An outbreak of COVID-19 cases at the junior high and high school caused the Albia Community School Board to vote to send 7-12 students back into a hybrid learning situation.
A total of 16 positive cases at the junior high and high school and a total of 48 quarantined students (37 at the JH/SH, five at Lincoln, five at Grant and one in pre-K) were reported in just the last week.
So far, no positive cases have been found in the elementary grades. But according to Superintent Kevin Crall five faculty members have tested positive and a dozen or so are being quarantined.
ACHS Principal Richard Montgomery said that between 65 and 150 students could have been quarantined had the school board not voted to do mandatory masking at its last special meeting.
There appears to be a substantial outbreak in the eighth grade class, but a positive test on the varsity volleyball team sent virtually the entire team into quarantine and ended their season prematurely.
Friday’s first round playoff game scheduled for 7 p.m. at Ironman Field is still a go, but the board voted to make mask wearing mandatory.
The hybrid learning will look a lot different than it did the first time around. Students will be expected to connect into their classes at the exact time they meet, have attendance taken and be with the class from beginning to end.
“We’re looking for 100 percent participation, but will likely face 85 percent of the kids taking part,” said Montgomery. “The last time we had hybrid we were barely at 60 percent.”
The board had a lively discussion on how long to go hybrid and finally agreed to have a full 14-day start with a week by week decision after that.
The board also voted to end the student school day at 2:30 p.m. for staff development and to give teachers time for daily preparation. That will start Nov. 2.
The board wanted administration to communicate with parents what teachers will be doing during that time frame.
More school board news next week.