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NH schools shift to eLearning amid rise in COVID numbers

NH schools shift to eLearning amid rise in COVID numbers NH schools shift to eLearning amid rise in COVID numbers
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

North Harrison schools shifted to non-traditional and eLearning instruction on Monday. This will last through Thanksgiving break, with the students returning to the buildings on Monday, Nov. 30. The cause for the shift was due to the large amount of students, staff and support staff on quarantine.

Dr. Lance Richards, superintendent for the school corporation, noted in an email sent to parents that this does not mean all those on quarantine are positive for COVID-19, but rather they have had to quarantine due to potential exposure.

The school corporation doesn’t have the personnel needed to operate in a safe manner, he said, and, thus, will switch to eLearning because of this. Extracurricular activities will continue as long as they can be done in a safe manner and follow all guidelines. While the buildings are cleaned each night, this extended break will be used to do a deep cleaning process to all buildings.

During the North Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees’ regular meeting Thursday, Richards said that keeping the students in school will have to be a community effort.

“The school is a reflection of what is going on in our local community,” he said. “We are making decisions based on everything possible to keep the most amount of people safe. I just encourage everyone to do their part during the holiday season to limit exposure and keep our families safe. We can only stay safe if everyone pitches in and helps.”

Also at the meeting, the board unanimously approved the 2021-22 school calendar with early release and ILEARN/ISTEP assessment windows to be added when available.

The board accepted the resignation of Rustie Smith, a North Harrison instructional assistant, and the retirement of Linda Stroud, a NHHS custodian.

Stroud, noted Richards, was one of his first hires after joining the team at North Harrison and he said she was someone he could always count on to show up and do anything needed to be done.

Richards also took time during his superintendent notes to commend the job of the teachers and staff at North Harrison, also stating they are constantly on the search for people looking to fill a custodial position. If someone is interested in janitorial work with the NH school system, Richards said not to hesitate to reach out to the corporation.

The board also approved the appointments of Morgan Roller as North Harrison Middle School volunteer girls’ basketball coach; Mark Wetzel, seventh-grade girls’ basketball coach; Janel Wilkins, eighth-grade girls’ basketball coach; Haley Book, North Harrison High School summer softball coach; Merri Haub, Morgan Elementary School yearbook sponsor; Dusty Rhodes and Deanne Turner, both as NHHS wrestling volunteer coaches; Jennifer Schilmiller, NHHS custodian; Lori Minton, floater custodian; Izzy Peak NHHS band guard instructor; Cassie Roberts, NHHS band guard assistant; Amanda Evans and Griffin Webster, both NHHS band marching tech; Matthew Neville, NHHS band drumline instructor; Tim Carver, NHHS band drumline assistant; and Kohana Wilkes, NHHS assistant wrestling coach.

The school board is scheduled to meet again Thursday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. in the NHMS cafeteria.