Farmington School District Superintendent Matt Ruble says a jump in quarantines and positive COVID-19 cases led to the decision to switch to a hybrid schedule for the rest of the calendar year.
The school board approved the new schedule Tuesday night. On Thursday, he explained why they adopted the change in light of the increase of coronavirus cases.
“We knew going in that this school year would be difficult and all in all, we have had a very good year so far considering everything that we have been faced with,” Ruble told the Daily Journal. “The changing of the school calendar was a difficult recommendation to make and one that we did not take lightly. Our goal is always to provide a safe and welcoming place for our students to learn and grow.
“Unfortunately within the past two weeks we have seen both positive cases and quarantines spike for students and staff throughout the district. This has grown to the point where we have been forced to quarantine more students in the past two weeks than in the entire first two months of school combined. We were at a point where we didn't have sufficient staff available to cover classrooms and if absences continued at the current rate, we would be forced to shut down district-wide, which we want to avoid.”
Ruble said that the recommendation was made as an effort to continue to provide face-to-face instruction two days a week in grades 5-12 after they return from Thanksgiving break and four days a week for the pre-K through 4th grades as an alternative to being forced to close campuses and switch to solely virtual instruction.
“The rotating schedule at the 5th-12th level will help us social distance in classrooms and common areas and dramatically reduce the number of students who are quarantined due to close contact,” he said. “Ultimately, we want all students on campus five days a week and that will be our goal when we return from Christmas break on January 5.”
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at email@example.com
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