Shoals High School Class Sizes Reduced, Partial eLearning Schedule Introduced

(SHOALS) – Shoals Community School Corporation released the following statement to alert the public on the corporation’s COVID-19 plan.

This is their statement:

Good afternoon families,

Our goal is to help increase communication between the school and our families. We know 2020 has been a tough year for everyone and we want to make sure our parents and families feel informed.

The state and local situations are rapidly changing and we will continue to do our best to stay on top of new information. We were also one of the first schools to start back so we are also going to be one of the first schools to navigate new and evolving issues.

Despite some current rumors and assumptions, we currently have 10 total high school students sick out of 217 students. This is not total positive cases but total sickness due to any reason and this number is about the same as we had last year at this same time. This equates to about a 4.5% absent rate due to illness.

The problem we have found is that when a student does test positive we are required by the state to quarantine those students who were within six feet of the student for longer than 15 minutes. Even if they were wearing a mask, they are still required to quarantine by the state out of precaution. We strongly encourage them to wear a mask.

Our high school classrooms are physically smaller and although we are able to abide by the governor’s 3 feet apart rule to be in compliance with the mask mandate, we, unfortunately, can not keep them six feet apart which would help prevent large numbers being state quarantined.

At the request of the Martin County Health Department and the need to keep the students six feet apart, we are going to divide our high school students into two groups. Group A and Group B.

Group A students will physically attend on Monday and Tuesday while virtually attending Wednesday through Friday. Group B students will physically attend Thursday and Friday while virtually attending Monday through Wednesday.

This will allow our high school class sizes to be cut in half in order to maintain a distance of six feet apart in the room. High school students will be informed today and tomorrow of which group they are in and this will start on Wednesday.

We will make it our last resort to close the school and go to all an e-learning method. We understand childcare is very hard to find for younger children. We also understand that e-learning is an alternative learning option but we want to keep our students in the classroom receiving instruction from our highly qualified trained staff as much as possible.

Our continued goal will be to provide the best education that we can while implementing hygiene and daily sanitization.

This plan only applies to high school students at the time and if the situation changes or we need to include the elementary or middle school we will be sure to inform you.

We will send home an infographic as well as the full text of this message with students today.

This plan will be reviewed in 2-3 weeks to determine if we need to modify it.

As schools start to see an increasing number of people with COVID-19 symptoms please remember that if your student has symptoms of COVID-19 they must remain at home for at least 10 days or until symptoms have resolved. Siblings should also remain at home.

If your student has been identified as close contact to someone who has tested positive, they must remain at home for the full 14 days in accordance with the state’s mandate.

We are asking for your support and understanding as we navigate these new waters.

We are in close contact with the surrounding districts and what we are experiencing is going on all around our state and country right now.

Please feel free to call the school if you have questions about this and once again these changes only apply to high school students at this time.

Thank you.