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Sylvania schools going online only starting Nov. 23

The district will remain on remote learning until Dec. 17. The increase in positivity rate and COVID-19 cases per 100K people triggered the district to go "red."

SYLVANIA, Ohio — Based on data released from the Toledo Lucas County Health Department on Monday, Sylvania schools have decided to switch to remote instruction for all students (Pre K-12) starting next week.  

The district will remain on the remote learning model until Dec. 17, which is the end of the first semester. 

"We will continue to monitor and evaluate to help determine when our students will be back in our buildings for hybrid learning. Please note, we will regularly communicate with our families to keep them apprised of future steps that our district will take regarding a pivot between instructional models," a letter from Sylvania schools read.

The district noted that both the positivity rate and COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, according to Toledo Lucas County Health Department data, have exceeded the criteria established that would prompt the district to move to all online learning. 

Credit: Sylvania School District
This chart details the COVID-19 case thresholds that determine which learning plan is used for Sylvania City Schools.

"It was a heavy decision, but we really tried to base it on data and we really tried to make sure that parents were informed about what the possibilities may look like so they can plan ahead" Dr. Motley said.

The increase of COVID-19 cases in the Sylvania zip code was definitely a contributing factor in the move, but not the only one according to the superintendent. 

"As both data points have now exceeded the established numbers for switching to remote learning, our district will begin full remote learning next week. We will remain hybrid this week to allow the transition for our teachers to set expectations with students for remote learning. Students should take home any materials and personal belongings they may need during this time," the district said. 

The story behind the COVID-19 numbers is what has forced the district to reevaluate and adjust their plans for learning as well.

"Right now, for example we have 310 individuals that are in quarantine. That's just today and yesterday we had 18 classrooms without substitute teachers, without coverage," the superintendent said.

Dr. Motley is hopeful their district can return back to some form of in-person learning before this school year ends but it all depends on coronavirus trends in the county and their zip code over the next couple weeks.

The district also said that it will accommodate families that wish to keep their children at home this week. Students who stay home for the rest of this week are responsible for completing all assigned work, the district said.