Preparing for COVID in the classroom, after a Greenfield student tests positive on day one

Education

GREENFIELD, Ind. — School districts and parents are preparing for positive COVID-19 cases in the classroom.

This comes after a student at Greenfield-Central Junior High School tested positive on the first day.
The Hancock County Health Department told us it worked with school officials to put their response plan into action.

The school was not willing to reveal exactly how many people may have been exposed to the student who tested positive. However, we’re told those who were exposed were not there Friday. Instead, they’re home in quarantine for the next 14 days. School officials say it was only a matter of time until a case like this happened.

“There’s no way that you can completely keep that out of a school corporation with 4,400 kids or even if you have 300 kids in a school. You’re likely going to have it at some point,” said Greenfield-Central Community School Corporation (GCCSC) Superintendent Dr. Harold Olin.

Greenfield-Central junior high school was notified by the Hancock County Health Department Thursday afternoon that a student awaiting results tested positive. Dr. Olin says their plan was immediately put in place.

“We immediately pull that student from class, we isolate them in a specific place in the clinic get the kid home. We start doing contact tracing which means we go to those teachers; we get a seating chart we find out who is in a close proximity to them, and I use that term close proximity that means within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer,” said Dr. Olin.

Some parents say they knew this was coming.

“That’s why I was really hesitant to send my children back to begin with,” said GCCSC Parent, Patricia Wood.

Her daughter is an 8th grader at Greenfield-Central Junior High and she’s part of the 15 percent participating in virtual learning at home.

“I mean it was really a no brainer for me. Like I said the numbers have just gone up so fast in the last couple of weeks, said Wood.

The Hancock County Health Department says all individuals need to continue to monitor themselves and their children.

Children should not be attending school if:

  • they have COVID symptoms
  • they’ve been tested and are awaiting results
  • they’ve been in direct contact or around someone who has tested positive
  • have a fever of 99.5 degrees or higher

Wood blames the parent for sending their child to school while still awaiting results.

“I mean not only are you risking your family but you’re risking everybody else’s family as well. It’s just not worth it,” said Wood.

Superintendent Olin says they’ve already made some adjustments for families wanting to keep their kids’ home. However, everyone has a responsibility in order for school to continue.

“We want to work with families. We are here to serve this community. For us to be able to maintain this long term we just need to make sure that kids are coming to us healthy,” said Dr. Olin.

Wood says that as a parent, she believes GCCSC is doing the best they can during difficult times.

The superintendent says if a student misses classes due to COVID they have the option to do virtual learning at home. If you don’t do virtual or show up in person it will then be counted as an excused absence. The student will have extra time to complete the work they missed.

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