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Districts plan break for in-person classes

YSU announces plan to go online after Thanksgiving

Warren G. Harding High School today is transitioning to online-only instruction following the infection of a staff member and two students with COVID-19, according to a Thursday post on the school’s website.

The district joins Youngstown City Schools in going fully remote. However, the majority of staff members with Youngstown schools will be asked to work from home, while Warren schools are asking teachers and support staff still to come to work in their buildings. The announcement states Warren schools will operate online only for “at least” two weeks. Kids could be back in the hybrid learning model on Nov. 30, the announcement states.

The staff member and two students who tested positive for COVID-19 were at Warren G. Harding High School and tested positive within 24 hours of the announcement.

“These cases do not appear to be related, and contact tracing has been taking place and will continue. Any individual who has been determined to be a contact by definition will be immediately notified by an administrator or school nurse within the Warren City School District. That individual will be directed to quarantine, and will receive additional communications from the Warren City Health Department. At this time, an additional six students have been quarantined and have already been contacted,” the announcement states.

“We take this very seriously,” Superintendent Steve Chiaro said in a video message posted on YouTube for school families.

Students in Warren were doing in-person instruction two days per week, with online classes during the other days.

Justin Jennings, CEO of Youngstown City Schools, said during a meeting Thursday that sports will continue, except freshman basketball, which was suspended as the team quarantines for two weeks. Jennings said he could not elaborate on the situation.

Jennings said the decision to go fully remote “was not easy” but a “difficult situation in a difficult time.” He said the district will re-evaluate in a month. Students may return in January, depending on the circumstance, he said.

Elsewhere in Mahoning County, according to the Ohio Department of Health school reporting dashboard, the following schools had at least one new case of coronavirus in a student or teacher, as of Thursday: Austintown, Campbell, Canfield Local Schools, South Range, St. Charles Preschool, Struthers, Ursuline High School, Valley Christian School and West Branch.

In Warren, an employee at Lincoln PK-9 tested positive for the virus, according to an announcement Thursday, and so did an employee at McGuffey PK-8, according to an announcement Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Trumbull County schools, the following schools had at least one new case of COVID-19 in a student or teacher, as of Thursday: Bloomfield-Mespo, Champion, Weathersfield, Hubbard, LaBrae, Lakeview, Liberty, Mathews, McDonald, Newton Falls, St. Rose, Trumbull Career and Technical Center and Trumbull Educational Service Center.

YSU GOING ONLINE

Students at Youngstown State University were informed Thursday that their classes will “primarily” be all remote following Thanksgiving break, according to a news release from the university.

According to YSU President Jim Tressel, the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the state and region prompted the change to all-remote learning.

Students in field placements, clinicals, internships and student teaching assignments should continue as instructed by their departments. Beginning Nov. 30, most courses will be delivered online, and some could go online sooner.

Final exams also will be given online, the release states. The campus, dorms and dining services will remain open.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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