We have two months of school left and we continue to be in a good place with our community and school numbers related to COVID. We have been planning for our spring events indoor and outdoor. As we move into the spring season we are trying to open up a bit more with our extracurricular activities. Our sports are outside and that allows fans to spread out. We are going to ask fans to be very good about social distancing at our sports events because we are going to make masks optional for fans at golf, soccer, and track. We do believe we have the space needed to make that work. At indoor events masks will still need to be worn at this time.
We have been getting a lot of questions about Graduation. At this time, I can tell you we are doing graduation on May 30 at 2pm. So, save the date! I can also tell you that we will try and host this event outside at the football stadium. We will not make any other final decisions until we get closer to the event date. Things could get worse or better over the next two months so rather than announce plans and then change those plans later, we will wait and announce more specific plans for graduation at a later time.
Looking at our COVID numbers this week, we are still in a very good place. Jones County Public Health reports that the 14-day positivity rate for Jones County is at 5.2% this week. In Monticello, the 14-day positivity rate has dropped to 5.6%. We have had 5 positive COVID cases in the last 7 days in Monticello. Those numbers are up slightly from two weeks ago.
Our updated school numbers for this week are as follows:
1. We currently have four students and no staff in isolation (these people have tested positive for COVID or are showing COVID symptoms) and approximately one student and no staff in quarantine (these people have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, not necessarily at school). That is less than 1% of our student body and less than 1% of our staff that is out for COVID-19 related reasons. These numbers are down from two weeks ago.
2. We still have several students participating in online learning. As of today, we have approximately 88 PreK-12 students participating in full online learning or hybrid online learning. That is approximately 9% of our student body taking one or more online courses. The number of online learners has dropped again this week. If you are considering coming back to in-person learning, please contact your principal.
That is it for this week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and please continue to be safe!!!
Dr. Brian Jaeger, Superintendent