Libby Elementary School to move to a remote schedule

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | November 16, 2020 5:37 PM

Libby Elementary School will move to a fully remote learning schedule on Nov. 17 for most of the rest of the month.

Superintendent Ron Goodman made the announcement on Nov. 16 after health department officials placed an additional nine staff members at the school in quarantine. This brought the total number of employees at the elementary school in quarantine to 13.

At the time of the announcement, Goodman said health officials were unsure if the virus had spread within the building. They were seeing, however, an increasing number of students that had tested positive or were symptomatic. Goodman said he was unsure of how many students were in quarantine as health officials were still conducting contact tracing.

“At what point do we look around and say, 'I can feel confident that there is no transmission in the building?'” he said. “I could not be confident sending students to school tomorrow.”

Like the Libby Middle High School, which went remote on Nov. 11, the elementary school is set to resume in-person instruction on Nov. 30.

Following the closure of the middle high school, Goodman said three additional middle high school staff members tested positive. Ten students and staff members had tested positive when the school went remote. Five staff members and 100 students were in quarantine.

As the number of active coronavirus cases in the county increases, Goodman said there was a greater chance that schools would isolate frequently between in-person and remote instruction.

“Continue to prepare for virtual learning and other needs connected to changes in school schedules,” he wrote in a press release.

Central School, Plummer Preschool and Head Start will continue to host in-person classes.