DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — The Dublin City School Board voted to bring K-8 students back to the classroom full-time starting November 2. Now, parents are voicing their concerns while physicians say the school board’s choice is justified.
“It is scary,” noted OSU Physician Iahn Gonsenhauser. “Yeah, it does seem like it’s an appropriate decision based on the numbers for Dublin city schools at this time.”
As of last week, 26 people tested positive for the coronavirus out of more than 16,000 students, according to the Dublin City Schools COVID-19 dashboard.
But even with these numbers, some parents say there’s no need to move away from the hybrid model.
“I would have liked to see them continue that through these next several months where we’ve got cold and flu season,” said mother of three Meredith Seeger.
But other parents like Ruth Price say it’s time for kids to go back to school more often. Price says between the distractions at home and her full-time job, her daughter isn’t getting the attention she needs at her age.
“I think everyone is being abundantly careful,” Price said.
Dr. Gonsenhauser says everyone has a right to be concerned right now.
“The teachers are right to be cautious and right to be scared because they’re at ground zero,” Dr. Gonsenhauser said.
He also says there isn’t much data for what transmission looks like for grade school students.
“We know kids learn best in school in person,” Dr. Gonsenhauser said. “We know they need social interaction for their development.”
But other parents like Chrissy Foster are looking at the bigger picture, including the jump in COVID-19 cases in Franklin County and Ohio as a whole.
“This doesn’t really seem like the most prudent time to return to school,” Foster said.
Dr. Gonsenhauser says right now any decision needs to be made on a case by case basis.
“Every school system has to make that decision independently and with an eye on those local numbers,” Dr. Gonsenhauser said.
Dublin City Schools Communications Manager Doug Baker did not provide a statement and told NBC4 to reach back out when the Nov. 2nd return date gets a little closer.
The next school board meeting is in two weeks where they will discuss a plan for high school students.
Right now, high school students are in a hybrid model until further notice.
Superintendent Chris Hoadley has the ability to change the model back to remote or hybrid if there is a COVID-19 outbreak.