School closes

School buildings closed due to rise in Covid-19 cases


Rochelle Lawrence, Writer

     On Oct. 7, 2020 an email was sent out to all members of the Norwin School District by the superintendent which addressed the growing number of cases in the schools and the precautions that were to be taken.

     Wednesday Oct. 7 was a virtual learning day for all students.  In the afternoon all students were alerted via email that school will be cancelled for the following five school days starting on Oct. 8,2020 as five new cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed which brought the total number of cases in the school community to 7 over a 14 day period.

     Hopes were high for the email to cover when school would reopen for a full five day school week.

     “ I had intended to report to you about plans to fully transition Norwin School District to a traditional operational model (five-day in-person instruction),” Superintendent Dr.Jeff Taylor said in email.

     The concern now is when school will resume its original plan of divided cohorts.

      “It is my expectation that students will return to these five buildings on Tuesday, October 13th,” Taylor added.  

     Some students aren’t at all surprised to receive the email on wednesday, so then it was just a matter of when it would happen.

      “When the email was sent out I wasn’t at all surprised because I knew it was going to happen eventually,” said senior Megan Barry. “I was more worried it would push back the time we would be hoping to be back 5 days a week.”

     For the five days the school will take to deep clean, all students are to use Google Classroom as their primary means of learning, teachers are expected to regularly post class information and keep students occupied with tasks while they wait to return to school.

      “I feel like it pushes all my learning back a day, almost like a snow day does, because teachers have nothing prepared to give us assignments for that day because we are supposed to be in school,” said Barry.

        The email also contained the date that was decided on to fully transition to five days of students attending school, which served as the silver lining of the news of school closing.

     “I had every intention of sharing with you that, after several weeks of planning and gathering stakeholder input, the District would plan to transition to a traditional operational model (five-day in-person instruction) on Wednesday, November 4, 2020,” said Dr.Taylor. “ I was also planning to emphasize that any return date would be contingent on the continued low number of COVID-19 cases in our schools.”

     Even with high hopes from the schools superintendent, some students are still skeptical about returning to a five day school week of in class learning.

      “I personally think it is a good idea to get off of the online learning and be back in school 5 days a week because students learn better being in school for a whole week,” said Barry “Although it is going to be interesting to see how they social distance us all especially during lunch.”

     In a follow up email released on October 9, 2020, the superintendent revealed that two other cases were confirmed but these students had not been to school during a 14 day cycle so the lockdown of school would not be extended.

     Options were also offered to students and families regarding the type of learning they would like to continue or transfer to. (See link )

     The Norwin School District is in high spirits that the school will reopen successfully on the 13th of October which will be a in class learning day for the blue cohort and virtual for the Blue.

     “If there are any unforeseen extenuating circumstances, I will inform you if our plan changes,” said Dr. Jeffrey Taylor in email.