Brandywine Middle/High School to go remote Oct. 23 to 30

Published 7:45 pm Thursday, October 22, 2020

NILES — Students at Brandywine Middle/High School will move to remote learning for one week beginning Friday, after three positive cases and one probable case were reported.

Brandywine Superintendent Karen Weimer published a letter on the district’s Facebook page Thursday evening, stating that the school would go remote from Friday, Oct. 23 to Friday, Oct. 30. Classes are scheduled to resume in person on Monday, Nov. 2.

Weimer said the health department did not mandate the closure, but the district opted to close for six school days to provide the health department time to determine whether there is a community spread at the middle/high school.

The closure also allows custodians ample time to disinfect the building. Weimer also attributed the suspension of in-person learning to an “increased number of students who have been ordered to quarantine by the Berrien County Health Department.

“It is very important to monitor your student(s) for signs of illness, and if symptoms are present, please take them seriously,” Weimer wrote. “If anyone in your family is sick, please remain home until the symptoms are gone, seek medical attention if needed, and if COVID-19 symptoms are apparent, contact your health care provider regarding possible testing.”

Also Thursday, the Berrien County Health Department and Berrien RESA published a statement encouraging the community at large to take the virus seriously as COVID-19 cases climb across the nation — including in Berrien County.

“Schools play a vital role in our communities, and we’ve seen that having the in-person option this school year has provided a significant benefit for the academic, social, emotional and physical well being of our students and families,” the later stated. “Having schools open and operational also allows for parents and caregivers to keep attending work, thus, sustaining our local economy.”

The letter, signed by superintendents at various public schools in Berrien County — including Brandywine, Niles and Buchanan — states that school leaders stand with the health department in a common goal to continue in-person learning.

“At the same time, community-based spread of COVID-19 has the potential to jeopardize our continued ability to offer in-person learning and extra-curricular activities,” the letter read.

The Health Department, Weimer and leaders at Berrien RESA asked the community to do its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by washing their hands frequently with soap and water, wearing a face covering, staying home when possible, limiting gathering sizes and remaining six feet apart from others when  in public.