LANESVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - Three days into the new school year at Lanesville Junior-Senior High School, four students have tested positive for the coronavirus. However, the school staff said they’ve been preparing for this since the beginning.
Steve Morris, the superintendent and Secondary Principal at Lanesville Community School Corporation said the first case was reported on Friday. The high school senior went to the first day of school Wednesday and started feeling symptoms after arriving home.
Morris said the parents reported the positive test Friday morning before the health department, and the staff began conducting contact tracing procedures. On Saturday, parents reported three additional cases, all who had close contact with the original case.
“It’s been an interesting start to the school year,” Morris said. “It’s not the start that any of us would have wished for. It’s very disappointing and it’s deflating, but it was something we had anticipated all along. Our plans were prepared for this.”
The school shut down until Tuesday to deep clean all the classrooms and conduct more contact tracing. Currently, 18 students are quarantined. Morris expects 28 to 30 additional students to join them.
Morris said the school had a flexible plan in place prior to welcoming students back to in-person learning.
"There really are no thresholds to say, 'Okay, if this happens, we're going to do this,' so it's really a work in progress," Morris said.
School staff said they have plenty of options to handle what could transpire next. The options include alternating days certain students come inside the building and returning to all virtual learning, which is the school’s last resort. Students currently have the option to learn in-person or online.
"Having school in the midst of a global pandemic, obviously it's new for all of us and there's going to be bumps in the road and there's a higher level of stress and we're going to continue to work and do the best job we can for our kids," Morris said.
Morris commended the parents of the children who tested positive for communicating with the school as soon as they received results.
“We need to give (the parents) a little bit of empathy because they feel bad. They didn’t want this to happen either, to have Lanesville start the school year this way, and I would hope that everybody would understand that,” Morris said.