No Impeding COVID Changes For Cody Schools & Students | Big Horn Basin Media

No Impeding COVID Changes For Cody Schools & Students

Written by on September 4, 2020

Just four days into the school year, there’s a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Park County School District #6.

The announcement was made Thursday by District Superintendent Peg Monteith on the Cody Public Schools, Cody Wyoming Park County #6 Facebook page.

In accordance with the district’s reopening plan, Park County Public Health was notified immediately and began contact tracing. Based on their results, no other students or staff need to quarantine as a result of this singular case. It is still unknown whether the case was confirmed in a student or district staff member or which school this person attended.

Monteith sees the good news in this unfortunate but inevitable turn of events: contact tracing has proved the district’s efforts to ensure student and staff safety are working as they should and ensuring the virus isn’t spreading as much – if at all.

How does a COVID-19 case affect Cody kids in school?

The district had been working on it 3-tiered reopening plan well before school’s reopened  Monday to ensure the safety of students and staff during the coronavirus pandemic. The tiers themselves are simple enough:

  • Tier 1 – The district holds in-person classes and activities with social distancing and face coverings required. Buildings will be open to all students, but some may be allowed to receive homebound or virtual instruction.
  • Tier 2 – A hybrid style of in-person and adapted learning. Adapted could mean remote, classroom-based virtual learning, or any other manner that doesn’t require students to physically attend class. Buildings will be open to smaller groups of students on alternating schedules, so everyone gets some in-person learning.
  • Tier 3 – A full closure of school buildings to students and staff. Everyone will move into the district’s Adapted Learning Plan, meaning all virtual instruction all the time.

Now that a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Cody school district, does it mean a tier change is impending?

Not at this time.

Superintendent Monteith says the authority to transition changes between tiers. And some of those rules have been in place well before the pandemic. The district does not have the authority to completely close schools; that lies with the State’s Department of Education. But changing between Tiers 1 and 2 has been part of district policy for years, long before COVID-19. In the event multiple students and staff are afflicted during a pandemic – around 30% total – the school can close for a week or more to clean and disinfect.

Any tier transitions will be made under the guidance of Park County Public Health officials.

In the event that happens, parents, students, and staff will be given at least two to three days’ notice to adequately prepare. But there’s no discussion of that happening now. Only one case has been confirmed in the district so far, and contact tracing has determined nobody else needs to quarantine.

That’s well below the threshold for a tier transition.


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