Nordonia school format will remain the same

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Students at the high school and middle school will remain in hybrid this coming week; the elementary schools will have in-person instruction five days a week.

NORTHFIELD CENTER -- Students with the Nordonia Hills City Schools will continue with their current school schedules: the high school and middle school having classes twice a week in-person on a staggered scheduled, and the four elementary schools having in-person instruction five days a week.

"We have begun to use more localized data when determining the model our schools will be operating under, and we will operate under the model until change is necessary," said Superintendent Joe Clark in a message sent to the district's families on Thursday.

From Oct. 26 through Nov. 3, Nordonia Middle School had gone all-online after six students at Nordonia Middle School tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the need to quarantine more than 90 students and four teachers. The school went to hybrid learning starting Wednesday.

For two weeks in early October, all of the buildings had gone five days a week after starting out the school year in hybrid mode.

According to the COVID-19 dashboard found on the district website, there have been 20 students confirmed to test positive for the novel coronavirus, and five staff members, since September.

On Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine said in a press conference that in the past two days, health officials have reported a total of 4,961 new positive coronavirus cases in Ohio, the highest number of new cases in a 24-hour period to date. In addition, there are currently 2,075 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 which is a 55 percent increase in hospitalized patients compared to two weeks ago. Of the hospitalized patients, 541 people are in intensive care. The previous record for intensive care admissions was 533 in April. 

"This virus is flaring up, and we have to push it down - the economy depends on it," said DeWine. "If the virus continues to aggressively spread, people will lose confidence in their ability to safely go to stores, restaurants, and other businesses. If we want to keep our economy moving, we must all live with this virus and we must all be more careful."

Health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health revealed today that all 88 counties in Ohio are now considered "high incidence" as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Clark said that the school board agreed to move away from only using the Public Health Advisory System to determine whether students who opted for in-person instruction will attend five days, in a hybrid mode of going to the buildings twice a week and having online instruction the other three days, or all-remote. While the district will continue to use the information from the advisory system, the district also will use other information, including and especially the number of local cases.

The Public Health Advisory System set up by the state uses a four-color coding system to rank counties in Ohio by their risk level. The levels, from least to most severe, are yellow, or level 1, orange, or level 2, red, or level 3, and purple, or level 4.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com