Too much, too soon? Is it safe to return to school?


After all the uncertainty from the pandemic, and much deliberation, the Kingston School Board decided to return to school on August 6, 2020. Many parents were taking first day of school pics and the students were happy to be back to a normal schedule; not to mention the ability to see their friends.

Unfortunately, the first day back to school bliss was short lived, extremely short lived. The same day, KSB was made aware of a positive COVID case and were forced to shut down for two weeks. Superintendent Brian Brister shared a statement explaining what happened.

“Kingston Schools has been notified of a positive case in our child nutrition department. We have been in constant contact with our local health departments to ensure we are responding accordingly. The state epidemiologist has reviewed our circumstances and weighed in our plan. The need for quarantine of our child nutrition staff has caused some major shortages in an area critical to the daily operations of our school. We have decided to close on-campus learning while essential staff are away. We plan to resume on campus learning once the quarantine has lifted,” Brister stated in the letter.

Unfortunately, many schools are being forced to shut down, and the school year has barely begun to take flight.

Silo Public Schools announced that a classroom will be in quarantine after a student tested positive for COVID-19. In a written statement, Silo Superintendent Kate McDonald focused on how the virus was affecting school.

“Although we want normal for our students, the virus isn’t going anywhere and these situations are going to arise,” McDonald stated. “Our kids have been off to a great start so far and we hope to have all students on campus as soon as possible.”

Achille School District grades seventh through ninth are learning from home due to a teacher testing positive just one week after classes resumed. The school district is re questing that only seventh through ninth graders stay home. They are wanting siblings of the quarantined students to attend face-to-face learning, even though there is a possible contamination.

The Pauls Valley School District adjusted the first two weeks of school due to a positive case within the band camp. They are starting virtual learning on August 17.

The Mannsville Public School District also had a positive case that forced the schools to close and quarantine. The tentative return date for them is August 24.

With many of the schools located in rural areas being forced to shut down, the administration has been scrambling to figure out how each student will receive the same access to the online platform. Many residents do not live close enough to town to get internet, nor do they have laptops.

Some of the schools are dedicating Chromebooks for students without any type of technology that affords online learning. Also, some districts are offering Hotspots to the families who do not have internet.

Even though the first day of Kington Schools was short-lived, visit pages 7A and 8A for back to school pictures.