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Rockport Elementary learning virtually this week due to COVID cases, quarantines

Officials requiring masks when they return to classrooms
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 10:03 AM CDT
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ROCKPORT, Ind. (WFIE) - Leaders at Rockport Elementary say they are virtually learning due to positive COVID cases and quarantines.

Officials say over the past week, they saw a few cases, which resulted in quarantines.

“We have several students who are positive, but we also have several students who are quarantined, that number would push up to almost 50% of Rockport Elementary, so that’s where it’s at - that balancing beam of what to do,” South Spencer County School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Richard Rutherford.

In addition to almost half of the students, officials say almost 40% of staff is currently in quarantine too.

“When the positive cases start to rise and then you get several quarantines, it started manifesting itself and growing from there,” Rutherford said. “As soon as that started happening and we started getting more quarantines, we started having some of the staff, you hate to say drop off, but develop some of those symptoms. It was time to make a call.”

Officials say they will go over the numbers again first thing Friday morning, and decide if virtual learning needs to be extended into next week.

“Our number one concern is the safety of our students, which is also the safety of our staff, which is also the safety of our community as well,” Rutherford said. “The other piece of that puzzle is educating our students and giving them good quality education. With that, that’s what we’re able to provide, we’re still providing virtual learning. But our stance is - in person is the number one way to learn.”

When Rockport Elementary does return to the classrooms, officials say they will be requiring all students and staff to wear masks.

They say all students have to wear masks in the hallways, and in and out of the classroom where social distancing is not possible.

Students will be allowed to take their masks off in the classroom when they are facing forward.

Officials say masks may also be removed during lunch and when outside.

Masks will continue to be required on buses for all students and staff.

Officials say they will also be implementing social distancing practices throughout the school.

You can find more information on the school’s current situation and their COVID guidelines here.

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