COVID Closes New Oxford High School

Superintendent Christopher Rudisill said New Oxford High School reopened today after switching to remote learning on Tuesday.

The high school had six positive or presumed positive cases of the novel coronavirus, prompting Rudisill to close the school to comply with state regulations. The schools have a limit to the number of cases they can have in a rolling 14-day window. Rudisill said that the high school’s cases will reset to zero on Friday, but warned that shutdowns may continue to be unexpectedly announced as cases continue to arise.

https://www.conewago.k12.pa.us/covid-19.html

Rudisill advised the community to keep an eye on the district’s COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard on its website. The dashboard tracks how many positive or presumed positive cases there are in each school in the district for the rolling 14-day window, whether school is open or remote, and what actions will be taken for the category the case numbers fall in.

As of early Thursday evening, Conewago Township Elementary was listed as open with zero cases. The other schools were each listed as being virtual only, with New Oxford Elementary, Conewago Valley Intermediate School, and New Oxford Middle School each at four cases.

“I would just urge again to parents, to our community: please, please, please be vigilant of your child’s health, and if they’re not feeling well, err on the side of caution and please do not send them in,” Rudisill said. “Anything that happens ends up coming back and it counts as a case.”

Rudisill said that the school works to keep cases down, but they do happen.

“We know it’s a disruption and unfortunately with this there is no idea of when it will happen until the cases come in,” he said.

Rudisill also encouraged the community to review the 2020-21 demographic study posted to the district’s website.

“It shows that in the next 5-10 years we could see substantial growth in our district to the tune of 1,355 new homes and potential 752 new students to our district,” Rudisill said. “So as a district, we’ll look at that and start to reach out to different companies to begin a feasibility study this summer to figure out what our next steps are as a district– so very important.”

Board Recognition

In honor of School Director Recognition Month, Rudisill recognized each of the school board members for their service.

“I cannot thank you enough for just the time that you take helping to approve school board policy, voting on budgets, providing– approving and providing– input on personnel decisions, and guiding decisions that affect the future of the school district,” Rudisill said. “I thank you also for your support and guidance as I finish year one of being a superintendent here of Conewago Valley. It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s just one year. Not to say that it’s felt longer, but we’ve dealt with a lot in our first year. Your support and guidance has been nothing but exceptional, and I thank each and every one of you for all of that.”

Three board members were given certificates during the meeting and the other six who attended the meeting remotely will receive theirs later.

Several other people were recognized during the meeting, including the student liaison, who will also receive a certificate. The board also recognized coaches and athletes in YAIAA Division II Tennis.

The board’s next regular public meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8 in the district administrative office. It will also be livestreamed on YouTube.

New College Course Options

Board members approved a memorandum of understanding with Mansfield University.  “We’re excited for the opportunity to add a new university to provide more opportunities for students to gain college credits,” Assistant Superintendent Sharon Perry said.

The district has two agreements in place with other schools.

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Imari Scarbrough is a freelance journalist. She was a staff newspaper reporter for five years before becoming a freelancer in 2017. She has written on crime, environmental issues, severe weather events, local and regional government and more.

You can visit her website at ImariJournal.com.

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