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Moline High School starts remote learning this week

The school district said the temporary closure is due to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases and a growing number of staff and students missing in-person learning due to potential exposure.
Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 7:19 PM CDT
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Moline, Ill. (KWQC) - Moline High School started temporary full-time remote learning on Monday. Over the weekend, the district announced that they would temporarily close for two weeks due to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases and a growing number of staff and students missing in-person learning due to potential exposure.

“We care about our kids, we care about our teachers, and we want them to not only be able to have educational opportunities in person but also those athletics and extracurricular opportunities, but not at the cost of anybody’s health and safety,” said Dr. Rachel Savage, the Moline-Coal Valley School District Superintendent.

Since the first day of school, there have been 24 positive cases throughout the school district. Of those cases, 19 were reported in the past two weeks as of September 28th. Savage said a large percentage of the cases are at the high school.

“More students than staff, but 14 are at the high school, but those 14 have caused over 100 students and staff to be in a quarantine protocol as of last Friday,” Savage said. “We just didn’t like the direction that our numbers were trending and just felt it was in the best interest to stop, take a pause. Allow the cleaning and sanitization to take place at the high school, so that we could preserve in-person learning opportunities for the high school, moving forward.”

“We will absolutely support whatever decisions they make for their district, but ultimately it is up to them,” said Nita Ludwig, Public Health Administrator for the Rock Island County Health Department.

The health department consults with the school districts and provides them with different options.

“We kind of walk through what the potential exposure might be, and just help them to see what other options. Is remote learning an option? Can you just keep with your hybrid system and do cleaning and disinfecting?” she said. “Every district, of course, has a different size of school populations. They have different size numbers of faculty, staff, teachers, and even a pool of substitute teachers. Some schools may not have a bigger pool as other districts might. So, generally, we will confer and consult with all the different districts and kind of walk through the scenario with them.”

Savage said it was the right move for them.

“Letting folks stay home and isolate during this time will hopefully stop the spread of any additional cases in the high school and allow us to jump back in and finish the quarter in person, and hopefully be able to keep going on into the fall,” she said.

Savage also said they’re looking forward to a full cleaning of the high school.

“We have an amazing custodial and maintenance staff and they are ready at work already. I’m hitting those high touch areas doorknobs, desks, phones, all of those pieces along with some of the additional cleaning and technology protocols that we have,” Savage said. “We have great teachers, great leadership at the building and at the district level. Grateful for the engagement of the Board of Education. They too have vocalized their desire to keep our kids and our adults safe here in the Moline-Coal Valley School District so it’s a collective effort. I’m proud to be here serving among them, and I’m just grateful for the community support and patience, as we navigate these very difficult decisions.”

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