We took a small step back this week with a class exposure to COVID. It is our first in a few months. That may skew the numbers for the next two weeks at the schools. Let’s hope this was a onetime event rather than the start of a new pattern. Please remember to think about being safe over the Easter weekend when doing activities. We are 8 weeks away from the end of the school year. Our goal is to get to the end of the year and avoid disruptions to student learning. We will be collecting some important data from students over the next month which will allow us to better understand if they are at grade level in reading and math. This will help us plan for summer interventions to bring students back up to speed. So, it is important that we keep our students in school to get an accurate picture of their performance. The good news is, since we were able to go to school each week (except just before Thanksgiving) many students have been able to get back on track. We are not seeing a huge number of students falling behind, even after not being in the building from March 2020-August 2020. Our teachers have worked so hard to make that happen this school year.
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 risen to 6.2%. We have had 4 positive COVID cases in the last 7 days in Monticello.
Our updated school numbers for this week are as follows:
1. We currently have 6 students and no staff in isolation (these people have tested positive for COVID or are showing COVID symptoms) and we have 25 students and 2 staff in quarantine (these people have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, not necessarily at school). That is approximately 3% of our student body and less than 1% of our staff that is out for COVID-19 related reasons.
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 is stable 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 Easter weekend and please continue to be safe!!!
Dr. Brian Jaeger, Superintendent