Superintendent talks the state of Lee County’s school year during pandemic

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Superintendent Gregory Adkins of The School District of Lee County. Credit: WINK News.

We spoke to Superintendent Gregory Adkins on Thursday about the state of the school district in Lee County and its preparedness to protect students, teachers and staff this school year.

Our discussion with Adkins began with asking about protocols for those who test positive for the coronavirus.

“We are going to be notifying. Let’s say a child at a school where you have a positive COVID case, we do have notifications that are going to go out to those parents,” Adkins said. “We are working on a report we’re going to put on our website so that our community really knows what is the spread in the district. You know, what are the number of positive cases that we’ve seen?”

What about protocols for teachers?

“If we have a teacher that tests positive, that teacher is going to have to work remotely,” Adkins said. “If they are able to do so and if they are able to do so during the quarantine period, what we will do is either make a decision to either move that classroom distance or have a substitute in there and allow that teacher to teach virtually while the kids are still there.”

“So if a child gets a fever and the school sends them home, it’s recommended, but there’s no obligation to get tested. If that fever goes away can that student come back to school as soon as it’s done?”

“No. They would have to sit out the quarantine period of time,” Adkins said. “So you’re looking at like a 10-day quarantine, I believe in that case. And then 24 hours after the symptoms subside after that quarantine period, then that student would be able to come back. Otherwise, let’s say that student was able to access a healthcare provider and a health care provider was able to give us notification that this is non-COVID related, they are able to return as soon as the symptoms subsided.”

“You said 25% for the district to go virtual, what about an individual school? How many kids have to test positive in order for a school or classroom to shut down?”

“Right now. our guideline is 5% of that school,” Adkins said. “So we would again be working with the department of health and determine if that’s really what we should do, but that’s kind of our benchmark in terms of where we would be considering making that decision.”

We covered several different topics with Adkins. Watch the video below to find out how lunchtime and the busing system will work, who will enforce social distancing and what keeps him up at night.

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