Rising COVID-19 cases not yet affecting current hybrid learning model

Rising COVID-19 numbers in the district have not yet affected the current hybrid learning model because the safety protocols in place have been effective at preventing the spread of the disease. 

Principal Kristin Robbins said Franklin County is at red level, meaning there are more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents, but it will not cause a sudden change in the learning plan like switching back to distance learning. She said there are a lot of different variables, like how many active cases there are or how many kids are able to be in attendance, that go into the decision-making process about in-person versus distance.

Superintendent Dan Good said the current conditions have not caused the Franklin County Health Department or the district task force to recommend a change in the current learning model. The district task force is made up of medical professionals, educators, parents and others who monitor the data, including county levels and numbers like active cases or quarantines, he explained. 

This task force provides expert guidance to district officials as they consider remaining in hybrid, returning to full-digital, or considering all-in teaching and learning models,” he said. 

Good said they have not suggested a change in the learning model yet because the safety protocols in school have been preventing the spread of the disease, and data shows that most student cases are not being spread inside the school. 

“A majority of the cases connected to schools are being transmitted outside of schools in social settings, not in the classroom,” Good said. 

Director of Staff and Student Operations Harley Williams explained that the district’s goal has been to get people back in school as quickly and safely as possible, and currently the hybrid model meets this goal the best. 

If the data we track increases or decreases to certain established thresholds that would suggest the possibility of a move from the hybrid to either distance or all-in learning, we will meet with the surveillance team and monitor the data for that week, and a recommendation could then be made to the [Board Of Education] the next week to change the learning model,” Williams said. 

Robbins said the positive cases for each individual or family will impact the students’ education experiences personally, regarding whether they are in-person or distanced. 

“As the numbers become more personal, we need to be responsive and figure out how that relates to each individual kid,” she said. 

Mia Diffley
Mitchell Giller is a junior at Bexley High School and is a staff reporter on The Torch. Outside of Torch, he plays tennis for the high school.