MARTINS FERRY – Education of children during the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic and repairs to school infrastructure were among the issues discussed Tuesday by the Martins Ferry City Schools Board of Education.
Superintendent Jim Fogle provided an update on the status of COVID-19 cases across the district, reporting on cumulative cases since the start of the school year.
“We have a daily update on our website regarding the positive cases that are reported to us”, said Fogle.
There are four positive college students and three contact students, with personal contact.
To date, there have been six positive cases in elementary school, eight positive cases in middle school and 26 cases in high school.
Among the staff, there were no cases in elementary school, three in middle school and three in high school.
So far, 42 students have been quarantined and one staff member.
There was also a positive case of COVID-19 at the central office, but no one has been quarantined as a result.
“We ask our students, staff and parents to be very careful if your son or daughter has any symptom”, said Fogle. âThey can all be classified as a COVID symptom. â¦ Keep them at home until they know they are healthy and after 24 hours of no medication you can send them back.
Fogle said on Tuesday there were 68 elementary school students absent, or 12%. There were 72 absences from college, or 16%, and 78 students absent from high school, or 17%.
“It’s a bit high” said board member Nick Stankovich.
âIt’s really not out of the ordinary when you look at 500 kids in a building. This is quite normal with regard to absences. Fogle said afterwards. âWe say to our parents and staffâ¦ please err on the side of caution. â¦ I don’t know if anyone could ever say that they are confident (in the precautions). We are just trying to do what’s best for our kids, and we have our students and our staff, they are at the center of every decision we make.
Fogle said no further district tenure is being considered at this time and masks remain optional except on school buses, which are considered public transportation.
âWe will continue to monitor the situation, will continue to move forward with our mitigation plan that we have put in place. Could this change? Sure. Our board and I are very aware of the situation, we are on top. said Fogle. “If there is a need for a mask warrant, then we’ll do it when we believe it.”
Fogle did not speculate on the number of students who chose this option.
“Some of our students choose to wear a mask and some don’t”, he said.
Fogle added that keeping students in school remains the top priority for the district.
“We have found that there is nothing better than in-person instruction,” he said. “(The staff are) delighted to be back with their students and to be face to face five days a week.”
In addition, the council declared an emergency and authorized contract negotiations with design professionals for the remediation of the high school floor heaving slabs.
âIt looks like we’re going to have a section of the building, hopefully that will be fixed, fixed, finished and put back in place over the Christmas holidays, that two week period, and the rest of the building that needs to be fixedâ¦ will be done. during the summer “, said Fogle. He didn’t estimate the cost. âI don’t have everything right now. We just have certain areas and aspects of it.
The district website is mfcsd.k12.oh.us.