Throughout the community of Bowling Green, red signs reading “RE-OPEN BG SCHOOLS,” can be found in many yards, windows and even cars. This is a call to action by those who believe children should be in school amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Since March of 2020, COVID-19 has rearranged many plans, with public education being one of the most impacted. Throughout the pandemic, many school districts have turned to hybrid and remote learning.
Ohio measures the severity of COVID-19 with the use of Ohio Public Health Advisory System Level, separated into counties. Bowling Green City schools follow the same model to keep their district healthy.
The chart descends from purple, then to red, orange and yellow representing the severity of COVID-19 throughout counties. Purple is considered a level 4 emergency while yellow is level 1.
If Wood County is either in a purple or red level, BG City Schools Decision Matrix says K-12 students will be remote. If it is yellow, then hopes are that all students return to face-to-face learning.
When orange, BGCS has a few different directions to follow such as K-5 being hybrid while 6-12 is remote. Another strategy is K-5 going into schools for four days of face-to-face learning while 6-12 is hybrid.
As of Jan. 7, Wood County is labeled red, for “very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible,” along with another 83 of the 88 counties in Ohio. Wood County, along with every other county in Ohio, is labeled with an ‘H’ as well, for High Case Incidence. Therefore BG City schools are practicing remote learning.
On Dec. 7, Superintendent of BGCS Francis Scruci, sent an email to parents and guardians regarding the return of students on Jan. 5. However, he has recently extended the start date to Jan. 25.
With this also came a new hybrid plan, proposed by Scruci, where K-5 students have mandatory virtual meetings and 6-12 students follow an abridged day consisting of shortened classes and breaks.
Every Monday at 4 p.m., BGCS updates their district COVID-19 dashboard. As of Jan. 5, nine employees and 53 students are in quarantine, while 10 employees and 10 students are in an isolation period.
Specifically, the isolation period was created for those who test positive to isolate for at least 10 days and to return when they have 10 consecutive days without symptoms.
On Dec. 2, the CDC said the length of a quarantine period could be shortened to 10 days if the individual tests negative and shows no symptoms. If sufficient diagnostic testing is available, the quarantine period can be shortened to seven days if the diagnostic specimen tests negative and the individual shows no symptoms.
The Wood County Health Department said that educational staff like teachers could potentially have a shorter quarantine, but students throughout Wood County should still quarantine for 14 days after exposure.
The current goal is to get all Ohio students back into school by March 1 with a hybrid model, in order for teachers to be eligible for the vaccine.