COVID-19 case at Cambridge School District closes school for two days

The Cambridge School District closed its doors on Monday and Tuesday after only 2½ days in session after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
 The school board met on Monday evening and made the decision to reopen school on Wednesday. Staff and students will follow safety protocols that were in place for the first day of school.
 Classrooms opened for the new school year on Aug. 25 with an early dismissal on Tuesday at 1 p.m. and two full days on Wednesday and Thursday.
 Due to a positive COVID-19 case Superintendent Anthony Butler made the decision on Sunday to not have students return this week.
 “The district is just holding fast, safety and education are our priorities here and we are doing everything we can to educate the students,” said Butler. “Our goal is to keep the majority of students in school the majority of the time and we are really trying to stick to that. We will get open as soon as it is safe.”
 The Cambridge School District’s plan that they have in place was dependent on when a positive case hit and where the district was at in the curriculum being taught at the time. As of Monday, teachers were working on packets to be sent out on Tuesday to secondary students. The plan for the elementary students was to not have contact this week. It was felt the elementary students are not prepared for independent instruction. The teachers have been working real hard to prepare the students to be able to do distance learning but the elementary students need more individual learning instruction to make it a more positive experience.
 The board and administration’s goal is to be open and be in the buildings as much as possible.
 Internet issues and having enough devices is going to be a big struggle that will face the school district if they have to resort to distance learning. They have applied for a Federal CARES Act grant to help provide the resources needed and are waiting to hear from the state if they have received the grant. This year they have had 25 new students register for school, which has also put a strain on resources.
 “Internet connection is a real concern,” said Butler. The grant will help provide hotspots for families who are in need of internet connection as well as update devices and make sure there are enough devices for everyone.

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