Seminole County schools opened on Monday, August 24, welcoming back more than 1,350 students after a five month COVID-19 pandemic-forced break. On Tuesday, August 25, the second day of school, Seminole County Middle High School reported its first student who tested positive for COVID-19. The school system followed all the guidance and directives of the local health department in this situation, and approximately twenty students who came into direct contact with that student were sent home to be quarantined for 14 days.
Following local and state health department COVID-19 safety guidelines, school officials plan to proceed with in-person instruction, sanitizing classrooms every day and doing temperature checks before students enter the buildings.
The school system continues to ask all parents to stress to their children the importance of wearing masks when social distancing is not possible. This includes always wearing a mask on the bus, during class changes, and in the hallways.
Superintendent Mark Earnest commented, “We also ask that you stress the importance of hand washing and keeping hands away from their faces. We have made every effort to reduce the exposure of our teachers and students but are asking you to help us and do your part by working with your children. Also, it is important to screen your children daily before sending them to school. If they are not feeling well or have a fever, please do not send them to school.”
Superintendent Earnest said that unless positive COVID-19 numbers continue to increase the school system plans to continue with its detailed plan for in-person instruction.
“Teachers were happy to finally welcome back our students after five months. Bus drivers were on time and our cafeteria staff did a great job with the meals.
“Our distance learning program continues to present some challenges, but this was expected. There were some connectivity issues, and some parents are seeing some of the challenges teachers face every day. Our administrators have done a great job with their staff to make this school year very successful and productive. Our focus will continue to be to ensure that every student, every day will find a way to feel connected, challenged, and safe at school.”
Parents asked to keep schools informed on health of students
The Seminole County School system has taken countless steps to reopen schools as safely as possible using state guideline to insure all COVID-10 safety precautions are in place. During this pandemic the health and safety of each and every student and staff member is one of the school system’s number one priorities. For the safety of all the school system is asking parents and employees to notify the school immediately if a student or school employee has tested positive for COVID-19, has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or if your child has any of the following symptoms: cough, diarrhea or vomiting difficulty breathing, fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea, new loss of taste or smell, or sore throat
In the event of any of the above, parents are asked to contact the student’s school nurse, include the following information, and be prepared to leave that information in a voicemail message. Information needed will be the students name, date of birth, caller’s name, call back number, and brief description of symptoms.
Ryan Blackburn, the Seminole County Elementary school nurse can be reached by calling 229-524-5235 or by email at [email protected]
Courtney Parker, the Seminole Countynty Middle/High School nurse can be reached by calling 229-524-5135 or by email at [email protected]