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Another local high school temporarily suspends on-campus instruction as COVID-19 cases rise

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 5:38 PM CDT
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COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) – On-campus instruction has been suspended temporarily at Copperas Cove High School because of a jump in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed 14 active cases at Copperas Cove High School, 11 of them involving employees and three students.

Students will transition to remote instruction from Wednesday through at least Nov, 5, the district’s superintendent, Dr. Joe Burns, said in a message to parents.

Athletic and band practices will continue as scheduled with required social distancing, facial coverings, hand sanitizing and hand washing.

“The At Home Learning plan requires students to have access to a device that allows them to connect to the internet while at home,” Burns said in the letter.

If your student does not have access to a technology device in the home and is in need of a device, you may request a device be issued by the campus."

Full letter:

"As you know, CCISD has been delivering face-to-face and virtual instruction to CCHS students since August 18, 2020. During this time, the staff and students who attend classes on campus have been wearing facial coverings, sanitizing and washing their hands frequently and maintaining appropriate social distancing during the school day. With these safety protocols in place, we have had a minimal number of positive COVID-19 cases and exposures. However, in the last few days, we seen an increase in the number of staff and students testing positive for COVID-19 and another small group of individuals exposed to those who have tested positive. As you know, CCISD has developed a plan for this scenario. Therefore, Copperas Cove High School students will transition to At Home Learning from October 28, 2020 through at least November 5, 2020. However, athletic and band practices will continue as scheduled with the requirements of the wearing of facial coverings, hand sanitizing and washing, and social distancing still required. This decision has been made in order to protect both our students and staff from further exposure risk. "The At Home Leaning plan requires students to have access to a device that allows them to connect to the internet while at home. If your student does not have access to a technology device in the home and is in need of a device, you may request a device be issued by the campus. Starting on Monday, November 2, students who need a device may reserve one. If your student(s) need internet access, they may utilize CCISD’s Wi-Fi at each of the courtesy booths located at the entrances to the CCHS campus or on the home side of Bulldawg Stadium. If you need technical assistance, you can reach our student help desk between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, by completing the help request form at http://bit.ly/CCHSHelpMe. "In order to be counted present for attendance and credit purposes, students are required to log in daily to Schoology and Edgenuity to access their instructional portfolio. “During this time of At Home Learning, CCISD will provide a breakfast and lunch at no charge through a grab-and-go meal service at all CCISD elementary campuses, with the exception of Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy, between 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Students can pick up a lunch for that day and a breakfast for the next day during those hours. All of CCISD’s other schools and facilities will continue operations on-site and on their normal schedules.”

Mother Kendra Ashenbrenner says COVID-19 is a familiar and unwelcome problem.

“I feel like the school is trying and that, right there, is a big thing,” she said.

“Could they have done more? Maybe... They could inform us about what’s actually going on.”

Ashenbrenner adds that while she wants her son to have face-to-face interaction with teachers, she knows the threat is still there.

“I always have to worry that he’s gonna get sick because there’s so many students and staff packed into that building and that kind of contact.... it adds up,” she said.

In a press conference Monday evening, Burns said that nine faculty and three students tested positive for the virus. The district says they and those that have come in close contact with them are safely in quarantine.

He says with the risk of more faculty being unavailable to teach because of the virus, it was important to act quickly to contain the spread as much as possible.

“With the winter months coming and people clinging closer together, we may very well have this happen and we have a plan because we knew this day might come,” he said.

He says there is a possibility that the shutdown could last longer.

“We’ve got to see that case count go down for the adults,” he said

“We gotta get those staff back to work and make sure we have the ability to operate school in a safe manner.”

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