MADISON, Ala. — More than 100 students have tested positive for COVID-19 at Madison City Schools.
Due to the high volume of new cases in such a limited time, the school system says it will begin coordinating with principals to reevaluate school schedules and the use of common spaces.
Currently, students are using the cafeteria for meals, but in a district update on Sunday, Superintendent Ed Nichols says meals will return to being held in classrooms. Other activities, unnamed in the update, will be adjusted to lessen the spread as well.
“Our goal is to keep the cases down and be able to continue with our regular school schedule,” said Nichols. “Many districts in the country are already moving to hybrid and virtual options. I believe that by following the ADPH guidelines, we can continue to avoid this type of schedule disruption.”
Current policy states students in the school system are required to wear masks at indoor facilities and on buses.
Students who do not adhere to masking and other COVID-19 protocols will be subject to consequences according to the school’s code of student conducts.
“I want to emphasize that in-person learning is our main focus this year, but, in order to ensure safety, we must adhere to our MCS policies,” Nichols concluded. “However, beginning tomorrow [August 16], the only students allowed in a regular class setting will be those that are masked or have been given an exemption via an IEP or 504 plan.”
On Friday, Nichols said the many positive cases have resulted in nurses and other school personnel contacting “close contacts” of each case.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) defines close contacts as anyone who was within six feet of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 for longer than 15 minutes. Close contacts are encouraged to stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days.
Nichols said those identified as close contacts will be excluded from school and school activities for 14 days unless they have been vaccinated or tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, per ADPH’s most recent guidance.
Parents whose students are excluded from school must contact their child’s teacher to receive academic assignments either via Schoology or through paper copies picked up at the school.
Read the full update from Madison City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols here.