school hall lockers student

Beginning Wednesday, students in seventh through 12th grades at Marion Center Area Junior/Senior High School will participate in a fully remote learning plan due to COVID-19.

A letter posted Monday night on the district’s website cites rising virus cases in the community “and the recent positive cases identified within the Marion Center Jr/Sr High School,” according to the letter.

Four cases within the junior/senior high school were reported Monday, according to district officials.

Students in the Group A hybrid cohort will attend today “to collect belongings and gather materials for remote learning,” while students in cohort Group B will learn remotely.

Wednesday will begin remote learning for all students in seventh through 12th grades.

Friday was a previously scheduled day off for parent/teacher conferences.

Remote learning will continue next week Monday, and students will break for the Thanksgiving holiday after a half day on Nov. 25.

Remote learning is scheduled to restart Dec. 1 after the break, according to the letter, and a schedule for this model shows the following class structure starting Dec. 2:

• Mondays and Wednesdays, livestream by logging into Google Classrooms and joining the provided Google Meet Link found in the banner.

• Tuesdays and Thursdays, independent remote learning activities through Google Classroom.

• Fridays, remote learning days with teachers “connecting with students, providing remediation through online tutoring and contacting families as needed. Students will be made aware by their teachers if they are assigned to ‘live’ sessions on Friday.”

The school district noted that office hours will be available for students to contact teachers and that plans are in place for those without internet connection.

“The technology team will continue to work through connectivity issues with families that do not have sufficient internet to get as many students connected as possible,” officials said in the letter. “We will be contacting families throughout the remainder of the week and over Thanksgiving break. For those that cannot get connected to internet, we will offer the same lessons taught during live instruction on a thumb drive on a weekly basis.”

Meanwhile, the Apollo-Ridge School District will close entirely in the coming days.

In a newsletter Sunday, the district announced that two more staff members at the high school have tested positive for COVID-19. The individuals will not return to school until they have completed isolation procedures. Students and staff who were potentially in close contact with these staff members have been notified.

Apollo-Ridge is continuing to work with the state Department of Health to determine if further school closures will be necessary. The high school has been moved to remote instruction for all students in grades 9 through 12. The middle school will begin remote learning on Wednesday, and the elementary school will begin remote learning on Monday, Nov. 23. The projected return date is Jan. 18 for the entire district. The district is continuing to monitor the situation and will assess if any more mitigation strategies will be necessary.

Officials also urge all parents to continue screening their children for symptoms before school every morning. Should students experience any symptoms, they are to stay at home and contact the school nurse, Carol Gourley at (724) 478-600, ext. 1030.