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Week After Thanksgiving Will Be Virtual Only For WV Students

Sunshine and pizza greeted the second grade students in Taylor Selby’s class last Friday. The pizza party was a reward after all 16 students had perfect attendance in October.
Students in Donna Blake’s fourth grade class and Chancie Brower’s fifth grade class were also awarded for strong attendance in October with a pizza party.
The food and drinks were provided by Mechanics Bank.

WATER VALLEY – All students in the Water Valley School District will switch to virtual learning for one week only following the Thanksgiving holiday as a precautionary measure to prevent the potential spread of Covid-19.
Superintendent Jerry Williams reported his recommendation for virtual learning for all students from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 was approved by the school board during a special meeting last Friday. The decision is a preemptive measure as many students will attend family gatherings or travel during the holidays, increasing their risk for exposure to Covid.
All teachers and employees including cafeteria workers will report to work as usual during the week. School buses will deliver meals each day during the week.  More information will be provided about meal delivery at a later date.
Students will receive instructional material with daily course work for the week. The packets will be distributed on Friday, Nov. 20 and will be due when students return to school on Dec. 7. Students who have access to a computer and internet will be able to do their work on-line.
Williams explained that students exposed to the virus during the holidays would likely not have symptoms until the following week when they would have been back in the classroom. A similar scenario occurred during the first week of school in August after 11 students at Water Valley High School tested positive. The students were exposed at a back-to-school party the week prior and the outbreak prompted a two-week quarantine for dozens of students including the entire football team.
Since then the number of confirmed cases in the district has been minimal, as has the number of students quarantined due to potential exposure to the virus. Williams said two students at Davidson Elementary School (DES) who tested positive earlier in the month will return to class next week. A teacher at DES also tested positive Monday, but had not been around students during the 48-hour period prior to the test. At the high school, only one student has tested positive who was on campus and around other students since the initial outbreak.
“We have had a few students whose parents tested positive and they also got it, but they never came on campus,” Williams said. “No teachers at the high school have tested positive for the virus.”
Williams cited the measures adopted at the schools this year  – wearing face coverings or masks, social distancing, keeping classes separated and hygiene upgrades including touch-less soap dispensers –  have likely had an impact on minimizing the spread of Covid and other illnesses including the seasonal flu, which typically starts to spike by late October.
“We have not had one case of the flu. We have four or five cases of strep at each school,” Williams added.  “Attendance has been really good, we are up around 97 percent, which is up about a half percent from last year,” Williams reported about October statistics for DES and WVHS.

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