Madison City Schools announced Friday that 14 students and one employee are positive for coronavirus, and 170 people, a number that includes both students and teachers, are in quarantine.
Nine of the 14 student coronavirus cases are football players at Bob Jones High School, which prompted the district to cancel the next two football games and delay the return to in-person classes until Sept. 28. (Read more HERE)
Bob Jones High School also has the highest number of people in quarantine: 120 students and 10 teachers.
See the full letter from Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols below:
Dear Madison City Schools Family,
By now, you are aware of the announcement I sent out today concerning the cancellation of the Bob Jones High School football games and the change in our secondary schedule. This week, we returned our middle school students on a rotational schedule and the elementary schools completed their first full week of school-based learning.
For this week, we have a total of 15 (14 are students and one employee spread across five schools) confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in our district. We have 170 quarantined that are spread across seven schools from being associated with positive or presumptive cases.
Here is the breakdown:
Columbia - 1 student
Rainbow - 1 student
Liberty - 1 student and 1 teacher
Bob Jones - 9 students
James Clemens - 2 students
Columbia - 5 students and 1 teacher
Mill Creek - 1 student
Rainbow - 1 student
Discovery - 21 students
Liberty - 10 students
Bob Jones - 120 students and 10 teachers
James Clemens - 1 teacher
I know delaying the start of the high school rotation is not what any of us wanted this year.
However, due to the loss of teaching staff to quarantine and the shortage of substitute teachers, I felt the need to delay the high school rotation. Madison is a small community and we are not sure how these positive cases at Bob Jones could affect our teaching staff in other schools.
Currently, 37 of the Bob Jones and James Clemens teaching staff have accepted extra teaching assignments on their planning period to accommodate the scheduling demands of school-based and virtual classes.
Due to this number of extra teaching periods, we cannot easily cover teaching positions vacant due to the effects of quarantined staff. School principals have reported difficulties in acquiring substitute teachers this year. Our substitute teacher pool is very low compared to previous years.
The Alabama Department of Public Health is currently active in the contact tracing of these cases and will update us as needed. As I have stated from the beginning of the school year, we will be flexible in our schedule and our plans to meet this ever-changing issue. If we find out next week that the need for quarantining is not as widespread on our teaching staff, we can adjust our school-based plans.
Our goal is to return our secondary students to everyday school-based learning like our elementary students.
Although we have had these increases of cases this week, I want to thank our staff and teachers for doing a great job of following the procedures and protocols we set for the district. I want to make sure all of you know that this sudden spike in the BJHS football team is not because the coaching staff did not follow our procedures. All of our coaches in the district have done a great job since the summer of adhering to the AHSAA and Madison City guidelines.
Dr. Ed Nichols,