I hope this week finds you well. We continue to move down the road and see success with our COVID related numbers at this time. They were really low for several weeks and have ticked up, however, I would not see the current numbers as something to worry about at this time. I do believe we need to continue to exercise caution. I know we all hate wearing masks and I am sure we are all ready to throw them out sooner than later. For right now we will continue to wear masks at school and that will most likely be for the remainder of the school year. In the summer, we will develop a new Return to Learn Plan and give consideration to current health numbers in our area at that time. We have a lot of ground to cover until we get to June/July and the development of a new Return to Learn Plan, so let’s focus on just being safe one week at a 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 5.6% this week. In Monticello, the 14-day positivity rate is at 6.5%. We have had 6 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. These numbers have stayed exactly the same this week. As of next week we will have the majority of these students off quarantine.
2. We still have several students participating in online learning. As of today, we have approximately 86 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 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 fantastic weekend!
Dr. Brian Jaeger, Superintendent