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Education

Some Butler County schools temporarily shut down due to COVID

hamilton city schools
WCPO

Both Hamilton City Schools and Talawanda Middle School
are closing for a few days due to the ongoing pandemic. Hamilton Superintendent Michael Holbrook says the amount of illness among staff members has reached a "critical level where staffing classrooms is no longer possible."

The district's COVID dashboard indicates as of Jan. 11, 61 staff members and 181 students had tested positive for COVID.

Classes are canceled Wednesday and Thursday. Students were already scheduled to be off Friday and Monday for a staff development day, and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Holbrook says all home extracurricular activities are also canceled through Friday.

Classes will resume Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Talawanda Middle School announced Tuesday it will be closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. This includes the cancellation of all extra-curricular activities, including athletics.

"Currently, 14 TMS staff members are absent," the school states on its website. "There are not enough substitutes to operate TMS safely. Also, TMS has a 29.5% student absentee rate. TMS had 102 students absent yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday) has 207 students absent."

The letter from Superintendent Edward Theroux continued, "It is CRITICAL to keep any children home who are sick, positive for the virus, exhibiting COVID symptoms, placed on quarantine by BCHD, or live with someone in the family who is positive, exhibiting symptoms, or already ill. We continue to see children who are sick, have symptoms, are positive, and live with family members who exhibit one of these conditions that are still choosing to come to school. This must stop in order to be able to achieve our goal of keeping our schools open to in-person learning."

He added that more schools could be closed if this continues.

Students will return to the classroom Tuesday, Jan. 18, following the already scheduled MLK holiday on Monday.

The pandemic continues to impact education in various ways. Cincinnati Public Schools on Monday announced it would transition to remote learning Jan. 12-24 due to staffing issues. On the collegiate level, many Tri-State universities have delayed the start of the spring semester.