Rutherford County Schools announced Monday, Aug. 10 that an entire school was placed in quarantine and ordered to do distance learning before school even started.
According to the announcement, Christiana Middle School had two employees test positive for COVID-19, two additional staff members with symptoms and 10 who were placed in "precautionary quarantine because they had close contact with those individuals."
Let me remind you that school hasn't even started yet.
Rutherford County Schools are supposed to open their doors to students on Thursday, Aug. 13. CMS students will start the first few weeks (through Aug. 24) on their computers. That is if they have one with reliable internet access.
According to the system's own Building Closure metrics, "Rutherford County is currently classified as HIGH spread rate with 2,818 active cases of COVID-19, which is .848187 based on percent of the county's population (as of July 27, 2020)."
Numbers have leveled off since then (on Monday there were 2,632 active cases), but that means the county is still in the "high spread rate" category.
What's going to happen when half of the student population returns to classrooms on Aug. 13?
I'm no chiropractor, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts this is not the last school to close for COVID-19.
We can start an over-under in the comments for how long the system will have in-person learning. I'll start with two weeks.
Full statement from RCS about Christiana Middle:
Christiana Middle School parents, we need to update you about an issue we are addressing at Christiana Middle School.
We have two employees at the school who have tested positive for COVID-19, we have two others who are exhibiting symptoms and 10 others who must complete a precautionary quarantine because they had close contact with those individuals. Those on quarantine include some members of the school’s administration and leadership team.
Because of these circumstances, we unfortunately need to transition Christiana Middle School to all distance-learning starting the first day of school, which is this Thursday, Aug. 13, through Friday, Aug. 21. In-person students will be able to begin their classes at school starting Monday, Aug. 24.
We know this is going to cause an inconvenience for some parents and that many of you likely have questions about logistics, laptop check-outs, and other issues. The school’s principal, Dr. Kyle Nix, will be reaching out to all parents to give you more specific information about the first week and a half of school.
Again, we know this will be a hardship for some parents but we want to ensure we are maintaining a safe learning environment for our students and employees. This temporary distance-learning scenario is part of our containment and mitigation plan for COVID-19.