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COVID-19 cases force Pleasant Hill schools to go remote

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For schools who have kids back in the classroom, keeping them there has proven to be a challenge, amid the pandemic.

One Tri-State school district can no longer do that.

Pleasant Hill is sending kids home due to multiple COVID-19 cases in the district.

Pleasant Hills schools once again, sit empty.

In a district of about 300 students, it took just two positive COVID-19 cases to force kids back into remote learning.

"At the notification of our second case on Friday, we decided it was time for remote learning," Pleasant Hill Schools Administrator Kylee Orr said.

Now, Orr said the district has five positive cases and several people in quarantine.

Parent Janeen Freesmeyer has four kids in the school district.

"Remote learning at our house is interesting," Freesmeyer said. "My older ones do fine. My younger ones need more attention, my kindergartener for sure. As a working parent, it is a struggle."

Freesmeyer said she'd rather have that problem, than a situation where her kids don't learn at all.

"My kindergartner, his teacher prepared him very well," Freesmeyer said. "He knew what remote learning was, he knows how to handle his Chromebook."

School officials said remote learning mirrors learning in the classroom. Every student gets a laptop.

"They are using their internet in their homes to participate in Google meets and Zooms with their teachers," Orr said.

While five positive cases in the school district may not seem like a lot, Orr said due to the layout of the buildings and the classrooms, it can be difficult to limit exposure. She said right now, the best way to mitigate the spread is to keep everybody at home.

"We have staff members that work in both buildings," Orr said. "We have teachers who travel between the high school and elementary. So when we have positive cases, it's not that we can contain it to one specific building."

Parents said while it's an inconvenience, they're glad the district is keeping students safe.

"Our schools compared to other schools are doing an awesome job," Freesmeyer said.

School officials said the plan is to return to in-person learning on October 19.
On Monday, all faculty and staff will return to the building and resume regular operations.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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