/Thousands of Mississippi students quarantine in any given week One Gulf Coast district is leaving that decision up to parents

Thousands of Mississippi students quarantine in any given week One Gulf Coast district is leaving that decision up to parents

Nonprofit Mississippi News: Thousands of Mississippi students have been in quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus. They are separated from their family, friends, teachers, and other members of the household for two weeks. According to the Mississippi Department of Health, this week saw more than 9,000 students, staff, and teachers quarantined in Mississippi. Parents and teachers have to change how they care for their children at home. Some say this has a negative impact on students’ learning and parents’ ability work. One school district has its own quarantining rules. The state recommends that any person who has come into contact with an infected person should not be allowed to leave the school environment for more than 14 days. However, the Jackson County School Board and the superintendent allow parents to decide whether or not to quarantine their child. Superintendent John Strycker wrote a letter last week that stated: “Mandatory quarantine for healthy students — Is it the right decision?” According to data, Jackson County School district says no.” Strycker, a native of Alabama, arrived in Jackson County in January and said that he continuously monitors COVID-19 numbers in the district daily and makes decisions based upon what is best for the kids. He made national headlines last month when he decided to stop virtual learning from the district, except for students with special medical conditions. He points out that his students have never had more than.5% of positive COVID-19 cases at one time. He calculates this number by taking the COVID-19 positive students’ cases over a two week period, and then dividing that number with the district’s total enrollment. “When I was a Michigan superintendent, we could see that 10% to 15% of our students would get the flu. He said that they would monitor the situation. “I heard from Jackson County that flu numbers were as high as 20% last year.” He asked, “Are we really going shut down our schools for a quarter-of-1%?” Strycker also pointed out data that showed students learning online were failing at high rates in one or more subjects. Virtual middle school students in the A-rated school district failed more than one subject while high school students were failing 69%. The number of elementary school students failing more than one subject was 38%. Strycker stated that the data showed him that students, especially those who are in poverty or have academic difficulties, should be attending school. Teachers were also struggling to keep up with the teaching workload, both online and in person. He told the school board that he was in a crisis. He said, “I was going lose my good teachers –they were going to burnout.” You cannot keep classroom students online. K-12 is not set up in this way. As of November early, 98% of students had resumed full-time, in person learning in the district. However, data from schools submitted to the state health department by Jackson County School District shows that the rate of COVID-19 infection among Jackson County School District students has been more than twice the rate in nearby districts since the start of the school school year. Strycker was asked by the community what feedback he received from staff, families and community members regarding not needing quarantine. Strycker stated that 88 to 90% of students returned (to traditional learning) at the start of the school year. This speaks for itself. “And we never exceed what we can attend football games or the Homecoming parade — I always go to something every evening.” A spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Education stated that the Mississippi Department of Health was responsible for the state’s pandemic response. All school districts must follow these state directives. Jean Cook, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Education stated that the department does not have legal authority to enforce executive orders or public health in school districts. “Community members should contact their local school boards if they believe that their schools are not complying with MSDH or CDC public safety protocols. MSDH should be notified of any issues that cannot be addressed at the local level. A request for comment from the state department regarding Jackson County School District was not returned to press time. A spokesperson referred the reporter for a Facebook town hall. Quarantine numbers can have an impact on how decisions are made in many districts. Petal School District’s large number of students in quarantine prompted the superintendent to change the school’s traditional in-person learning model to hybrid learning in October. Matt Dillon, superintendent, stated that 30% of Petal High School students were quarantined the week before the school switched to the new model. “We knew that we would have some positive cases of COVID-19 going into the school year. Dillon said that the biggest challenge was the number of students quarantining. Dillon said that due to the involvement of students at his high school and in his district, the number of students who were quarantined was high. This made learning for both teachers and students difficult. He said, “From one minute to the next you don’t know who’s going to be in quarantine.” It’s difficult for teachers to both teach traditional students and quarantined students. It is difficult to manage all of that.” Dillon said that the quarantine numbers have decreased as a result of the transition to the new schedule. He said that although the hybrid schedule presents some challenges to teachers, they have done an admirable job of adapting to it. It was difficult for Tatia Kiser, Tatia’s mother, to quarantine her two children from Madison County School District. Rosa Scott 9th grader Tatia Kiser was quarantined halfway through the fall semester when her daughter, a 9th-grader, tested positive for the virus. Her mom stated that both students were wearing masks but were only able to sit six feet apart due to the limited space in the classroom. Kiser stated that her daughter was anxious and worried because she had worked hard for high grades. “With this case, they did suspend all deadlines… but still missing class time is stressful for the student.” Not all her teachers offered virtual instruction. Instead, she received handouts and was offered one-on-1 sessions upon her return to school. “I can tell you that my daughter was overwhelmed by the number of things she had missed when she returned to school. She said that she was able to catch up with her daughter after five days. Kiser was able continue working as her daughter was old enough for her to stay home during daytime. However, she stated that it would have been different if her nine-year-old had to be quarantined. She knows that quarantining is necessary, despite all the stress. She said, “I believe Madison County schools do the best for our children, and I don’t fault them for that.” “They look out for all students.”_x000D