Eighth grade Talawanda Middle School (TMS) students begin a short-term school closure Thursday as COVID-19 cases have spiked.
The decision came after 36% of eighth grade students tested positive or quarantined for the virus as of Wednesday, according to an email from Talawanda Superintendent Edward Theroux obtained by The Miami Student.
Under the current closure plan, eighth grade students will stay home starting Sept. 23, and return Sept. 30. All eighth grade extracurricular events are postponed during that period.
Students in the sixth and seventh grades will continue to attend classes.
Students that test positive are required to quarantine under the direction of the Butler County General Health District (BCGHD) and may only return to classes after eight days and a monitored negative test.
The middle school teaching staff also dwindles due to illness, and TMS is having trouble finding enough substitute teachers to operate.
“I had hoped that we would not need to close,” Theroux wrote in his announcement. “Unfortunately, like other school districts, we are struggling … We want our schools to stay open to in person learning. The spread of COVID-19 within our 8th grade is very concerning.”
Holli Morrish, director of communications and public relations, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Theroux wrote that TSD continues to watch cases throughout the district. TSD shares its COVID-19 information on its resources site.