October 22, 2020
I wanted to take a moment to provide you with an update regarding COVID-19. On Wednesday, October 21, 2020, the District was alerted that a student at the High School has been identified as a positive case for COVID-19. This is the second confirmed case this week at IHS. Furthermore, the District was made aware of two more additional students who were positive and/or presumed positive by the Department of Health. This brings the total confirmed cases to 4 within a two-week time period at IHS. The students who are required to isolate/quarantine have already been contacted by school officials based on the recommendation of the DOH. Additionally, students and faculty were adhering to the District’s safety plan by wearing masks and seated 6ft apart from one another.
According to our Board-approved Health and Safety Plan, we could be required to close the high school for possibly as long as a two-week period; however, after conversations with the health department, high school administration, and school health offices, I made the decision to keep IHS open. I believe these actions still fall in line with our approved plan. I made the decision to stay open for the following reasons:
- The students are in different cohorts. One student comes on Monday and Tuesday and the other student comes on Thursday and Friday.
- The cases were not connected to one another - not on the same sports team, extracurricular activity, and in different cohorts.
- It falls within the 2-4 range - still in alignment with our plan.
- There were no students on campus Wednesday. This allowed for deep cleaning to occur prior to student arrival today.
- Two of the students were “community” issues and are not counted into the school’s total as per the DOH. Thus, the number I am basing our decision on is actually 2 confirmed cases.
- This scenario reflects one of the benefits of the hybrid model.
Respectfully, the hybrid model allows us great flexibility to remain open while adhering to our safety plan. If we were fully opened, we would have to possibly close IHS for up to 14 days. I realize that these are difficult times with the increased pressures the pandemic causes, and there are no right or wrong answers at times due to the varying beliefs, attitudes, and opinions on the matter. On behalf of the entire District, please know we are doing all we can to remain open to provide educational programming to our students with safety at the forefront of our decision-making.
Our School Health Services staff has done an amazing job being proactive in monitoring for symptoms. We have continued to send students home for exhibiting COVID symptoms out of an abundance of care and caution. I fully support the school nurses taking an abundance of care in our daily operations and recognize the angst this can cause our families.
Mr. Michael J. Vuckovich