Marion schools extend holiday break
Thanksgiving break, originally will be eight school days starting Friday for students of the Marion-Florence district.
The board of education voted at a special meeting Wednesday to add two days before and three days after the scheduled break. The hope is to stem the spread of COVID-19.
No classes will take place Nov. 23 through Dec. 2. School will resume Dec. 3.
Superintendent Aaron Homburg told school board members two students tested positive in the last week, 82 students were out on quarantine Wednesday, and test results are pending for a few other students.
"We just think it would be important for us to extend our Thanksgiving break," Homburg said.
Students probably will be exposed less if the break is longer, he said. They will have a 12-day break from each other.
School board president Nick Kraus said the break will be good for the faculty as well.
"I think maybe if we extend the Thanksgiving break a little longer, maybe we can stay in school a little longer," Homburg said.
Homburg said the district might have to add a few days to the end of the school year to make up for the lost class days, but the state board of education could waive that requirement at its next meeting.
Health department director Diedre Serene said she thought it was a good decision.
"I think so far the schools have acted in the best interest of the students and the staff, so I fully trust whatever decisions they make," she said. "However it does make me sad that the county didn't act on a mask mandate, because as county leaders they are role models and I feel it's their responsibility to follow science and do whatever simple things they can to prevent the spread.
"Tying it back to the schools, if students are remote, I hope they don't go out and socialize and go to events, because they are doing this to keep the kids safe. I really feel the administration has done well in determining that. But then it's up to the parents to do what is right for their children."
Hillsboro school superintendent Max Heinrichs said the Hillsboro school board plans a special meeting Monday to discuss extending Thanksgiving break for the same reason.
Hillsboro's Thanksgiving break is scheduled Nov. 25 to 27.
"Our school is in hybrid until Thanksgiving," Heinrichs said.
Middle and high school students attend half-day classes, with half the students in the building in the morning and the other half in the afternoon.
Centre school superintendent Susan Beeson said Centre had no plans at to discuss an extended Thanksgiving. The holiday break will be Nov. 25 to 27, as scheduled. A special board meeting will be held Nov. 30 to review COVID-related activity in the area, she said.
Peabody-Florence school superintendent Ron Traxson said Wednesday the district had no plans to extend the Nov. 25 to 27 Thanksgiving holiday. Switching the high school to remote learning a few weeks ago has been effective, so at this time there is no need to extend the holiday break, he said.
Last modified Nov. 19, 2020