UPDATE REGARDING DISTRICT RESPONSE TO
COVID-19 CLUSTER AT SMOKEY MOUNTAIN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
October 23, 2020
The following is an update to “JCPS Press Release 38” distributed Monday, October 19 and “JCPS Press Release 38A” distributed Tuesday, October 20.
Due to the COVID-19 cluster identified at Smokey Mountain Elementary School, buildings at the school will remain closed and students will continue learning remotely through next Friday, October 30. District and school administrators made the decision after considering a number of factors:
- The results of staff and student COVID testing conducted this week are not yet available.
- Contact tracing by the Department of Public Health and other agencies is ongoing.
- Staff members required to operate the school safely are not available due to the number of employees currently quarantined.
- Staff members who are currently quarantined will not be cleared until after next week.
The School Nutrition Program will prepare and distribute prepackaged meals for students during the week.
District and school administrators will meet again next Friday, October 30 to assess the situation and determine if it is safe to reopen the school.
Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton implores families at all of the district’s nine schools to be vigilant in following safety guidelines.
“We have been able to keep the rate of positive COVID cases very low in our schools, but we need the help of our families to maintain that success,” Tipton said. “If a student, parent or any member of a household has a positive COVID test, it is vitally important that students in that household not be sent to school.”