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Lexington 1 Superintendent: Sick staffers led to River Bluff e-learning move

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Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 5:06 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 8, 2022 at 6:28 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - River Bluff High School families will be back to an e-learning model temporarily on Monday, and their superintendent said it’s because there are not enough healthy staffers.

Friday evening, Lexington School District One sent out an email stating the high school will be under the following virtual schedule over the next several days:

Monday, January 10 – Full day of e-learning

Tuesday, January 11 – Full day of e-learning

Wednesday, January 12 – Full day of e-learning

Thursday, January 13 – Half day of e-learning (Previously scheduled half day for students with dismissal at 12:40 p.m.)

Friday, January 14 – No school for students (Previously scheduled teacher workday)

Monday, January 17 – No school for students (Holiday)

Tuesday, January 18 – Tentatively return to school for face-to-face instruction

Friday evening, Lexington School District One sent out an email stating the high school will be...
Friday evening, Lexington School District One sent out an email stating the high school will be under the following virtual schedule over the next several days.(River Bluff High School)

Superintendent Dr. Greg Little told WIS the district is grappling with staffers who are too ill to return to the classroom.

COVID-19 is keeping hundreds of staffers and thousands of students out.

RELATED STORY | Over 300 Lexington 1 students test positive for COVID-19

RELATED STORY | 1,500 L1 students quarantining to begin the year

As of Jan. 7, the district is reporting:

Staff

  • 131 active positive staff cases district-wide
  • 129 other excluded staff district-wide

Students

  • 407 active positive student cases
  • 1,523 other students excluded

The district definition of excluded is:An individual who must stay home from school or work either because they exhibit COVID-19-like symptoms (symptomatic exclusion) or because they have had close contact with a person who tested positive (quarantined).

As of Jan. 7, River Bluff High school is reporting:

Staff

  • 14 active positive staff cases
  • 16 other excluded staff

Students

  • 44 active positive student cases
  • 132 other excluded students

Little said the new 5-day quarantine policy isn’t having a significant impact on staffing levels.

“What’s happening at River Bluff was a high number of staff were actually becoming sick. What we’re seeing is while the new quarantining and isolation rules allow people to come back early, they’re not able to come back early if they’re still not feeling well,” he said. Little said he is not aware of any hospitalized staffers and said the district office does not keep tabs on how vaccinated the district staff is.

He described the move to make River Bluff virtual as a “last resort” and declined to state if any other schools were nearing a return to e-learning due to lack of healthy staff.

“No matter what school they’re in, no matter how old their child is, [families] need to make sure they have a plan in the event that something like this happens at their school,” he said.

He said the district will work to give parents as much preparation time as possible if a change does come and echoed the sentiment for River Bluff’s scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 18 return.

“We’re going to be tracking that day by day. We’re not going to look at it Monday night and say ‘hey what do we need to do?’” he said.

River Bluff High School parent Bob Young said he was surprised and upset by the news.

“We’ve done all the right things. We’ve done everything, we’ve got 3 kids, the 2 kids in high school we did everything to the T,” he said.

He said he is sorry to hear about the teachers getting sick and prays for them.

Young said he wishes there was a way to move resources to keep the kids in school and allow them to participate in their sports.

“I believe more variants are down the road, and I just hope at some point we can respond to it better to no matter what to keep the healthy kids and healthy teachers to be able to adapt,” he said.

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