learning not only because of a an increase in COVID-19 cases, but because of the strains the pandemic has put on staff members, students and parents.

Worthington Schools serves the Worthington community.

“It’s also due to the number of staff members who are on quarantine because someone they know has tested positive – it might be a spouse, a child or a friend,” Bowers wrote. “We also have a number of people who are out because they – or a member of their household – are feeling ill and are awaiting test results. All this comes at a time when substitutes in all areas of work are much, much harder to come by.

“We will take this action not because the virus is spreading between students, but because of its accelerated spread in the general population, which ultimately could affect teachers and staff, keeping them at home and creating a classroom shortage. As we get closer to winter break and have better information available on current conditions, we will determine a path for after the break.”

In a separate email communication to parents and families, Bowers announced the district has suspended all out-of-season workouts and spectators at athletics events, although sports would continue for the time being.

“By suspending spectators, we eliminate large gatherings of adults inside and reduce the potential spread,” Bowers wrote. “As parents, we recognize this is a hardship.”

He said it is up to each district to decide how to proceed with sports, and sports plans are susceptible to changes.

“Each school district will need to determine how they handle athletics,” Bowers said. “We anticipate schedule changes are going to occur because some districts will suspend sports. Additionally, statewide or conferencewide action could change the plan we have in place.”

For more information, go to worthington.k12.oh.us

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve