LEXINGTON — Lexington Local Schools will suspend in-person learning after Thanksgiving break, superintendent Jeremy Secrist announced Wednesday.
All students who are enrolled in traditional, in-person learning will participate in remote learning from Nov. 30 through Dec. 22 and again from Jan. 4 to Jan 15.
Staff and teachers will report to school and teach virtually from the classroom.
The district’s Thanksgiving and Winter breaks will remain the same, and athletics and after school activities will continue with daily monitoring.
Secrist explained in a district-wide letter than the switch to virtual is a preventative measure to stop the spread of COVID-19, which may increase due to holiday gatherings.
“Policies and procedures have been put in place to provide as safe an in-person learning environment as we possibly can during the COVID-19 pandemic," Secrist stated. "This continues to be our goal and focus, but the surge in general illnesses, COVID-19 related illnesses, and the impending holidays force us to make an adjustment to our mode of instruction for a period of time.
“The holiday season will be a time of travel, family gatherings, and college students returning home. We understand that this is likely to lead to additional illness and COVID-19 cases.
“It is our hope that by making these changes now, we can avoid any surge in COVID-19 cases within our school community that may occur as a result of the holiday season. It is our hope to continue to offer in-person learning for the remainder of the year.”
Secrist also noted that plans are subject to change and asked everyone to continue wearing masks, social distancing and practicing proper hand washing.
In-person learning will resume Jan. 19.
Lexington is not the first district to announce periods of virtual learning to mitigate the post-holiday spread of COVID-19.
Ontario announced a similar move last week. The district will start its Thanksgiving break for students on Nov. 23 (Nov. 25 for staff). All students will participate in virtual learning after Thanksgiving from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4 and after Christmas break from Jan. 4 to Jan. 8.
Like Lexington, teachers and staff will report to school during virtual learning days and after school events will continue with daily assessment protocols and procedures enforced.
“We hope that by making some small adjustments now, we may be able to avoid any surge in COVID-19 cases resulting from holiday activities and travel,” superintendent Lisa Carmichael said. “We will continue to do everything we can to be able to provide in-person learning to our students for the remainder of the school year.”
Clear Fork Valley Local Schools will also have periods of virtual learning from Dec. 1 to Dec. 11 and Jan. 4 to Jan. 15.
Families of in-person learners wanting school meals during the remote learning period should contact their local school district.
Lucas Schools has already gone virtual with the intention to resume in-person classes in 2021.