Tallmadge finishes school year with decreasing COVID cases

Krista S. Kano
Akron Beacon Journal

Tallmadge City Schools identified five positive cases of COVID-19 in its last month of the school year, including a fully vaccinated elementary school staff member. 

Superintendent Steve Wood declined to provide further information on the adult. 

The number of cases is a marked decrease from April, which brought the highest number of cases of the year at 28. Most of those cases, 16, came from Tallmadge High School students. Tallmadge's spring break was March 29 to April 5.

May was the third lowest case month for the district, coming just over September which saw 0 cases and October which saw 3. 

The last day of school was May 26. 

In total, the district identified 116 positive cases this school year, according to its COVID-19 dashboard. Of those cases 74% were students, and 51% of all cases came from high school students. With a district of 2,361 students, only 3.7% tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the year. 

Those low numbers may be in thanks to the district's learning model, which brought kindergarteners through fifth graders into classrooms five days a week and kept 6-12 students in a hybrid model for the majority of the year. 

The district only deviated from that model when Summit County moved up to Level 4 Purple on Ohio's coronavirus advisory system on Dec. 3. Starting Dec. 7, all students started learning remotely and athletics were paused until winter break. They returned from winter break on Jan. 6 still in a remote model, and reverted to the previous models on Jan. 11. 

The district also held two vaccination clinics, one for staff in February and one for students 16 and older in April. Another vaccination clinic for the newly eligible 12+ age group was held on May 27, and about 80 students participated. The second dose will be administered on June 17. 

Heading into the summer, Wood said that the district would continue to follow state orders surrounding COVID-19 protocols. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced recently that all health orders would be lifted on June 2. 

The Tallmadge School Board has already begun to meet in person, and those meetings will continue to be livestreamed to the district's YouTube channel. Masks will no longer be required at the meetings. Similarly, masks will not be required for visitors or employees on campus starting June 2. 

However, Wood said the district's yet-to-be-decided protocols surrounding summer school would be determined based on the number of students enrolled in those programs. 

Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, kkano@thebeaconjournal.com or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.