MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Montgomery County School District has already dealt with a handful of students and teachers testing positive for COVID-19 over the last 15 days since they’ve been back to school.
According to school officials, between students and staff, there are 80 people in quarantine. The school says this was to be expected upon returning to school and now they must adjust and continue pushing forth with safety protocols.
“Our main goal is to be transparent with our parents to let them know each day what’s going on. We don’t want to hide anything,” Superintendent Hugh Kight said.
As of Friday, two teachers have tested positive along with five students. Superintendent Kight also says they have four teachers and 76 students in quarantine.
"We go get the names, we go to the classroom, we get the seating chart and we see who sits next to that student within six feet. We check the bus if they're bus riders, we check the lunchroom and we check the classes."
When a student or teacher tests positive, school officials do contract tracing and determine direct contacts. A direct contact is someone who was exposed to the positive teacher/students for 15 minutes or more. They're then quarantined for 14 days.
“We let them know when they can come back to school and then we move forward,” Kight said.
Several parents and guardians say they're glad the school is keeping them up to date on everything and feel as though their children are extremely safe at school.
“Just the transparency that the school is providing to us is comforting in itself so that we do know what’s going on,” parent Ashley Thornton said.
“I feel like my kids are really safe where they’re at right now,” parent Yesenia Serrano said.
“We get the information; we get it timely. We’re even getting them on the weekends. So, we can make a decision on what’s best for us and our families and our children,” grandparent Mary Caraway said.
Superintendent Kight says since school started, they have made additional adjustments for safety including spacing out students more while they're at lunch. The school has also added more substitute teachers and is prepared to gather substitute bus drivers if they need it.
“Our administration in this school system, I could not speak enough about them. They just provide so much for our children, for our staff, and for us as the parents,” Kight said.
Every time a student or staff member tests positive, Superintendent Kight says they clean the areas where he/she was even more than they already do daily.
Every day, Superintendent Kight says the classrooms, lunchrooms and buses are getting sanitized. When a student tests positive, the school looks at their class schedule and checks if they ride the bus or not and puts in place extra cleaning measures of those areas. This goes for teachers and staff too. The school has foggers that spray the classrooms and buses down within minutes.
“We received some new sprayers this week from GEMA, some foggers. We’re using those and we’re wiping down all of the lunchroom tables between each lunch with alcohol-based spray,” Kight said.
Superintendent Kight says the school system has a disinfecting staff made up of five people.
Superintendent Kight says 17 of the quarantined students and a bus driver will return on Tuesday and two teachers will return Monday.