The District was notified of the following positive COVID-19 cases within our school community:
- A remote high school student – The student is fully remote and has not been physically present on campus.
- A substitute teacher at the elementary school – The individual was last in school on Tuesday, January 5th.
- A bus driver who is not a district employee but did have contact with students.
In regard to the latter two cases, all individuals who were identified as contacts were notified and asked to quarantine. If you did not receive a phone call from a representative of the school district or Columbia County Department of Health, there is no further action needed on your part.
Please be assured that quarantines for potentially exposed individuals are not due to illness but simply precautionary, and our in-person learning environment remains safe for students and staff. Ordering quarantines for potentially exposed individuals is part of the reason we are able to prevent the spread of the virus within our schools, in addition to the masks and social distancing.
As a reminder, we ask families and staff to be prepared to go remote at any time, out of necessity, for one or more of the following reasons:
- Staff shortages due to mandatory quarantines
- Time needed for contact tracing
- County, regional, or statewide mandates
- Widespread infection
- Precautionary measures to prevent widespread infection
We understand the difficulties of a sudden shift to remote learning and our goal is to remain open for students and staff as long as we are able because this is the best environment for learning. However, if we reach a point where our in-school environment becomes unsafe for students or staff, we may have to make the difficult decision to pivot to remote instruction. This could impact a single classroom, an entire grade level or a building. As you know, the pandemic situation is constantly changing but we are following the local developments closely. It is important to have plans ready for a sudden shift to remote learning just in case.
Lastly, please continue to do your part in controlling the spread of COVID-19 by monitoring your family’s health, wearing masks or face coverings, washing your hands, practicing social distancing, avoiding gatherings, staying home if you are sick or awaiting test results, and asking questions if you feel things don’t seem right. If you have questions or need to report a COVID-19 related health issue, please contact your child’s principal or school nurse.
I know it seems these notifications are getting repetitive but we are committed to keeping you informed as new cases arise. The health and safety of our students and staff continues to be a top priority. Now more than ever, we appreciate your flexibility, understanding and partnership.
Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools