OSWEGO — The Oswego City School District announced Tuesday that all students will transition to an entirely remote learning schedule on Wednesday until at least the end of Thanksgiving break on Nov. 29.
Superintendent Mathis Calvin III announced in a pair of Tuesday afternoon letters two additional positive COVID-19 cases in the district and that the district would be enacting its planned protocol for entirely virtual learning from page 14 of its reopening plan, available at Oswego.org/COVID.
“While we understand the related concerns that this closure might cause for some of our families, we are enacting this plan out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to secure the health and safety of our students and staff,” Calvin said. “Please know that as soon as we can return our students to school for ‘in-person’ instruction, we will do so.”
Calvin also advised that depending on the rate of infection with school staff and students throughout the closure, it’s possible schools could remain remote only beyond Nov. 29. Further information, if needed, would be provided to the community no later than Nov. 29, he added. Students are off for their regularly planned Thanksgiving Recess from Nov. 25-29.
The district also announced Tuesday that the Oswego County Health Department confirmed a student from Minetto Elementary School, who was last in attendance on Nov. 6, and a Fitzhugh Park Elementary teacher have tested positive for COVID-19. The district is unable to provide further details due to confidentiality concerns.
Calvin said the district has experienced a higher than normal rise in COVID-19 cases recently and has a number of staff and students who are in the process of being tested for Coronavirus because they are demonstrating related symptoms.
While district buildings are closed, Calvin asked parents to ensure students are available online to receive instruction remotely during their normal time of instruction each day of the week. Those needing help with access to technology equipment should reach out to their student’s school principal for help.
The school district will also continue to provide meals for students who need them. Further details on meal delivery are forthcoming to the public and will be sent out via email and/or robocall.
Students who attend out-of-district programs like CiTi BOCES and private educational programs will continue to be transported to and attend their programs during this temporary closure. This includes all CiTi BOCES Special Education, Alternative Education and CTE programs for secondary students.
While the buildings are closed, the school district is planning to deep clean all school facilities and monitor district COVID-19 infection rates, and will partner with the county health department on this front.
The district continues to ask parents and guardians be vigilant with ensuring safety precautions, including maintaining social distance 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.
Anyone with questions or concerns about COVID-19 exposure can contact the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330.