BG students will return full time to in-person classes

Bowling Green City Schools students will return to full-time, in-classroom learning by the end of this
month.
The board of education voted unanimously at a special meeting Tuesday to return to a regular school week
March 29.
The district has conducted online learning since September and switched to a hybrid schedule Feb. 22.
“Every day counts,” said board member Ryan Myers.
He was opposed to waiting and starting on the first day of fourth quarter, which is April 12.
“An April 12 start of the next nine weeks is a natural break,” he said, but added that March 29 is better
because it allows for seven additional instructional days.
Spring break is April 2-6, making a four-day school week and a three-day school week leading up to April
12.
“There are seven instructional days that our teachers and our students would have an opportunity to be
face to face,” Myers said.
He voiced concern about recouping any learning loss from having online and now hybrid teaching.
“The one thing that keeps playing in my head … is that every day counts,” Myers said. “As a board member,
I don’t want to sacrifice seven full days that we could have with students.”
Staff will be fully vaccinated by then, he added.
Teachers and staff will get their second vaccine shot on Friday.
“If we use the date of March 29 … I think we’ve kept our commitment to the teachers to keep them as safe
we can,” said board President Norm Geer.
He then said a better choice to start back would be April 7, right after spring break. There will still
be education going on the week of the 29th, he said.
“I like the idea of having more time to control the coronavirus, more time for planning,” Geer said. “And
spring break is a logical break for me.”
Board member Tracy Hovest said she has been living this pandemic as both a teacher and a parent.
“Is teaching during a pandemic perfect? No. Is teaching not during a pandemic perfect? No, it’s not,” she
said.
Where she teaches is returning to full face-to-face learning March 22, Hovest said.
“We have lost so many days and we are going to have to attempt to fill those gaps in the summer, and I
can’t support anything later than March 29th,” she said. “The time for convenience is gone. We can no
longer look for natural breaks for when it’s convenient.”
As a teacher, Hovest said she sees the importance of contact every day.
“I don’t think we should wait,” she said. “I can’t waste another week.”
Board members Jill Carr and Ginny Stewart did not make a comment during board discussion after Hovest
made the motion to return and Myers voiced a second.
Superintendent Francis Scruci confirmed the board could take action on a topic that was publicized as
being discussed. The meeting notice said no action was expected.
Since Feb. 23, six staff have been in quarantine and three in isolation.
The initial vaccine has reduced the number of staff infected, Scruci said.
While quarantine and isolation numbers have gone up since students have returned to the classroom, Scruci
said there is no reason to believe students are being infected in school.
For the first week students were back in a hybrid model, there were 24 students quarantined and five in
isolation.
Quarantines happen when someone is in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the
coronavirus. Isolation occurs when someone tests positive.
For the week of March 2-8, there were an additional 35 students in quarantine and an additional 14 in
isolation.
As of Tuesday, there was one more student in quarantine and one more in isolation, bringing the total to
60 students in quarantine and 20 in isolation.
“That’s to be expected,” Scruci said.
The 43402 zip code marked 288 cases in December and that number has steadily declined since then, until a
slight uptick in February, he said.
“As we’re looking at the data to support decisions it does appear … it is much lower than it has been
since November,” Scruci said.