Our county COVID rates and numbers continue to escalate. Yesterday the COVID Committee met via Google meet and we discussed the rising county and state numbers at great length.
County and community numbers are the highest they have been. However, this week our school numbers are some of the lowest we have had. As of yesterday, we had 0 positive students and 2 staff. Our quarantine was high as we had to quarantine the am and pm preschool class.
Building #positive current Current in quarantine Total + for the year
PreK 0 students 31 (am and pm class) 0 students
R.G. 0 students 3 students 9 students
M.S. 0 students 4 students 10 students
H.S. 0 student 7 students 2 students
Staff 2 staff 1 staff 10 staff
Totals 2 people 46 people 31 people
On our google meet yesterday, the regional support team (connected to MDH) and public health were both present. The consensus is that our students remain safe in our buildings. The mitigations we have in place in our buildings are working and we have had no school outbreak or spread. Our district continues to document some of the lowest numbers each week with our students. Our quarantines are high, but that is a result of our nursing staff being vigilant to prevent spread.
Three factors have led us to continue what we are doing....
1. The educational benefits of our students being in school.
2. The mental health benefits of our students being in school.
3. The fact that our schools control the safety of our students for a large portion of their day in a safe environment.
We did make an adjustment in grade 6 to add an additional space to allow the 6 foot distancing to be practiced now in both grades 5 and 6.
There have been a few districts that have opted distance learning, but for the most part this is a result of staffing and operational issues.
I do not remotely claim to be a medical expert but I do take this pandemic seriously. I do believe that our student population is safer in school for COVID concerns, mental health needs, and nutritional welfare concerns. When I add in the benefit of teacher contact and other educational benefits it is hard to justify closing down schools that are a lifeline for many students.
Becky Cselovszki, Superintendent of Schools