OSWEGO — As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the community, the Oswego City School District announced it will extend its remote learning model through at least Jan. 15.
“Throughout the holiday break, we have been in constant contact with the county health department and our district physician while closely monitoring the COVID rates within our community,” said OCSD Superintendent of Schools Mathis Calvin III. “Unfortunately, we are seeing rates continue to climb, from the county level down to the local level, and within our own school district.”
According to Calvin, the decision to extend the remote learning model centered on the well-being of students and staff members and took several factors into consideration. District officials considered the current and trending city and county COVID-19 data; the district-specific data, which included 16 additional positive cases within the past three weeks; and the input of local health officials.
“Student and staff safety remain our top priority,” Calvin said. “Please know, the district does understand the challenges that this decision may cause for some of our families. This is not a decision that we arrived at lightly, and we took into account various concerns that our parents and guardians might encounter.”
Calvin noted that the district hopes to have students return for in-person instruction Jan. 19, if the data is trending in the right direction and it is safe to do so. But if a further extension is recommended, additional communications would be sent prior to Jan. 15.
Additional educational and extracurricular programs for OCSD students have also been affected in recent days due to the increasing COVID rates within the community. All CiTi BOCES programs (CTE, Alternative Education and Special Education) have switched to remote instruction for enrolled students until Jan. 19. Furthermore, all district athletics have been postponed to Jan. 19.
“The district is now working collaboratively with Section III athletic directors to ensure that students are able to begin their season Jan. 19,” Calvin said. “Please note, this start date is subject to how things develop with regard to this pandemic.”
As the situation evolves, Calvin encouraged parents and guardians to be vigilant with ensuring safety precautions, including maintaining social distancing whenever possible, wearing a mask when in the presence of other individuals, following proper hand washing etiquette and staying home when exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
Parents and/or guardians with questions about their student’s learning program may reach out directly to their student’s building principal. Anyone with questions or concerns about COVID-19 exposure can contact the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330.