A second staff member at a school in Fairfield County has tested positive for COVID-19, leading to a shift to remote learning for more classrooms.
Coleytown Elementary School in Westport was closed Friday, Sept. 11 after the first positive case in a staffer was confirmed earlier in the morning.
On Saturday morning, Sept. 12, Thomas Scarice, Westport's superintendent of schools, announced the confirmed case of the additional staff member.
As a result of contact tracing, two additional staff members have been identified as “close contacts” and notified that they will be excluded from school and recommended to quarantine for 14 days. No new students are being required to quarantine.
It had been determined that the students and staff in two Coleytown Elementary School classrooms spent a significant amount of time in the presence of the first positive case. Those students are quarantining from the date of contact - Thursday, Sept. 10. Siblings and other family members of those children and staffers do not need to quarantine, Scarice said.
"Without question, the absence of these staff members in our building significantly impacts our ability to appropriately staff our classrooms and provide the quality of instruction that we expect," said Scarice in an email to the community. "The quarantine addresses the health and safety of our students and staff, but we are also committed to addressing the quality of instruction.
"Therefore, to provide instructional continuity for our students so that each student continues to receive daily instruction from his/her classroom teacher, we have decided to implement remote learning for these two additional Grade 1 classrooms at Coleytown Elementary School.
"This measure will allow all students in those two classrooms to remain connected with their classroom teacher and to continue to receive meaningful instruction on a daily basis, albeit remotely.
"Again, these students do not require quarantine. However, the decision to move to remote instruction for these two classrooms is intended to provide the best instructional experience possible during the time of the classroom teachers' quarantine."
Coleytown Elementary School Principal Janna Sirowich will contact each family that will participate in remote learning in the two classrooms Saturday via email, Scarice said.
"The challenges of educating our students amidst this global pandemic are very real, and we are doing our best to maintain the health and safety of all members of our school community while also focusing on providing high-quality instruction," said Scarice.
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