Lucas Schools (copy)

The Lucas Local School District will transition to remote learning districtwide due to rising illness.

LUCAS -- Lucas Local Schools will be closed the rest of the week in preparation for a transition to remote learning. 

Superintendent Brad Herman confirmed Tuesday there will be no classes Nov. 18 to 20, but teachers will be required to report. Herman hopes cancelling classes for the next three days will allow students and parents to prepare for an extended period of remote learning, which will begin Nov. 23 and likely continue through the rest of 2020.

Herman called the transition to remote learning a "proactive measure."

"We've been seeing a rising number of cases and the need for quarantine and we're seeing that with students and staff alike," he said. "If things change for the better, we would definitely want to get our kids back in, but as of now our plan is to have our kids do remote learning through the month of December."

Herman could not provide an exact number of active cases within the district, but said there have been seven cumulative cases of COVID-19. Most of these cases have been during the last week.

There have also been a significant number of absences recently due to quarantines and non-COVID illness. Herman said approximately 20 percent of the student body was absent from school during the last two days.

Staff absences are also on the rise.

"We're encouraging staff, 'If you're sick, stay home,' probably more than we ever have," Herman said. "Our No. 1 goal is always to have our kids in school learning, but safety is always at the forefront too, not just for staff and students but the community in general."

He added that he hopes the period of remote learning will allow the district to stay in person for the remainder of the school year.

The district will resume meal distribution services on Dec. 1. Herman said the goal is to allow athletic practices and events to move forward but that the district is still waiting for guidance on winter sports from the OHSAA.

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie.ellington@richlandsource.com