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Article: December 4 Update

December 4 Update

Mariemont City Schools Families,
 
Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. As was expected when we started talking about how we would open our schools this summer, the science and guidance for COVID-19 has evolved and changed. This is why, from the earliest release of the Mariemont City Schools RESTART Plan, I have said that the plan likely will change and evolve, and it has.
 
I have previously shared that, now, the primary metric for making decisions about how to operate our schools is what is happening amongst our students and staff in terms of number of positive COVID-19 cases, number of quarantines and number of staff and student absences.  As a secondary metric, we also consider what is happening in our community and whether it’s having an impact on our schools. 
 
In the last week or so, we have seen an increase in the frequency and number of positive COVID-19 cases amongst students and staff as well as an increase in the frequency and number of required quarantines. Additionally, our collaboration with the Hamilton County Department of Health indicates an increased amount of community spread, and this is the cause for the number of positive cases and quarantines that we are seeing - including spread between students.
 
It is important to note, however, that there is still no evidence of spread happening within our school buildings as a result of any close contact to a COVID-19-positive individual, and health officials credit our strict protocols that include wearing masks for this.
 
But, with the numbers of positive cases and quarantines we are seeing across our district and the community spread happening, in some cases, between students, we will shift from tier 1 to tier 2 in all buildings beginning Tuesday, Dec. 7. The district will remain in Tier 2 through at least Friday, Dec. 18, unless the need to move to Tier 3 arises prior to this date. 
 
The shift to Tier 2 allows our students and staff more room to spread out inside the classrooms, with at least six feet of distance between desks. This will drastically lessen the odds of students being classified as a close contact and forced into a quarantine. This shift to Tier 2 will also provide an added layer of protection in our classrooms while helping us maintain the academic continuity that we all want for our children.
 
In Tier 2, students will report to school on designated days each week and work remotely the other days based on their “blue” or “gold” assignment. If you are unsure as to whether your child is in the “blue” or “gold” group, please consult your child’s schedule in the data dashboard. More details about Tier 2 including weekly schedules can be found here. Nothing changes for our Online Warrior students.
 
To allow our staff to prepare for this shift, there will be no school for students at Mariemont Elementary School, Terrace Park Elementary School and Mariemont Junior High School on Monday, Dec. 7. Students at Mariemont High School will be in session on Monday following the Tier 2 schedule. 
 
Should you have any questions regarding the switch to the Tier 2 instructional model, please contact your building principal. 
 
As always, we need your help in fighting this COVID-19 pandemic in our schools. In order to confidently contact trace and keep our students and staff as safe as possible, please alert the district in the following scenarios:
  • Your child(ren) is quarantined because of close contact with someone COVID-19 positive;
  • Your child(ren) has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting results;
  • Your child(ren) tests positive for COVID-19.
Additionally, if your child is tested for COVID-19, please do not send them to school until you receive results back and they are negative.
 
We will continue to monitor the data closely in the coming weeks and throughout the winter break to make a decision on how we will operate school beginning on January 4th, so look for more communication from us during the break.
 
Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
 
Sincerely,
 
Steven Estepp
Superintendent
Mariemont City Schools



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