COVID-19 response in Jackson County schools

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The Jackson County School District is detailing its COVID-19 policies as cases among students and staff in the district have been reported.

With nearly a week of school under their belt, Jackson County School District Superintendent John Strycker is pleased with the way reopening has gone so far. “I think everyone’s just so happy to see each other and I think people are wanting to get back to normalcy.”

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With students and staff back in the classroom, however, COVID-19 continues to be the prime concern for administrators. Strycker tells News 25 three students and six employees have tested positive for coronavirus this week while four students and four employees tested positive last week. “We report our numbers daily in the district and weekly we have a reporting system to the Board of Education and now to the state.”

Under the district’s COVID-19 policy, everyone who comes into contact with a positive case is notified as soon as possible and is asked to self-monitor for symptoms. They do not have to quarantine unless recommended by their doctor.

For students who do test positive, there are still ways to keep up with their schooling until they’re ready to return to class. Director of Curriculum Dr. Penny Westfaul said, “Then we would offer them some virtual or paper packet options to continue their makeup work.”

Strycker says by adding more nurses for this year and opening up mobile clinics at school campuses, the district will be able to balance the health and safety of students and staff while also getting back to the business of learning. “What I saw when I went into those buildings is if we’d been doing it forever, a sense of routine right away, so I’m very proud of our staff and students for picking that up.”

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