Spirit Lake School Board Votes To Relax Some COVID-19 Protocols

Wed 4-28-2021

(Spirit Lake)-- Meeting in special session today (Wed.), the Spirit Lake School Board voted unanimously in favor of an administrative recommendation relaxing some of the district's COVID-19 protocol. Superintendent Dr. David Smith says one of those removes the required quarantine for all students who are a close contact...Smith & Protocol Changes01 

"Our data is showing that we had 398 students quarantine this year and 17 of those tested positive, so that's 4.27 percent that tested positive for COVID. That means 381 students were missing school that maybe didn't need to be out. And so that was important to us. So we asked the board to remove the quarantine portion for those students in close contact. We still will quarantine students who test positive, who have symptoms, etcetera. We'll keep all of our procedures in place, so not a lot changes except for we're going to have more kids at school which is a priority of the board."

Dr. Smith says another revision approved today (Wed.) does away with mandatory mask wearing in hallways...Smith & Protocol Changes02 

"We have a three minute passing and of that three minutes that kid is passing in the high school maybe they're together 45 seconds and they're not with the same student, they're passing and moving. We just don't think it's necessary to keep the masks on in the hallway as long as they're moving from class to class, and for those areas in the labs, etcetera, where they're shoulder to shoulder we're keeping the masks in place and, you know, on buses shoulder to shoulder keeping the masks in place. But otherwise it's about as is and hopefully kids appreciate that."

He adds the changes are based on new data that has come out since last August, and that they're being made with the best interest of students in mind...Smith & Protocol Changes03 

"We've got three weeks of school and we want kids to be at prom, we want them to be at graduation. If they were quarantined and it was a very remote situation where they weren't necessarily around somebody we want them to be at their activities. We want them to finish the school year. You know it's important to kids to be on these closing activities. They didn't get to close out school last year and that bummed everybody out and it's hard for us to watch kids go through that and we can see what it means to them and their families. The other things is we appreciate our students a lot, our teachers a lot, our staff a lot. The parents have been terrific and not everybody agrees on all of these issues, which we know, but everybody's handled it professionally, the right way, and we're about kids and that's why Spirit Lake is the greatest community around."

The action taken at today's (Wed.) meeting also gives discretion to the superintendent to make adjustments as needed, with any major changes coming to the school board.

For more information on the Spirit Lake schools COVID-19 protocol revisions, click here.