Bluford schools have now been in session for thirteen full weeks, with 61 days of student attendance. This message is to again share some insight and information on how we continue to manage the COVID pandemic. Currently, with numbers increasing throughout the state and Southern Illinois, the school has not seen a substantial increase. The district continues to implement all of the IDPH guidelines which has created a safe and structured environment.
To date, we have had three staff members test positive. In total, staff have had to miss 1.1% of available days (46 out of 4,096 work days… 64 employees times 64 staff work days) due to anything COVID related. The majority of those days continue to be because a staff member had a “symptomatic” individual in their household or contact with a positive individual.
Overall, the district has encountered the following:
8 students and staff have tested positive for COVID-19
54 students excluded from attendance with “symptoms”
19 students excluded from attendance with symptomatic siblings
32 students excluded from attendance due to potential close contact at school
46 students excluded from attendance because of close contact outside of school
Overall, our attendance rate for the grade school is at 94.3%, which is within the normal range. Our attendance rate for the high school is 88.3%, which remains a little lower than normal, but this would be because the high school has more moving parts than the elementary school which leads to more potential attendance exclusions.
The Governor continues to make restrictive announcements as the method for how cases are counted changes and case totals rise. At this point, I have no indication that the Governor will shut down schools statewide. However, I would encourage families to have a plan for child care in case that ultimately happens. At the current moment, only 9% of kids in the state are attending school in person full time. I am hopeful that because that number is so low that those of us in attendance will be spared from shutting down. I think that it is especially important to note that cases of infection at school are lower than the county and region. I believe this is because we have a structured approach to mitigations.
Guidance and regulations continue to evolve. As that continues, we will stay on top of changes and communicate with the community as our plan changes to comply with state directives and guidelines. In addition to that, we remain committed to fully communicating with any individuals who have potentially been in contact with a suspected COVID case.