UPDATE: Troy schools change plan for ‘red’ COVID level

Families in the Troy school district who chose online learning for this fall came to Troy High School on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 to pick up Chromebook computers.
Families in the Troy school district who chose online learning for this fall came to Troy High School on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 to pick up Chromebook computers.

Credit: Jeremy P. Kelley

Credit: Jeremy P. Kelley

Troy City Schools on Wednesday announced changes in how they would respond if Miami County moves to the more serious Level 3 (red) status in Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System.

Previously, the district had said it would automatically shift in-person learning from five days a week to a hybrid system mixing remote days and in-person days if Miami County reached Level 3 due to a more severe COVID-19 outbreak.

The change announced Wednesday says if Miami County goes to red, district officials “will meet with representatives from Miami County Public Health and take a closer look at specific local indicators within the City of Troy and the Troy City Schools, then make a decision whether or not to go hybrid.”

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District officials said families would be notified of any decision in numerous ways, including automated calls, emails and social media. So far this school year, Miami County has not reached Level 3, but the past two weeks have seen a statewide surge in cases, test positivity and hospitalizations.

Beavercreek schools recently made the same switch Troy is doing. Beavercreek had automatically moved to a hybrid schedule after Greene County went to level 3, then after conversations with local health officials, modified their plan and went back to five days a week.

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Troy City Schools students in grades 6-12 will do fully remote learning through Nov. 18, due to bus driver shortages tied to COVID-19 cases and quarantines.

All Troy schools were closed Tuesday for the same reason. Troy’s elementary school students will return to in-person classes Wednesday while older students remain online.

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“With the shortage of bus drivers, we did not have the ability to transport every student in the district to and from school,” district officials said in a statement. “We made the decision to return K-5 students to school immediately in an effort to alleviate child care concerns for those parents, while at the same time giving our younger learners the opportunity to work with their teachers in person.”

Concord Elementary only will begin and end one hour earlier from Nov. 11 through Nov. 18. School will start at 7:55 a.m. and dismiss at 2:15 p.m.

School officials said the plan is for all in-person students to return to school buildings on Nov. 19 for the last four school days before Thanksgiving break, “provided there are no additional staffing concerns.”

In the meantime, Troy officials said students in grades 6-12 would receive messages from their building principals telling them when to log in to the Canvas platform to access the online learning plan for their school.

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“We felt as though our students in grades 6-12 were less likely to require childcare and able to work more independently online,” the district statement said.

Food service will be provided as normal for students in grades K-5. Any student in grades 6-12 can pick up a week’s worth of free breakfasts and lunches on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon at Troy High School or 11:30 a.m. to noon at Van Cleve.

Under Ohio law, public schools are also responsible for transporting students who live within their boundaries but attend private or career-tech schools. Troy officials said busing will continue as normal for St. Patrick, Miami Montessori and Nicholas School.

Lehman Catholic and Upper Valley Career Center students will be responsible for getting to and from Troy High School for shuttle service to their respective schools.

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