Springfield Elementary moves to remote learning due to COVID cases, quarantine

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Springfield Elementary School - COVID
Page Valley News will have continuing coverage of the Coronavirus' impact on Page County Public Schools.

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Dec. 14 — For the fourth time since the school year began in late August, Page County Public Schools has decided to close the doors of one of its schools due to a high number of COVID-19 cases and the associated quarantining.

Springfield Elementary School has experienced a significant number of positive COVID-19 cases amongst students over the past week, but especially in the last two days. There are currently many students who have COVID-19 symptoms who have been quarantined or isolated due to exposure. These positive cases and the large number of exposures have caused us to close several classrooms recently,” reads a letter issued by Superintendent Antonia Fox earlier today.

Given this information and in conjunction with the Lord Fairfax Health Department, Page County Public Schools (PCPS) has made the difficult decision to move Springfield Elementary School to fully remote learning for the next three days: Wednesday, December 15; Thursday, December 16; and Friday, December 17,” Dr. Fox stated.

Friday marks the last day of instruction before the two-week winter break. In November, the Page County School Board voted unanimously to start the holiday break early and adjust the academic calendar to give Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 20-22 as full days off for all students and staff, including 12-month employees.

Tuesday’s decision comes as Page County is reporting a significant increase in new cases of coronavirus and a positivity rate that has peaked at 23.5 percent — the highest positivity rate the county has reported since the pandemic began in the spring of 2020.

“Moving the school to remote learning will allow us to decrease the spread and potential exposure for students, staff, and families and provide us with time to implement deep cleaning across all school spaces while still affording students the ability to engage in learning,” Dr. Fox stated in her letter.

On Monday, Springfield Elementary postponed its holiday concert originally scheduled for this Thursday night due to “due to COVID situations involving a significant number of students and staff being quarantined or sick,” according to a Dec. 13 notice to parents. The concert is now planned for sometime in January.

“We are concerned that bringing large numbers of students, staff, and families together for the holiday concert this week may cause additional people to be quarantined or sick over the winter break,” reads a notice issued by the school. “We are working to evaluate options in January to provide students with the opportunity to perform live for their families and will share details in the new year.”

As of Monday, the Virginia Department of Health had reported 117 new cases of COVID-19 in Page County since Dec. 6, including 44 cases over the weekend. A total of 75 cases were reported the previous week, and only 56 the week prior to that. Over the past week, the county’s positivity rate more than doubled.

Just a few weeks into the new school year, PCPS closed the doors of Luray Elementary, Luray Middle and Shenandoah Elementary for about a week due to a high number of COVID cases and quarantining. As of Tuesday, the local school division is reporting that a total of 298 cases of the virus have been reported among its ranks since opening day on Aug. 23, with 30 cases still active — 20 among students and 10 among staff.

Parents or guardians of students at Springfield Elementary should plan to pick up learning materials or laptops tomorrow — Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — at the school to finish out the week’s work remotely. Grades Pre-K through 2nd will receive packets, while students in grades 3rd through 5th should pick-up Chromebooks if they don’t already have them.

Students in grades 3-5 will be provided with daily live instruction and use Schoology to access other learning materials. These live sessions will be recorded and uploaded to Schoology to be viewed at a later time for students who do not have Internet access. Grade level teachers will communicate a daily schedule including times for live instruction and question answer sessions.

If parents or guardians are unable to visit the school on Wednesday, Dec. 15, they should contact the school to arrange a time to pick up their student’s materials. If the student has previously received learning materials for the remainder of this week, then no further action is needed.

PCPS will be providing meals to families that would like them during the move to remote learning.

“Over the next few days, we encourage everyone to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If symptoms do arise, it is recommended that you isolate and consult with your local health care provider for additional guidance,” Dr. Fox stated in today’s letter. “As a division, PCPS understands the incredible challenges a school closure creates for families. This decision has been made with safety first and with a great deal of thought and care for everyone in the Springfield community. PCPS will continue to communicate with faculty, staff and families over the next few days to provide additional information and updates.”



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1 Comment

  1. Go back to school. The pandemic is over. Find some other way to prove you are a bona fide member of the we care, but you don’t club.
    How does it feel to be an automaton?

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