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Othello High School transitioning to distance learning as more than 200 students in quarantine

The distance learning for students began on Tuesday, Sept. 21 and will be in place through Oct. 1.

OTHELLO, Wash. — Othello High School announced on Monday that school will be moving to online learning starting Tuesday, Sept. 21 through Oct. 1 after hundreds of students were sent home to quarantine for COVID-19 exposure. 

In an online statement on Monday, the Othello School District said a "high number of active COVID cases" has led to the quarantine of more than 200 students at the high school and the distance learning was the best option to protect students. 

"It is important that students remain socially distanced and safe. This is not a time to congregate in groups without masks and without social distancing. If our COVID levels remain high, we will not be able to reopen as planned," the school district said.

During distance learning, the high school will hold synchronous online learning days. Students will attend their online classes on their regular schedule where attendance and participation will be required. 

Athletics and clubs will continue with practice and games during the distance and blended learning periods, unless there is a spike in COVID-19 cases among athletes, the online statement said. 

On Oct.4, an AM/PM schedule will begin, and students living outside of city limits will attend from 8:30-11:18 a.m. Students living inside city limits will attend from 12:23-3:20 p.m. 

Students will be return to full-time in person learning classes om Oct.18, as long as COVID-19 levels decline. 

The school district said the plan is subject to change based on COVID-19 activity levels, and they are developing a plan to incorporate testing as a protective measure when students return to in-person learning.