As has been the norm in recent years, the “return to normalcy” we’re awaiting has shifted—yet again. Covid has thrown off our regular calendars, and our daily lives can feel unpredictable on the best days. And the chaotic regulations and changing timeline is especially significant for parents and children who rely on in-school learning.
The most recent Covid surge – following the advent and rapid spread of Omicron in the tristate area – has brought us back to square one, and we’re asking ourselves some of the same questions on our minds in early 2020: Will the city be shut down again? What does this mean for me and for my family? Will Sharon Hill close?
To answer the last question: no, Sharon Hill has no plan to close its centers. Even during the peak of the pandemic, our doors remained open for essential workers and their children. In the event of a state- or city-wide lockdown, we will once again be seeking status as a “Covid Center” – our candidacy looks good, given our success the first time around. At this time we are still masking in our centers, however with new CDC guidelines we are anticipating a return to some normalcy in that regard very soon!
For our current parents: We will be following our Covid-19 Protocol, which you can find in our Parent Resource Center and under the Covid tab. Rest assured that we continue to follow all health and safety guidelines as directed by the CDC. Our parent phone tree and response time have prevented outbreaks among our children and staff alike.
With the recent school closures and “remote learning” requirements, the start of the year has been rocky. Please remember that we are here for ALL of our children and their families. And, as a reminder: Sharon Hill does offer several School-Age programs.
We thank you for your wonderful cooperation thus far; we are counting on you, just as we recognize that you are counting on us. Thank you.
COVID-19 surge: Lockland, New Richmond, Winton Woods latest to shift to virtual learning
While it seemed just a couple of months ago that schools were on track to more normal, prepandemic conditions, a recent spike in COVID-19 cases and the highly contagious Omicron variant have prompted some local districts to go remote.
Citing rising cases and staff shortages, these schools are using the next week or more of virtual learning days to hopefully slow the spread of the virus and prepare for more challenges ahead.
“After several days of monitoring our district’s attendance of staff and students, the decision to close school is evident,” Winton Woods Superintendent Anthony Smith wrote in a Friday letter to district families. “The omicron variant is affecting the staff/student ratio to the degree that it is placing an overabundance of students with a limited amount of staff to provide effective instructional strategies.
“We were hoping that the numbers would change after winter break, but unfortunately we could not avoid this untimely shutdown.”
One of the most pressing challenges for districts across the region is a lack of substitute teachers. Matt Wendeln, comprehensive substitute solutions program manager at Hamilton County Educational Service Center, said he has seen a 49% increase in the number of staff absences requiring a substitute in the six school days since returning from winter break, compared to the same period two years ago.
Here is a list of schools currently using virtual learning in the Greater Cincinnati region.
NOTE: This list will be updated.
- Cincinnati Public Schools is determining remote learning requirements by school building. The following CPS schools are closed to in-person learning:
- Academy of World Languages in Evanston will remain remote until Jan. 11.
- LEAP Academy in North Fairmount will remain remote until Jan. 11.
- Carson School in East Price Hill will remain remote until Jan. 12.
- Rees E. Price Academy in East Price Hill will remain remote until Jan. 12.
- Gilbert A. Dater High School in Westwood will remain remote until Jan. 12.
- Hays-Porter School in West End will remain remote until Jan. 12.
- Rothenberg Academy in Over-the-Rhine will remain remote until Jan. 12.
- Walnut Hills High School in Evanston will remain remote until Jan. 12.
- Lockland Local School District will remain remote until Jan. 12, according to the district’s website.
- Mount Healthy City Schools will remain remote until Jan. 24, according to the district’s website.
- New Richmond Exempted Village School District will remain remote until Jan. 18, according to the district’s website.
- Winton Woods City Schools will remain remote until Jan. 24, according to the district’s website.
- Covington Independent Schools will remain remote until Jan. 18, according to the district’s website.
- Dayton Independent Schools will remain remote until Jan. 19, according to the district’s website.
- Gallatin County Schools will be closed until Jan. 18, according to a district announcement.
- Newport Independent Schools will remain remote until Jan. 18, according to the district’s website.