Arab City Schools: 6 confirmed coronavirus cases, 63 in quarantine

That total include students, teachers and staff and district-wide sixty-three people are quarantining.

Posted: Sep 1, 2020 8:29 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2021 3:50 PM

The Arab City Schools Superintendent confirmed the district currently has six positive coronavirus cases.

That total include students, teachers and staff. District-wide, 63 people are quarantining.

Superintendent Johnny Berry said any time there's a case confirmed in an Arab City School, students and their families are notified of any possible exposure. 

Berry said he did not want to specify which schools in the district those six cases came from. 

"We are a small district, and so when you start narrowing it down and going all the way down to the school, in a small town like this, people are going to know, so we want to respect our people’s privacy. Our student’s privacy as well as our adult’s privacy. We don’t try to have any secrets with anything, but again for their privacy, we just release our district numbers. That was something we decided a while back," said Berry.

Berry said once a positive case is identified, the lead nurse is notified along with himself and the assistant superintendent. 

Then the lead nurse notifies those who had close contact with the person who tested positive, including students and their parents. 

"We get with the principals and we find out where those close contacts have been and then we start notifying those people," said Berry.

Berry believes the school district has done a good job containing cases in a district of about 3,000 students, faculty and staff. 

"Those that we have, we mitigate, we make sure people know. We have our dates that we set up. We have a spreadsheet that we keep up with that a few of us have access to and we're constantly monitoring that spread sheet. We have our dates in there of when students can return, we faculty can return," said Berry.

Berry said the school district is still following all of their sanitation and social distancing protocols as well as having all students wear a mask.

Arab City Schools is also changing its plans for traditional students after Labor Day. 

Berry said kindergarten through 5th grade students will return to a normal Monday-Friday schedule on Sept. 8. 

Pre-K will do the same thing the following week. 6th through 12th graders remain split into groups A and B based on last name.

They will alternate between three days a week in the traditional classroom and two days a week learning online. Those changes also start September 8th.

Berry knows all these changes are tough on parents, but said safety is a top priority. 

"Hopefully within two or three weeks, we'll continue to monitor, we would love to get all our Pre-K through 12 grades back on campus those who chose traditional, get them back on campus together. That's going to create some social distancing issues, we know that. We're going to try to mitigate that as much as we can," said Berry. 

Berry said the district decided to change plans because of a consistent drop in the number of new coronavirus cases. He also warned plans could change again if the number of new cases jumps in Marshall County.

Berry said students who would like to transition from virtual to traditional learning can do so this week.

Parents need to notify the schools by Sept. 3.

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