By Henry Netherland
Pathfinder 

Swan Valley School goes remote

 

January 14, 2021



SWAN VALLEY - Swan Valley Elementary School went into fully remote learning after a member of the school community tested positive for COVID-19. Staff received the news on Thursday, Jan. 7 and subsequently closed the school that morning. Students and staff are scheduled to return to in-person learning Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Following notification of the positive test, students and staff were sent home with the intent to return on Monday after a deep clean of the school. 

However, after Principal Ralph King spoke with the school board over the weekend, they decided to go remote for a full week returning Tuesday, Jan. 19, after the Monday holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This allows those not showing symptoms to be out for 11 days which exceeds Missoula County’s quarantine minimum of 10 days. 

“I felt that would be sufficient to hopefully get through this so we’re not continually going into different remotes because of different hot spots in school,” King said. “Hopefully that will take care of ... keeping us out for any longer than that.”


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Parents were asked to pick up their children’s materials within a time slot on Monday, Jan. 11. Those who were not able to come in this time slot were asked to call beforehand to arrange delivery.

King said the policies on how to deal with a positive case have been in place since last spring when the school was fully remote. He is confident that this year’s transition will be easier than last year’s.

“We have practiced going remote throughout the year,” he said. “The transition, we feel, will be very seamless, much better than it was last spring because we hadn’t really experienced that before. We had everything set in place to where if we had to go remote, we’d do it quickly and seamlessly.”

The weekend before students return, custodial staff will conduct a deep clean of the school to sanitize surfaces.

“The actions we took were an abundance of caution,” King said. “We keep our students and staff in the greater Condon community safe and I feel that it was obviously the correct decision to make.”

The next Swan Valley School Board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 20.

 

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