Heyworth School District Returns to Online Learning After Spike in COVID-19 Cases

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HEYWORTH (WEEK) – Students in Heyworth are learning online this week due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the school district.

Superintendent Lisa Taylor said 17 students and four staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

She said she did not know if this was spreading in schools or in the community.

“We had to visit the health department late yesterday and decided it was a good time for an adaptive break when you see a rapid increase,” Taylor said.

“It gives you a bit of time to do certain things: disinfect, deep clean, trace contacts,” she added.

Taylor said while most parents understood the sudden return to distance learning, some parents were frustrated after Monday’s announcement.

“We need to make the decisions that put the safety of students and staff first, and they need to trust us to make those decisions,” Taylor said.

McLean County Regional Superintendent Mark Jontry said putting it online would also make it easier for the district to staff classrooms, as they have struggled to find substitute teachers this year.

“I know that was one of the Superintendent’s concerns trying to continue in person for the rest of the week if they lost more staff due to positive cases,” Jontry said.

Taylor said outbreaks mostly occur at the elementary level, so those students will return to class on Monday if cases don’t continue to rise.

She said middle school and high school students will be going back this Thursday.

Jontry said all school buildings will be thoroughly cleaned while the students are at home.

He said it would not be necessary to change masking and social distancing policies when students return.


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