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All Ovid-Elsie students transition to virtual learning due to nearby COVID-19 outbreaks

Parents are upset about a late notice of the change issued Sunday
Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 4:15 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 2, 2020 at 6:10 PM EST
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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Ovid-Elise Area Schools had a tough transition to online learning this fall.

Students and parents are concerned about a high failure rate in the district and the struggles students are facing with an increased workload. They received yet another blow when the district transitioned entirely to remote learning until Thursday, November 5.

Parents are upset that the district gave such short notice about the sudden decision.

“It’s frustrating that they really waited until Sunday afternoon to send all that information out, especially as a working parent giving us less than 12 hours to make arrangements," said Lurah Todosciuk, a single mother of two children trying to navigate the sudden changes.

The district sent an email to parents saying face-to-face instruction is being suspended due to an influx of COVID-19 cases in the community.

“We don’t have access to day care," Todosciuk said. "When they’re shutting down the school, the only day cares we have are also getting shut down. So that’s causing a problem for my youngest who just turned 4.”

The superintendent at Ovid-Elsie schools said there is not an outbreak in the district, but the nearby school districts in Owosso and St. Johns are seeing outbreaks. He said that closing the schools for a few days was a precautionary measure.

Owosso and St. Johns schools already have made plans to switch to all virtual learning through at least Nov. 13

That same email sent to Ovid-Elsie parents says while suspending in-person learning is difficult, it’s the right decision. This time away from the classroom will allow for the health department to conduct contact tracing without putting others at risk.

“As of now, we are set to resume on Thursday, but to prepare for an extended virtual learning experience," Todosciuk said. "I really don’t feel like we’re going to be going back on Thursday.”

However, the superintendent says that is the plan as of now, unless something changes with the health department’s contact tracing efforts.

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