To the Greeneview Local School Community, September 24, 2021
It’s hard to believe that October is nearly upon us. I have really enjoyed getting out in our community and classrooms to see students and staff working and learning together.
As we began the school year, we were hoping for a more “normal” year. Accordingly, we started the school year with masks being optional but strongly recommended in an effort to leave the decision to mask up to each family. We were diligent in tracking our data and made it through the first two weeks of school before it became apparent that something needed to change. Our desire had been to monitor the numbers of our schools and community and to make changes accordingly (like requiring masks in specific situations or grade levels, assigned seating, limiting group work, etc.).
Unfortunately, we observed an acceleration in positive student and staff cases over the weekend of August 28. Additionally, over that weekend, Greene County Public Health released updated Guidelines for Quarantine after Exposure that required close contacts to quarantine, which significantly impacted the number of students who would have to quarantine going forward. We had hoped that, if there was an increase in our Covid data, that we would be able to implement a less stringent mitigation strategy to the affected group, but the sudden increase in conditions in all buildings necessitated an intervention to keep our students in school.
My goal has always been to minimize disruption to learning. We know that in-person learning is the best method to educate our children, and I desire to keep our schools open. I have been encouraged by our numbers of late. The universal masking requirement has been effective so far in reducing the number of students missing school.
Before Universal Masking Policy Announced:
Friday, 08/27: 4 positive student cases and 2 positive staff cases.
Monday, 08/30: 23 positive student cases and 10 positive staff cases.
Percentage of students quarantined: approaching 20%.
After Universal Masking Policy Announced:
Friday, 09/03: 31 positive student cases and 11 positive staff cases.
Friday, 09/10: 31 positive student cases and 7 positive staff cases.
Friday, 09/17: 17 positive student cases and 3 positive staff cases.
Thursday, 09/23: 2 positive student cases and 2 positive staff cases.
Percentage of students quarantined: less than 1%.
The implications of the universal mask requirement can be seen after the lag associated with quarantine timelines. Both positive cases and quarantine numbers have been reduced. Just as it took time to see the impact of masks on positive and quarantine numbers, it will be important to monitor our current status to ensure it supports a trend. We must continue to see sustained improvement in our deficit areas. As such, Greeneview Local Schools will maintain the universal mask requirement at this time and will continue to monitor the numbers on a weekly basis.
Sabrina Woodruff, Ed.D.