MORRISTOWN, NJ - During the Morris School District Board of Ed Meeting held on Monday, September 14th, Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast outlined the response plan for positive COVID cases in the school district. The goal is to create and maintain conditions that will allow for in-person learning.
In the event of a single positive case, the district, in collaboration with the local health department, will conduct a thorough examination of the classroom(s) that the student or teacher has been in close contact with. Afterwards, attention will shift to the case’s family members as well as any after school clubs, athletics, and other activities they are involved in. Airing on the side of caution, their entire classroom and bus will be quarantined for at least 14 days.
Responses to two or more positive cases in a school will vary based on the circumstances. If multiple cases occur within a couple days of each other, the building will likely close for 14 days. However, if the specific areas where the positive student(s) or faculty were exposed are known, the school may only go remote for a single day to allow time for contact tracing.
The sibling of a positive student will be required to quarantine for at least 14 days. If the sibling attends a different school as the student who tested positive, their building would quarantine only if they test positive as well.
On Tuesday, the district announced that an individual at Hillcrest School had tested positive. However, the individual had not been present in school since last Wednesday and the source of transmission was unrelated to the school, announced officials.
The affected class and other identified close contacts will quarantine at home for 14 days, they said.
Superintendent Pendergrast thanked the Board of Ed, the Morris School District faculty and staff, and the entire community for their efforts to have in-person instruction during these challenging times. While the district plan isn’t perfect, it’s outweighed by the benefits of in-person learning “there’s certainly enough good to make this worthwhile.” As the district moves forward, efforts will be made to improve the response plan.
Afterwards, Superintendent Pendegrast answered questions from the public. Sandi Price was assured that discussions will be held about recording Google Meets for classes in case students experience such technical difficulties as poor wi-fi. When asked by Chastity Milligan if there are any benchmarks for having students and faculty in school, Superintendent Pendergrast replied that while the current focus is on maintaining a “continuity of learning” for two months, time and thought will be given to the matter.
For the latest updates regarding CO-VID in the Morris School District, you can go to their website https://www.morrisschooldistrict.org/quicklinks/update-on-flu-and-coronavirus
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