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MMS trip rescheduled for next year

In this photo from 2018, Marietta Middle School eighth graders sit on the steps of the federal Supreme Court in Washington D.C. Due to a shutdown of schools because of COVID-19, this year’s eighth-grade trip will be delayed until next school year.

Marietta Middle School’s annual eighth grade trip is being rescheduled for those students’ freshman year.

The change is a result of the statewide shutdown of Ohio schools and a stay-at-home order to help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.

Principal Brittany Schob made the announcement Tuesday on the school’s Facebook page.

“I am sure that most of you have heard that (Ohio) Gov. (Mike) Dewine has extended school closings until May 1. We completely understand the decision for this and the importance of keeping everyone healthy,” Schob said in the post. “It is hard to think that we won’t see our students during this time, but we are fortunate that we are able to communicate with them in other formats.”

Schob said because of the delay and the uncertainty of when or if schools might reopen, the eighth grade trip to Washington D.C. would need to be postponed.

In this photo from 2018, Marietta Middle School eighth-graders stand beneath the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. This year’s trip is being delayed because of closed schools and quarantine orders due to COVID-19.

“The (Marietta) High School administration has been gracious enough to allow us to take this group of students during their ninth-grade year,” Schob said. “We are working with the travel agency at this time to determine a date, but it looks like it will be toward the beginning of November.”

Schob said if a student is unable to participate next year, refunds can be issued.

“We will start this process once we get back to school; we work with the travel agency when it comes to refunds,” she said.

But Schob said her hope was most students would have the chance to make the trip.

“I am so glad that this wonderful group of students will be able to go on this wonderful learning opportunity,” Schob said.

Marietta City Schools Board of Education member Stacey Hall, whose son is an eighth-grader at Marietta Middle School, said while the change was expected, she was glad it was a delay rather than a cancellation.

“We haven’t really talked about it yet. I think he understood that was something that was going to happen,” Hall said. “As a parent I’m glad they are looking at options other than just canceling. It took parents and the school and the high school working together. That’s definitely a sign of teamwork.”

Hall said the eighth grade trip has been a longstanding tradition for the middle school and is a wonderful experience for students.

“The kids aren’t going to have to miss out on this, and that is wonderful,” she said. “It has always been a rite of passage for the eighth graders. I like the idea of the hopefulness of having this trip to look forward to.”

Hall said the shutdown and quarantine has been a burden for students and families, but the school system and volunteers have stepped up to make sure students are fed and receive instruction during this uncertain time.

“I appreciate what all the teachers are doing and all the people who are working together,” she said.

Contact Michael Erb at merb@newsandsentinel.com.

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