As COVID-19 cases rise in the community, those trends are also reflected in schools. The Quincy School District is doing everything it can to minimize the effects on students’ learning and keep them in school.
Superintendent John Boyd said that COVID-19 numbers are the highest they have ever been.
For the time period of Sept. 9 through Sept. 22, Grant County Health District (GCHD) reported that the highest incident rate for Grant County was 1,264 per 100,000 people over a 14 day period. The lowest incident rate during that time was 1,118.
As of Sept. 24, the total positive cases, including deaths, for Grant County is 15,169, according to data from the GCHD.
Boyd said that four elementary classes are quarantined in the QSD; two from George Elementary, one from Ancient Lakes Elementary and one from Monument Elementary. In order for a class to be quarantined, only 20 percent of the class needs to test positive for COVID-19 or have close contact with someone who has COVID-19, Boyd said. In classes of 20-25, that would only be four to five students.
Even though students are quarantined at home for two weeks, it is not a vacation. The students in quarantine are using remote learning to continue their education until they can return, similar to the 2020-21 school year.
Alicen Gaytley, Director of teaching and learning for the Quincy School District, said that her team is working to make sure they have print and digital resources for parents and teachers. They also work with teachers and parents so they are both confident in working with the schools’ online platform. She encourages consistent contact between parents, teachers and their respective schools offices in order to keep parents informed and students safe.
A flow chart has also been developed to determine what actions need to be taken in different situations such as when students can attend in-person or when they need to isolate or quarantine.
Having the new Student Health and Wellness Center at Quincy High School is unbelievably good timing, Boyd said, because they can do on-site COVID-19 testing for students and staff.
“Our main goal is to keep kids in school,” Boyd said.
Boyd said they are doing everything they can to avoid a district-wide shutdown but it may not end up being their decision. Boyd said that there is a possibility, depending on the situation, that the health district or governor may shut down QSD or schools statewide again.
Boyd asks the community to continue to do what they can to keep cases down. He recommends members of the community to practice non-pharmaceutical safety measures such as masking and social distancing.
“It’s a tough time for everyone involved,” Boyd said. “We’re doing the best we can and our families have been so understanding of that.”
According to Our Valley Our Future, a grassroots organization based out of Wenatchee, cases remain high throughout North Central Washington, but especially high in Grant County.