The coronavirus infection continues to creep in and infiltrate the school population within the area even though the number of persons in quarantine seemingly outweighs the numbers of positive cases.
As of Tuesday, Nov. 17 Superintendent Renee Scott reported the numbers in the Atchison Public School system took what she described as a “huge jump” since the previous week’s report. The jump prompted a modified quarantine with the second-grade because of high number of cases involving staff, Scott said. She described modified quarantine as way students can still attend school, but be “cohorted” in the second-grade pod and not leave to attend any elective classes or activities. Parents were given the option for their second-grade pupils to learn remotely instead of on-site attendance in the modified quarantine.
The pre-school students moved to a remote learning platform until Thanksgiving, Scott said. One classroom at Atchison Middle School moved in a state of quarantine.
“We are literally taking it day by day,” Scott communicated in an email to the Globe. School leaders are hopeful the on-site learning continues until the Thanksgiving break, but that notion is contingent on the members to the availability of substitutes able to be present in the classrooms.
The number of positive case among staff members and their respective USD 409 facilities are: Atchison Elementary School — eight positive, and five in quarantine; at Atchison Middle School — one positive case, and seven in quarantine; Atchison High School — one staff member in quarantine; Central School — one positive case and one in quarantine.
The student data reports there are zero positive cases among students in the USD 409 facilities. However, the numbers in quarantine show a sharp contrast: AES — 47 pupils; AMS — 24 students; Atchison High School —20 students; and Central School — zero.
USD 377 Superintendent Andrew Gaddis reported on Wednesday, Nov. 18 that at the Atchison County Community Elementary School there is one staff member who tested positive. Fifteen ACCEs pupils are in quarantine; Atchison County Community Junior Senior High School has no positive cases at the facility, but six students are in quarantine. One staff member in the USD 377 Central Office has tested positive and two staff members from the office are in quarantine.
Maur Hill-Mount Academy has one student who tested positive and this week and is out of school, President Phil Baniewicz reported on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Six students are currently in quarantine. The staff members are all well. No staff members are currently in quarantine.
“We will be moving to remote learning next Monday and Tuesday leading into the Thanksgiving break,” Baniewicz said of the upcoming holiday time-off. Students are scheduled to return Monday, Nov. 30 when in-person learning resumes on-site in the school and continue until the Christmas break.
The Wednesday, Nov. 18 coronavirus activity report on benedictine.edu website shows eight positive cases at Benedictine College, representing 0.3 percent of the 2,505 members of the campus population. Kansas Department of Health and Environment also shows eight active cases at BC. The most recent case has an onset date of Nov. 12. The eight reported cases were active within the last four days.
BC Director of Communications Steve Johnson reported the students will be leaving Tuesday, Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving, after final day of classes. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the plan is that students will not return to campus until Jan. 13, 2021.
Due to the change in the on-campus learning due to COVID-19, there has been another change in the BC holiday traditions. In previous years it has been a tradition that on the Sunday after Thanksgiving there has been a campus lighting ceremony, Johnson said. Because students will not be present there are no plans to decorate the campus to any extent for the upcoming holiday season.