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School delayed before it even begins
Partrick Cripps 0731

Before school can even start, it has been delayed two weeks due to a faculty member testing positive with COVID. The new school year start date has been pushed to August 17.

Director of School Patrick Cripps told the Smithville Review a faculty member, at an undisclosed location, received a positive COVID test today, Friday, July 31. Due to in-service recently being held, several other faculty members had been in the same vicinity with the positive member.

“We knew this thing was going to be changing daily,” said Director Cripps. Whether it’s mandated or recommendations from the state. We knew when we started getting people together there would be situations arise that we would have to deal with. Once you start putting whole faculty’s together, whole student bodies together, that has not taken place since March 16. I talked with the principals today, and I told them just to take a deep breathe. If nothing else this is going to teach us all patience. Its’ going to humble us. We are just going to have to take a deep breath and think before we speak or act. It is going to be an ebb and flow all year long. We were notified today that we have had a positive result. The employee was not feeling well, went home, did all the necessary protocols, got tested and received the results today.

A positive results requires what the CDC recommends with which is quarantine for 10 days, plus 24-hours without a fever before returning to work.

“We went back tracing where this individual had been while they had been working,” Cripps added, “and that individual had been around other staff members because we are in in-service. So it affected a large number of faculty. The administration will be quarantined as well. There is no way we can open this particular school. We have contacted the school board members, TSBA to see we can handle this is such a short notice. And we will be pushing back school two weeks in DeKalb County. So we can get through the quarantine and hopefully we can see how the trajectory of the numbers go.”

Remote learning will not begin until August 17 as well. After the two week period, the school board and director will determine how the two weeks will be made up at a later time.