October 23, 2020
I apologize for yet another communication, but I feel that is my duty to keep you all as informed as possible in developments regarding COVID-19. On or about 12:00 pm on Friday, October 22, 2020, the District was advised that a student at Indiana Junior High had tested positive for COVID-19. The student was in school today briefly today but was immediately isolated and sent home when we were notified of the positive test.
We also sent home two students as a precautionary measure until the Department of Health (DOH) makes a final determination. The families of the students who have been exposed have been contacted by the School Health Services. As you know, the DOH has the authority and final determination to quarantine students. The DOH is currently working with the school nurse and administration throughout this process.
As this is the only currently active case at the Junior High School of which we are aware, I am recommending we stay open based on the following rationale:
- We still have not received a final determination from the DOH as to how we should proceed.
- Although this is the second case at the Junior High, the second incident did not occur until several weeks after the initial case, and the two cases are as unrelated to each other. Additionally, the student (initial case) was treated as a presumed positive case.
- This decision still falls within the guidelines of our IASD Safety Plan where we indicated a range of 2-4 cases could result in a 3-7 day closure.
- This scenario is reflective of the benefits of the hybrid model as well as the 6ft social distancing guidelines the Board of Directors has implemented to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Tonight as well as over the weekend, we will continue with our deep cleaning procedures in our buildings to make sure the impacted classroom(s) are disinfected accordingly. Respectfully, the decision to go with the hybrid model as well as the 6ft social distancing in our classrooms allows us great flexibility to remain open while adhering to our safety plan.
I realize that these are difficult times with the increased pressures the pandemic causes, and there are no guaranteed 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