OSWEGO — The Oswego City School District announced Wednesday that its fully remote model for all students would be extended through at least January with a planned return to in-person instruction on Monday, Feb. 1.

Oswego schools Superintendent Mathis Calvin III said in a letter the move was necessary as county and city data continues to show a rapid growth in COVID-19 and district figures show approximately 30 additional positive OCSD-related cases in the past week.

“While this decision was difficult, it was made out of concern for our students and staff with their health and safety at the forefront,” Calvin said. “Please know, the district does understand the challenges that this decision may cause for some of our families and we took into account various concerns parents and guardians might encounter.”

Calvin, who said district officials consulted on this decision with local health officials including the school’s physician, noted the district would communicate with families prior to Feb. 1 if a further extension to fully remote learning is required.

Officials said all planned winter district athletic programs, including varsity bowling and swimming, have postponed their start dates to Feb. 1. This new start date is subject to how things develop regarding the pandemic, they added, and noted the district is working collaboratively with Section III officials to do everything in their power to begin on Feb. 1.

Calvin said CiTi BOCES had not made a decision as of Wednesday afternoon if it would return to in-person programming Jan. 19 as planned, and another communication would be forthcoming this week from OCSD regarding the status of students who attend programs like Career and Technical Education, Special Education and Alternative Education.

The district continues to ask parents and guardians be vigilant with ensuring safety precautions, including maintaining social distance of 6 feet whenever possible, wearing a mask when in the presence of other individuals, proper hand washing and hygiene, and staying home when sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

Parents or guardians that have questions about their student’s learning program should reach out directly to their school’s principal, Calvin said.

Anyone with questions or concerns about COVID-19 exposure can contact the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330.

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