A Butler County school tops the reported student cases in schools as the state’s districts head into their holiday breaks.
Some schools have seen significant case increases in the last month, even with breaks for Thanksgiving and various hybrid online and in-person learning models.
Lakota Local Schools reported 357 total cases in the most recent statewide school COVID-19 report, moving past Franklin County’s Dublin City Schools, who reported a total of 305 cases throughout the district.
Lakota conducted some in-person classes since the beginning of the school year, but on Dec. 14, the district’s board of education voted to change that starting in January.
“We know that holding in-person learning for those who have chosen it is best for our students,” said Superintendent Matthew Miller in the announcement of the schedule changes. “However, the increase in positive cases we are seeing throughout our community following holidays has a direct impact on our students and staff attendance.”
The second semester will begin remotely for Lakota through January 11, something the Ohio Education Association asked all public schools to do to help slow the pandemic’s spread.
The OEA recommendation also asked for a 14-day quarantine after the Christmas break.
The Ohio Department of Education said the decision to hold classes in person or remotely “remains a local decision.”
In other districts, Olentangy Local Schools in Delaware County came in with 288 total cases, followed by Hilliard City Schools at 279, and Cincinnati Public Schools at 228 cumulative cases.
Franklin County’s South-Western City was the other district to report more than 200 total student cases, at 220. Both Westerville City Schools and Hamilton County’s Oak Hills Local school district reported 188 cases, followed by Warren County’s Mason City Schools, with 187.
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Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.