By Taylor Moore
The Warren County School System will continue with Monday thru Thursday classes during this recent spike of COVID-19 cases.
The School Board decided not to make any changes to the current school schedule during its regular meeting Thursday night.
“Please don’t think we’ve turned a corner,” said Director of Schools Grant Swallows. “We haven’t turned a corner. The virus is still persistent. The virus is still around.”
Swallows explained the school system has 25 students and 11 staff members in isolation as of Thursday night. By being placed in isolation, it means they have tested positive for COVID.
He said the school system has another 313 students in quarantine, which means they have been in close contact with a COVID-positive person.
Swallows said the numbers have been rising since the return to class after fall break.
“Our school system is simply reflecting what’s going on in our community,” said Swallows.
He said the 313 students are in quarantine as a safety precaution.
“Understand these students are not sick and in most cases they are perfectly healthy,” said Swallows. “The quarantine is a mitigation strategy.”
Swallows said the school system has been forced to quarantine an entire classroom and in one instance an entire grade level. He said in an extreme case, he could see the potential to quarantine an entire school, although that has not happened yet.
Swallows stressed, “Masks are a mitigation strategy.” The schools aren’t in a position to remove the mask mandate, he said, adding students and parents want to be in school and it takes sacrifices to make that happen.
School Board member Bill Zechman said, “I am impressed with the fact that the students, almost without exception, are following the mask mandate and doing what they needed to do.”
Zechman said the problem is the whole community needs to get on board and understand the importance of wearing a mask.
“I just say to the parents, and to the business people, and to the community, if you want to keep Warren County schools open and provide on-campus learning for the students, the community is going to have to help,” said Zechman.
School Board members didn’t give any serious consideration Thursday night to changing the current schedule that calls for classroom learning for all students Monday thru Thursday and virtual learning on Friday.