Warrick Co. Schools tackle COVID-19 as flu season approaches

Warrick Co. Schools tackle COVID-19 as flu season approaches

WARRICK CO., Ind. (WFIE) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, so do the number of positive cases in schools.

Despite face shields and social distancing, one message still stands for some teacher in Warrick County.

“We’re here for the kids, we’re here to help them, educate them, make them better people,” Holly Meyer, a fourth-grade teacher said.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are spiking throughout the county and across southwestern Indiana.

Warrick County Schools Superintendent Brad Schneider says the school corporation is now mimicking that trend.

“Some of the difficulties that we’re dealing with is we’re seeing students getting quarantined not because of events at school, but on the weekends or family members, and this is also impacting staff,” Schneider said.

He says the school corporation currently has 539 students quarantined. A higher number than normal, but this reflects the county’s increase in positive cases, as well as two full classrooms that are currently quarantined.

These are issues teachers must consistently manage.

“It wears on them too," Schneider said. “It’s not an easy task to try and keep students physically attending school in the middle of a pandemic.”

While the focus for teachers at Oakdale Elementary has been the safety of their students, they also say it’s been important to check up on each other.

“In a really high stress year with COVID, we have really focused on the things we’re doing with our adults, and that’s building relationships with our staff members and dividing workloads, and building that trust within our team,” Kala Russell, a Title I teacher said.

From new technology to lost time during the school day, some teachers say navigating COVID-19 has been challenging.

“My biggest challenge as a teacher has been keeping my students safe," Natalie Wolfe, a third-teacher said. “Not that I’m not able to, but making sure I mean every minute of the day they’re social distancing, we’re sanitizing.”

However, challenging is what these teachers say they signed up for.

“At the end of the day, we became teachers because we like to be challenged," Russell said. “So no matter what this year throws out at us - whether it be flu season, the pandemic or whatever it is - we’re just going to keep solving the problem.”

Schneider wants to urge parents to keep their children home if they are showing any signs of being sick.

He says that way they will be able to keep schools open for students to attend physically for as long as possible.

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