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Harrison Junior School Moves to Remote Learning, Dec. 15-18

Posted on: December 14, 2020

As we have mentioned from the start of this school year, our goal is to educate students face to face (F2F), and with the remote option for those that choose that route, for as long as possible. We have also spoken to the criteria that would put a classroom(s), grade level(s), school(s) or district in full remote instruction being staffing shortages or spread of the virus within our school. Recently, our number of positive student and staff cases at the junior school have followed the recent high school trajectory, and has doubled from last week and earlier weeks in the school year – paralleling what we are seeing in the local community and state. The number of staff / students we have out due to quarantine has also increased considerably in recent weeks and this is causing a major strain on how we conduct school, day to day, in the junior school.

I am proud of both our students and staff for being resilient in the face of this pandemic – for stepping up and stepping in for the entire first semester, to handle the myriad of challenges presented when folks get sick. However, at this point – we are no longer able to stretch and cover. The sheer number of positive students and staff absences due to positive tests / family member quarantines is putting us in the position to have to go remote for the week of Dec. 15 – 18, 2020 at Harrison Junior School and Harrison High School ONLY. This is the first and only week of the 15 that make up first semester, that we have had to go this route and our junior school and high school students are best able to handle this shift – of all our levels. Our K – 5 students will stay face to face this week.

We fully plan to resume our normal F2F and remote options starting January 4, 2021 – depending on which option your family previously chose for 2nd semester. It is imperative that families continue to follow the necessary safety guidelines and keep their ‘bubble’ confined to their immediate family only over the holiday break. We cannot afford to let our guard down or continue on this streak of positive cases after the upcoming holidays.

Harrison Junior School personnel will be communicating with their students regarding the schedule, expectations and work for this week. We plan to hold school during the normal times and expect students to report to each of their classes, every day this week. Teachers will be reporting to work – as normal, despite teaching students remotely. Attendance will be taken – per state law. It is imperative that students finish the semester strong – and do their absolute best each day, despite this change in set up for this week.

Due to extra-curriculars not being impacted, with the exception of girls basketball which is paused, other sports will continue as normal. Coaches will communicate with their respective teams regarding schedules for this week and the holiday break.

Meals will be available for those in need on Thursday, December 17 from 3 – 4 PM. Please call the Junior School Office @ 513.367.4831 to place your order for this week, before 3PM Wednesday (Dec. 16). Distribution will take place at the junior school café entrance on the back / west side of the school.

Parents – please continue to communicate with the schools – when / if your child is being COVID tested, and the results. We plan to continue to track this information each day, as well as over the holiday break.

I fully understand that this change will not be easy, and that it will create some challenges for families. Know that this decision was not made lightly.

Have a great holiday break. Stay healthy. Stay the course. The light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright!


John C. Hamstra
Southwest Local Schools