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Champion to bring students back four days per week

CHAMPION — Students who have been attending school two days per week on a hybrid schedule will return to four days per week starting March 9.

School Superintendent John Grabowski said at this week’s board meeting students will attend in person Tuesday to Friday with more barriers placed 4 to 5 feet apart in classrooms following guidelines from the local health department.

He said Mondays will remain remote learning days for all students for a few more weeks before it will be phased out after officials make sure in-person learning is working out.

Grabowksi said students who have chosen to do remote learning for the second semester will continue to do that for the rest of the school year.

“They could have chosen to come back to in-person hybrid at the start of the semester, but they chose to remain with remote learning,” he said.

At recent board meetings, parents have asked students be allowed to come back for more than two days per week.

“We want to create a classroom environment with barriers to keep students apart so families feel comfortable sending their children back to school,” Grabowski said.

School staff is scheduled to get vaccinated today and receive the second dose in March.

Grabowski said studies he has seen and data from the health department show students are less likely to get the virus being in school while wearing masks and social distancing than if they are out somewhere else.

Gov. Mike DeWine had urged schools to bring students back to in-person learning either on a hybrid schedule or five days per week by Monday.

Students may be asked to share a seat with a student from outside their home for no more than 15 minutes on a school bus, Grabowski said on the district’s Facebook page.

Parents are being asked if they would like to begin to transport their children to and from school or put them back on the bus. A survey is on the district Facebook page and parents need to submit an alternate bus form to the transportation department.

Also, the board approved a policy extending emergency COVID-19 sick leave usage through March 31 for staff.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided additional leave to employees for reasons related to COVID-19, which expired Dec. 31, 2020.

Grabowski said wanting to have a “safety-first mindset,” employees have been provided up to eight work days of COVID-19 leave available through March 31. The COVID-19 leave can be taken only if an employee has been ordered by a health district to quarantine due to employee’s own confirmed or likely exposure to or diagnosis of COVID-19.

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