The Lebanon Special School District announced Tuesday they would be suspending in-person classes for the rest of the week due to the surge of COVID-19 cases. The announcement includes Byars Dowdy Elementary, Castle Heights Elementary, Coles Ferry Elementary, Jones Brummett Elementary, Sam Houston Elementary, Walter J. Baird Middle, and Winfree Bryant Middle.
The announcement said due to an overwhelming number of positive COVID cases, the school “reached a level which makes us unable to staff our classrooms and buildings.” Based on information gathered, the school district decided that there would be too many teachers absent from school to be able to conduct class in a normal manner.
While the school was able to find teachers early in the week, “our employee clinic has conducted COVID-19 testing for a large number of employees who were ill throughout the day today with almost a 70% positivity rate.”
The district will be using three “Stockpile/Inclement weather days” from Wednesday through Friday. Students will not participate in class online, nor will any school-based events – including athletics and SACC – will be closed throughout the remainder of the week as well.
The announcement said that earlier when battling the Delta variant, “the increased number of cases came and went very quickly which allowed us to successfully return to school with no further disruption.” They are hopeful for a similar cycle, that will be just as brief.
“Please remember that with the current state guidelines, districts are very limited in choices relating to school closures and/or remote learning. At this time, utilizing the stockpile days for the next three days is the best option we have available.”
The district asked parents to keep children at home if they show symptoms of COVID, but that classes would resume on Monday, January 10.
The school has a COVID quarantine guideline system, that explains to parents what to do if their child has the virus. Parents can either keep their children home for 15 days or if their child is no longer showing symptoms, they can stay home for 10 days but will have to wear a face mask until day 14.
The school district also implemented an Adjustable Safety Protocol, which informed parents on how the schools would approach masks for students in the classroom. The three stages were Masks Optional, Masks Requested, and Masks Required.
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