Transitioning to hybrid model, North Olmsted City Schools forfeits playoff football game due to positive COVID-19 test

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio — After a player tested positive for COVID-19, North Olmsted City Schools forfeited its playoff game against Avon scheduled for Friday night (Oct. 16).

Joining the player in a 14-day quarantine will be nine additional students and two staff members who were exposed.

“Everyone is doing fine, and we look forward to their return to school as soon as possible,” North Olmsted City Schools Superintendent Michael E. Zalar said. “We’re very disappointed to have to cancel our game.

“The kids worked hard and won their first playoff game last week. Nobody wants to see their season end this way.”

The Eagles team finished the abbreviated season like it started with having to withdraw from their season opener in August after a player tested positive.

“It’s unfortunate for our student athletes,” Zalar said. “Our players and coaches have done a great job of following our safety protocols, but you cannot control what happens outside of school.

“We’re all doing our best to deal with the COVID pandemic. Unfortunately, there are many things outside of our control.”

The North Olmsted City Schools is currently transitioning into the district’s 2-2-1 hybrid learning plan calls for students in grades 1-12 to attend school in-person two days a week — Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.

Students will be split into two groups according to their last name. All students will be engaged in virtual learning on Friday.

“So far it’s been very successful,” Zalar said. “We’re excited to have our students and staff back in our schools. The positive energy from having our kids back is encouraging.

“We’re hopeful that the current status of COVID in the county and community remains stable, so we’ll be able to continue with at least some in-person school for our students.”

North Olmsted City Schools is adhering to the state’s four-tier public health advisory system. At level 1 there’s in-person school using safety protocols such as mask wearing and three to six-foot social distancing. Level 2 is hybrid, while level 3 and level 4 require remote learning.

Despite the fact Cuyahoga County remains at orange or level 2, there are other districts considering a return to five-day, in-person instruction. Zalar said the North Olmsted City Schools is not one of them.

“We’re planning on being in a hybrid schedule until the spread of COVID is downgraded to (level 1),” Zalar said. “When that happens, we’ll consider transitioning to in-person learning five days a week with modified health and safety protocols.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep our students and staff safe. It’s important that we control the things we can control where we can and do whatever’s necessary to provide a positive school experience for our students. We have to learn to live with the virus and try to do everything we can to remain safe and healthy until there is a cure or a vaccine.”

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