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COVID numbers no problem at CCCTC

LISBON — Despite having students coming from across the county, including some school districts struggling against COVID-19 numbers, the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center has had higher numbers, but not what they consider alarming so far.

“We’re just happy we are able to be in school,” Superintendent Chuck Adkins said Tuesday, “and we’re just monitoring what our partner schools are doing.”

The CCCTC continues to utilize the mitigation plan from last school year, but this time around masks are optional. Students and staff are undergoing daily temperature checks, practicing social distancing, surfaces are being disinfected and the school continues to contact trace anyone who is exposed, working in conjunction with the partner schools for those who are still involved in activities back at their home schools and riding school buses.

Assistant Superintendent Jeremy Corbisello said he cannot say enough good things about both the students and staff at the CCCTC. The students are 11th and 12th graders, which was noted makes a difference in that they are young adults taking the mitigation efforts seriously and knowing how important these things are in order to stay in school.

Last year the CCCTC had four students and staff affected by COVID-19 in August. This year with numbers higher everywhere there have been 37 between Aug. 21 and Aug. 31. Last year there were 29 affected in September with 56 staff and students so far in September this year. Those numbers include everyone from those testing positive to those required to stay home due to exposure.

When it comes to positive cases, there were 34 total at the CCCTC all school year last year. So far this year there have been nine.

The CCCTC had 5 percent of the students absent due to COVID-19 on Sept. 3 and Corbisello said the number has been steadily decreasing with 3.3 percent absent due to the virus on Tuesday.

Even if a student’s home school mandates masks, masks are not currently mandated at the CCCTC. Students in quarantine are encouraged to remain engaged with their classes, keeping up with what is happening in the Google Classroom.

In other matters:

— The board accepted the resignation of Elizabeth Zimmerman, a math instructor, and hired John Klein for the position. The board also approved Shawn Bates as an adult education instructor for the machining lab.

— The board accepted $44,592 in Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund grant money, $38,843 in Rural Education Achievement Program funds and $6,091 from the Agriculture Fifth Quarter.

— Dr. Kelly Darney, adult education director, reported the CCCTC just graduated 67 new LPN nurses, the largest class the school has ever had and of those students 63 said they already had jobs lined up in the field. There are 74 new students who have just started the program and 34 students in the third-quarter of the registered nursing program. A medical assistant program begins in a couple weeks and a machining trades program just started.

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