Superintendent: Cody’s Students and Staff Stressed but Strong
Written by Andrew-Rossi on October 16, 2020
Cody’s students and teachers are persevering through the 2020-2021 school year, but there’s no denying the impact of the pandemic on everyone’s minds.
Park County School District #6 Superintendent Peg Monteith continues to applaud the perseverance of the district’s staff and students, but things are “getting stressful” for everyone, especially as Park County and Wyoming are experiencing a strong spike in COVID-19 cases.
Speaking on KODI’s Daybreak. Monteith shared the district’s latest COVID 19 numbers:
“We’ve got over 20 kids – K-12 – that are quarantined. We’ve also had four staff members who’ve tested positive and one who’s quarantined. We can manage the kids, we can manage kids being at home for the two weeks, but if we have staff that are negatively impacted that becomes more challenging. We have to have our teachers. If our teachers go down, then we’re in trouble.”
The district is taking steps to protect teachers by taking precautionary measures now. Several COVID-19 curative rapid tests – with a 48-hour turnover for results – are being used for random surveillance testing of adults in the district who are either employed or volunteering.
Another need is more substitute teachers. The Park County School Board is expected to act next week on raising the daily pay rate for substitutes in order to encourage more people to apply. Park County School District #1 in Powell passed a similar measure last week.
Cody’s teachers are also limiting their “out-of-class” time and activities to the absolute essentials to minimize their risk of getting infected.
Monteith says there are a plethora of emotional issues in students in all the schools as a result of the pandemic. The main goal is to ensure there isn’t another school shutdown, as that would make things even harder.
“I think the emotional toll on our kids was brutal, and we’ve seen the impact of that as kids have come back,” Monteith said. “We have got to support them. We talk about support academics, but it’s equally as important to support their social/emotional growth and their wellbeing. I feel like we are doing everything we humanly can to keeping this going and make it work.”
The best endorsement on the efforts of Park County’s School District #6’s efforts to ensure student and staff safety came from the authority on COVID-19 cases and prevention in Cody: Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin.
“(He) said to me earlier this week that school’s the safest place in town,’ according to Monteith.
Classes and extracurriculars are currently moving forward as they have been since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year with no talk of any changes at this time.
Keep up to date with any changes at Park County School District #6 by following their Facebook page.