Five bus drivers, exposed to coronavirus, will keep all Hudson Falls students home for virtual school for another week.
The bad news unfolded Sunday, after students had already spent three weeks in virtual school. Teachers and students had been told school would be in person Monday.
Then someone tested positive. In contact tracing, five bus drivers were quarantined. That was in addition to seven other drivers who were already quarantined.
When the district was down seven drivers, Interim Superintendent Jon Hunter had figured out how to run the buses, using backup drivers, reserve drivers and by borrowing drivers from other school districts.
But try as he might, he could not acquire 12 bus drivers. Even worse, on Monday he said three more bus drivers might be quarantined by the end of the day.
“We don’t have our kids in school, which is very disappointing,” he said. “But we have good people working hard to connect with our kids.”
He does not anticipate a situation in which he would bring some children back — such as special education students or those in the youngest grades, as other school districts have done.
“We certainly can’t take care of one population without taking care of all populations,” he said. “We would like to bring in every student and we will do it when it is safe.”
Virtual school has not been a disaster, but some students are doing better than others, he said.
“So virtual school is no different than in-person schooling: we are having different levels of success,” he said. “We’re having success with some kids we never would have guessed. We are having high needs and demand with another population.”
But, he noted, some students do better than others in person, too.
“Whatever we’re saying about in-person instruction, we’re saying with virtual instruction,” he said.
He stressed that he thinks in-person school is best and he’s committed to bringing students back as soon as possible.
South Glens Falls
If anyone in the household has coronavirus symptoms or is awaiting a test, everyone must stay home, South Glens Falls Central School officials decided last week. Letting other students attend when one seemed ill was a policy adopted by most schools in September, and many parents questioned the logic. Now, as cases increase, more schools have changed their policy to keep everyone home.
South Glens Falls also reported four cases, one of which involved school exposures. The cases were: a member of the South Glens Falls High School community (no exposure at school since school is virtual until Tuesday), one member of the Oliver W. Winch Middle School, one member of the Tanglewood Elementary School, and one member of the Ballard Elementary School community, who was last in the building Friday. Contact tracing has been completed.
The Queensbury Union Free School District reported four cases, two of which led to exposures at school: Two people who were in the Queensbury Elementary School, with their last days being Jan. 19 and Monday; a person who was in the high school last on Jan. 7, and a person who is part of the remote learning program at the middle school and had not been in the building.
Glens Falls City School District did not find any students with coronavirus when officials performed random testing at Big Cross Street Elementary School on Friday and at the high school and middle school on Monday. However, three people who had been in the high school have tested positive since Saturday, unrelated to the random testing. Among Glens Falls students and staff, 30 people are in quarantine.
Cambridge Central School District will remain virtual until Feb. 2 for all ninth through 12th graders because so many high school staff are in quarantine. A person tested positive Friday and was in the high school on Thursday. Preschoolers through eighth graders will have in-person school.